• September 9, 2014
  • 331

The maintenance of the ruins of the Oginski’s chapel

The walls of the Oginski’s chapel had been strengthened, the roof has been fixed in order not to fall  Photo Marian Paluszkiewicz

The problem of the Oginski’s chapel at the Antokolski’s cemetery “ Saulės in Vilnius has been existing for several years. Many residents of the capital city were upset with its condition, because it resembled ruins. This problem was also exposed in “Courier Vilnius”.

“The fact that the chapel is breaking down had been already known a long time ago. We asked to solve this problem the self-government of the capital city three years ago. Unfortunately, we have achieved nothing concrete then. No one took up the renovation. The only thing that had been done then was the eviction of the homeless people from the interior of the chapel and closing it so no one could enter there. Tons of rags had been thrown away. Believe me, the chapel looked like “Humana”.” – told us Aurelija Matuizienė, the director of the Vilnius branch of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania.

In 2014 the Vilnius branch of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania asked the self- government once more for the renovation of the Oginski’s chapel.

” Our inspector wrote once more to the self- government that the chapel is in an appalling condition and that it is a threat to people visiting the cemetery. To this letter we received a reply. Local Government promised to carry out and finish the works to prevent any disasters until August 29. The works must have been carried out by the company “Grinda”.” – says Aurelija Matuizienė.

As being said, these are not restoration work, because there has been no project for them, yet.

” The local government still delays the project, in accordance with which the renovations are supposed to be carried. Currently the chapel should already have been protected against the collapse. It is difficult to say when the renovation will be at least started, I won’t dare to think about the end of it…” – summed up the director of the Vilnius branch of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania.

Vanda Grigūnienė, the Administrator of the cemetery ” Saulės ” assured us that the works to prevent the final collapse of the Ogiński’s  and St. Vincent’s chapels had been made.

” The walls of the Oginski’s chapel had been strengthened, the roof has been fixed in order not to fall.  In fact, the chapel had been secured in case of the fall. The chapel of St. Vincent had also been secured; iron pipes, which are supposed to strengthen the construction, had been attached to the walls. I hope that this is just the beginning of works – says Vanda Grigūnienė.

As we were informed by the local government, the works on the project are still ongoing. According to the project the reconstruction will be carried out throughout the entire cemetery.

” The Oginski’s chapel is in an appalling condition. For now, thanks to the specialist restoration works the sacred object had been  protected from further degradation. Temporary roof  had been installed. As far as possible we had strengthened the wall. We had done everything to prevent the disaster. Now, we are waiting for the project to be done and the works will begin. Due to limited resources only the most urgent works had been made – says Judita Nauckuvienė, the head of municipal department of cultural heritage protection of self-government.

As being said, the work will be divided into several stages. Currently, their design is underway, it will last up to 5 November 2015. The renovation will be started from the graves, which are in the worst condition.

” First you have to explore everything, then calculate how much it will cost. We hope to receive the European funds, we have already submitted the letter. We are working on this and we know about the situation in the cemetery.”- said Judita Nauckuvienė.

As being emphasized, after  the approval of the project the tender will begin immediately.

” We plan not only to rebuild the chapels and fix tombs, but also to organize fence and perform many other tasks.” – stressed Nauckuvienė.

Vytautas Juozapaitis, the representative of the Lithuanian opposition conservative party the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (ZO-LCHD), proposed to declare the year 2015 in Lithuania the year of Polish composer Michael Cleophas Oginski.

“I am glad that the year 2015  in Lithuania will be announced the year of the great Polish composer Michael Cleophas Oginski because this year is the 250th anniversary of his birth. What is more, due to the 250th anniversary of the birth of Polish composer the Organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO –  placed M.K. Oginski on the list of distinguished people for the world’s culture, education, science and history. There wasn’t much discussion upon my proposal, the decision has been made.”- said Vytautas Juozapaitis.

Michael Cleophas Oginski

Polish composer and music theorist, memoirist, political writer, in the years 1793-1796 Lithuanian grand  treasurer, and since 1789 the great Lithuanian swordsman, Russian senator, a member of the Confederation of Targowica. He was born in 1765 in Guzów, near Sochaczew in Andrew Oginski’s family, Lithuanian swordsman and later the governor of the Trakai. He took part in the Kosciuszko Insurrection in 1794. He composed piano Polonaises, romances, songs, quadrilles, minuets, waltzes. Today he is best known as the author of the Polonaise A minor, “Farewell to the Fatherland”.

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

Related post

Poles danced the polonaise on the Cathedral Square in Vilnius

Lithuanian Poles danced the polonaise on the Cathedral Square in Vilnius on Sunday evening. 192 couples…

A record number of couples danced the polonaise in Vilnius

The “Factum” agency has entered a new achievement in the Book of Outstanding Achievements of Lithuania…

15th edition of the Nations’ Fair in Vilnius. In a rich programme – the Polish polonaise

On September 15-17, the Nations’ Fair will be held in Vilnius for the fifteenth time. The…