• August 8, 2016
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Old Jewish Cemetery in Cultural Heritage Sites List

On the initative of the Department of Cultural Heritage, the old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius has just been inscribed on the list of cultural heritage sites protected by the state. The regulation was signed on Friday by the Minister of Culture.

“Some of the gravestones survived, so the appropriate state protection must be ensured. The cemetery is in the register already, it’s an acknowledged cultural monument. The register is drawn up in such a way that, according to the object value that has been set, the state or local government should decide on and publicly announce the names of the protected sites,” informed Deputy Director of the Department of Cultural Heritage Algimantas Degutis.

The Užupis Old Jewish Cemetery was established in 1831, right after the closedown of the Jewish cemetery in Pióromont by the tsarist authorities. From the beginning of the 1830s to 1948, more than 70,000 people were buried there. Between 1905 and 1906 Jewish workmen who died during anti-tsarist demonstrations, as well as the Bund founders, were interred here. In 1958 the Soviet authorities ordered removal of matzevahs from the cemetery, which were then used in various building works in the city.

In 2014 the area of 7.7 hectares at Holenderska Street was registered as the Užupis Old Jewish Cemetery.

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

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