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HISTORY OF CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTRE

 The near past is our historical and cultural heritage

 Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre was established under the Order of the Monument Management Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 16 of April 2, 1991, as on March 27, 1991 under the Decree No. 180p of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the Scientific-Methodical Council of Cultural Monuments was revoked.

During the period of 1991-2015 the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre (since the year 1995 – Cultural Heritage Centre) has been structurally changed for several times; however, it’s main areas of activity, namely, search of the cultural heritage, its inventory, research, application to enter into the Register of Cultural Monuments or into the Register of Cultural Property, remained unchanged. The Cultural Heritage Centre aimed to collect as much data about historical and cultural heritage, as well as to enrich, adjust and organize such data and make it available to the public. Research of historical and natural heritage is and has always been the base of knowledge about heritage. The Cultural Heritage Centre is and has always been provider of scientific information about historical and cultural heritage to the Cultural Heritage Department and other interested bodies.

During the period of 1991-2005 the Cultural Heritage Centre has been maintaining the List of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Lithuania, to the year 1995 it has also been maintaining the List of Newly Discovered Historical and Cultural Monuments, also, it has been conducting research of the objects to be entered into those lists, as well as performing their inventory and tracking works.

From 1991 to 2006 the Head of the Cultural Heritage Centre has been Vitas Karčiauskas, and from the year 2006 this position is taken by an architect, signatory of the Act of Re-Establishment of the Republic of Lithuania Kačinskas.

The Order of the Head of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre of August 13, 1991 established the rules on the maintenance of the List of Newly Discovered Historical and Cultural Monuments: the List has been maintained by Cultural Heritage Accounting Department, the records have been entered by the employees who had analysed the obtained information or prepared the documents about the monument, the record has had to be approved by the Director or Deputy Director and the monuments have been removed from the list by the order of the Director.

At the end of the year 1991, 41 employees worked in the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre. In that year, the Deputy Director was Bronius Dakanis, the Chief Accountant – Jūratė Vinikinienė (later Tatjana Kriučichina), the Head of the Cultural Heritage Accounting (later: Buildings and Their Inventory) – Eugenijus Ivaškevičius, the Head of the Information Department – Juozas Bardauskas, the Head of the Economic Department – Povilas Tebeliškis (later replaced by Raimondas Paškevičius), the Senior Research Fellow, the Head of the Group of Archaeologists was Jonas Balčiūnas, the Head of the Archive – Ullė Damasickienė. The Cultural Heritage Accountancy Department had groups led by J. Balčiūnas, Aleksandras Indriulaitis, Indrė Kačinskaitė and Diana Varnaitė. By the Order of the Director of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre of October 30, 1992, the Research Department and the Group of Archaeologists was revoked and the Department of Archaeologists with accounting and research sectors was established. B. Dakanis was appointed as Research Fellow and as the Head of the Department of Archaeology, by transferring him from the position of the Deputy Director. Evaldas Zilinskas was appointed as Research Fellow and the Deputy Director.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of January 20, 1992, the Scientific Council of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre was established. It was engaged in activities of Archaeology, History, Architecture and Arts Sections. By the Order of June 22, 1992, the Scientific Council was called the Scientific Committee of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of January 20, 1992, the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Editorial Board was established. The journal “Museums and Monuments” has been published.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of February 7, 1992, it was decided to create a file of every object entered into the List of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Lithuania or into the List of Newly Discovered Historical and Cultural Monuments. Before an object was entered into the List of Newly Discovered Historical and Cultural Monuments, the following documents had to be prepared: description of the object and expert judgements about its validity as a monument, photo fixation or the plan of the territory (site), as well as the monument expertise act of the city (district) Cultural Heritage Commission (if any). Before entering an object into the List of Historical and Cultural Monuments, the following documents had to be prepared: description of the object and expert judgements about its validity as a monument, historical research certificate, the plan of the territory (site), inventory material (photo fixation of the whole monument or its elements, measurements and other data necessary for identification), as well as the conclusion of the Scientific Council. Such files and documents have been prepared since February 20, 1992.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of March 17, 1992, the archaeologists were ordered to perform exploratory excavations of the sites with archaeological value.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of November 27, 1992, the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre balance accepted the key measures from the Monument Restoration Institute balance, also, the institution was supplemented by specialists whose work was organized by the Head of the Chemistry Laboratory Elvyra Veronika Telksnienė and the Head of the Photogrammetry Laboratory Rimantas Žvirblis.

