• August 29, 2014
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Residents of Poznań will again take care of the Rasos cemetery

Restoration works at the Rasos cemetery which is the oldest necropolis in Vilnius will start soon. Roof of the Jeleński family grave chapel, Radziewicz family grave and the monument of Michał Innocenty Burhardt will be renovated. It will be financed, again, by funds raised among residents of Poznań.

“This time we have raised more than 33 thousand zlotys” – said pleased with generosity of people living in Poznań rev. Edmund Jaworski who is the rector of the Saint Casimir parish in Gułtowy and the representative of the “Residents of Poznań for the Rasos cemetery” Social Committee. The fundraising for the Rasos cemetery which takes place every year on 1st November by the main gates of the two biggest town cemeteries – Junikowo and Miłostowo – was organized by rev. Jaworski for the first time in 2000. This year rev. Jaworski came to Vilnius to meet representatives of the “Rolija” company which is responsible for the restoration works at the Rasos cemetery. “The legal status of the Rasos cemetery has changed. Now the cemetery is recognized as a historic monument, therefore there are some obstacles concerning the permission for the restoration works. However, we are glad that the Rasos cemetery became a cultural property of Lithuania, because what has been emotionally right is now also legally right” – said rev. Jaworski.

When we asked him about the feeling of residents of Poznań towards the fundraising for the Rasos cemetery, he pointed out the sum that has been raised. “Our campaign has few aims. Firstly, we want to take care of the cemetery. Secondly, we want to draw attention of the residents of Poznań to the Polish national minority in Lithuania. Thirdly, Greater Poland has a debt of gratitude to the Borderlands, because a major part of the Polish elite has came from the Vilnius region. I believe that it is understandable for people living in Poznań, because each year we manage to raise more than 30 thousand zlotys. It is a material proof” – said rev. Jaworski.

As Robert Kutut from the “Rolija” company in Vilnius emphasised, the restoration works will begin as soon as all the formalities will be taken care of. The Director of the Regional Department of the PKO Bank Polski in Poznań Jerzy Kepel has also visited Vilnius. He wanted to see the Kneeling Christ monument which has a particular significance for him. “This beautiful monument stands on the grave of Michał Innocenty Burhardt – a January Uprising insurgents and my great-grandfather. I have a strong sentiment towards Vilnius and the Rasos Cemetery, because I came from this region and many maternal relatives of mine are buried here” – said Jerzy Kepel who is glad that he could visit his home town.

Translated by Maciej Jóźwiak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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