President Dalia Grybauskaitė accepted February 16 Act of Independent deposited to Lithuania.
At the solemn ceremony held at the White Hall of the Presidential Palace, the Protocol on handing the Act of Independence was signed by the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, Ramojus Kraujelis, and the Head of the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Professor Elke von Boeselager.
According to the President, only a year ago, this ceremony was unimaginable as the search for the original copy of the February 16 Act of Independence that lasted for many decades, had become a long detective with different supporting versions.
For over 70 years, the location of the original copy of the Act of Independence was unknown. After an extensive search, in March 2017, Professor Liudas Mažylis of Vytautas Magnus University found the original copy of the document, mailed to Germany, in the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The hand-written document is the Council of Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence. The document in Lithuanian and German languages was signed by all 20 signatories.
The President underscored that Lithuania was especially grateful to Professor Liudas Mažylis who found the Act of Independence and to Germany that had preserved the hand-written original copy of the document and had agreed to lend it to Lithuania. This is a sign of friendship, respect and mutual trust.
According to the President, one of the most important national documents has reached Lithuania at the most appropriate time, in the run up to the Centennial of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania.
The President stated that it inspired, uplifted and obliged us to joyfully celebrate one of the most important days in our national history.
The February 16 Act of Independence will be exhibited at the House of the Signatories as of Sunday, January 21.
The Act of Independence restored the state of Lithuania and was signed in Vilnius, on 16 February 1918.
Press Service of the President.