In the year 1993 an important event occurred in the activities of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre, namely, in January, the Director V. Karčiauskas, the Head of the Accountancy Sector of Archaeology Department J. Balčiūnas, the Head of the AIS group of Information Department Vadimas Gegužinskas and the Manager of the Group of Historians belonging to the Cultural Heritage Accounting Department D. Varnaitė travelled for an internship in France.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of March 25, 1993, the re-formed Information Department was established which consisted of the Computerized Information System (CIS) Group, Editorial Group and library. Until the year 2006 the publishing house “Savastis” was operating.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of July 16, 1993, specialists of Buildings and Their Inventory, as well as of Archaeological Department began formation of the monuments dossier.

In the year 1994 the Department of Architecture was taken over from the National Lithuanian State and Cultural History Museum. As a Museum of Architecture, it has belonged to the Cultural Heritage Centre until 2006.

By the Order of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre Director of February 25, 1994, personal enterprise “Heritage” of the Lithuanian Cultural Heritage Research Centre was established and J. Bardauskas became its Director.

On February 1, 1995 the Immovable Cultural Heritage Protection Act of the Republic of Lithuania came into force. It established the following concepts: cultural value, social value, etc. Also, the State Commission for Cultural Heritage was established. One of its key functions was to approve the proposals to declare the cultural properties as cultural monuments and to remove cultural monuments from the registers of cultural values. The Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania was ordered to have services of cultural values’ security control, accounting and expertise, and the Heads of these Services became Deputy Directors of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department. The key functions of the Heritage Protection Department included the following: to perform state accounting of immovable cultural properties, to organize research of immovable cultural properties and promotion of these values, to collect, organize and disseminate information on immovable cultural properties and their protection methods, as well as to collect, process and store historical documents on immovable cultural values and their protection. This law specified that the accounting of immovable cultural values shall constitute of the following: search of such values, their determination, assessment, inventory and registration. The main data of immovable cultural values must be recorded in the accounting documents specified by the Cultural Heritage Protection Department and CIS database. The Cultural Heritage Protection Department was commissioned to enter the objects into the Register. By the Order of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the list of cultural, archaeological and cultural objects of the national significance had to be approved by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. At the proposal of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department and approval of the State Commission for Cultural Heritage, the most significant immovable cultural values had to be proclaimed as cultural monuments by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

By the Order of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania of July 12, 1995, the Ministry Secretary-Director Jonas Glemža entered the following first objects to the Register of Immovable Cultural Values of the Republic of Lithuania: 32 objects into the List of Archaeological Values, 12 objects into the List of Memorial Sites, 40 objects into the List of Buildings and 25 objects into the List of Buildings Appurtenances. This decision was published on the National Gazette.

In January, 1996, the Movable Cultural Property Protection Law of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted. It specified the main objects of the Law, i. e. movable cultural values and antiques: archaeological findings, fabric samples of ethnic culture, items related to the most important historical events, history of society, culture, war and sports, as well as lives of famous people, firearms and other weapons and values of arts: fine art and applied art works, artistic photography and other original creations, folk artworks, parts and fragments of buildings, musical instruments, handwritten books, incunabula, codes, prints and other publications, items with numismatic, sphrangistic, heraldic or philatelic value, orders and medals, objects describing science, engineering or technology history, archival documents, collections, sets or other objects with artistic, historical or other cultural value, regardless of the value and nature of their separate parts. This Law mandates the Cultural Heritage Protection Department to account the movable values (except for archival documents) which are not stored in the state depositories, as well as to prepare, manage and preserve the Register. The Law determines that the movable cultural values, in accordance with the conclusion of the Movable Cultural Property Assessment Panel of Experts and in coordination with the State Commission for Cultural Heritage, the Minister of Culture has the right to enter the object into the register of cultural values not included in the state depositories and to delete an object from this list. At the proposal of the Ministry of Culture submitted according to the conclusions of the Movable Cultural Property Assessment Panel of Experts and by the approval of the State Commission for Cultural Heritage, the Government is entitled to proclaim the most significant movable cultural values as the cultural monuments.

In February, 1996 the Cultural Heritage Centre consisted of the following: Administration (2 employees), Accounting Department (2 employees), Office (2 employees), Department of Archaeology (8 employees in total) which consisted of Accounting Sector (3 employees), Research Sector and Editorial Office of the magazine “Archeology of the Balts” (3 employees), Buildings and Sites Department (14 employees in total) which consisted of Civil Buildings Sector (3 employees), Engineering Buildings Sector (1 employee), Sacred Buildings Sector (3 employees), Historical Sites and Monuments Sector (4 employees), Cultural Values Sector (2 employees), Information Department and Publishing House “Savastis” (13 employees in total) which consisted of the Library (2 employees), CIS group (7 employees), Archive (3 employees), Technical Research Laboratory (4 employees), Photogrammetry Laboratory (7 employees), Museum of Architecture (12 employees), Cultural Values Search Department (4 employees in total) which consisted of Cultural Values Search Sector (2 employees), Movable Cultural Values Accounting Sector (1 employee), Photo Laboratory (3 employees) and Maintenance Division (12 employees). In the Cultural Heritage Centre there were 86 employees. In March, 1997 the Cultural Heritage Centre was supplemented by Territorial Unit of Accounting (22 employees).

By the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department of June 12, 1997 the Cultural Heritage Centre regulations were approved. It defined the following tasks and functions: tasks – to organize and perform research and accounting of movable and immovable cultural values (except for archival documents) which are not stored in the state depositories; to collect and store information on tangible cultural heritage, cultural values and cultural monuments necessary for the state and on their protection; to promote tangible cultural heritage, cultural values and cultural monuments or their protection; functions – to prepare: projects of cultural values search, their examination (identification and evaluation), inventory and registration rules; projects of information on material cultural heritage, cultural values and cultural monuments collection, processing and storage rules; to organize and implement: search of cultural values; search of objects which may have cultural and public significance, cultural values and cultural sites, as well as to collect and store this information; research and other works necessary for cultural values accounting, collection and storage of information on objects which may have cultural value and public significance, cultural values and cultural monuments; to coordinate such works; information on search of cultural values which have been illegally transported from Lithuania; to determine: composition and scope of cultural values, features of their cultural value and public significance and territories; immovable cultural property protection zones; to prepare cultural value accounting documents; to maintain cultural value registers of the Republic of Lithuania; computerized information system databases of cultural values registers; to submit proposals to the Cultural Heritage Protection Department: on objects’ with cultural value and public significance entry in registers, on proclamation on cultural values as cultural monuments, on removal of cultural values and cultural monuments from registers; to inform the registry managers municipalities, owners (managers) and territorial divisions of Cultural Heritage Protection Department of entry or deletion of objects from registers; to publish registry data and provide information about them; to publish publications and to otherwise promote intangible cultural heritage, cultural values, cultural monuments and their protection; to collect, process and store: archival documents on intangible cultural heritage, cultural values and cultural monuments and their protection, as well as activities of the Cultural Heritage Centre and other cultural heritage protection institutions, etc.

By the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department of June 26, 1998, structural and organizational changes of the Cultural Heritage Centre were performed and approved job descriptions of the following employees: First Deputy Director, the Chief Historian of the Cultural Heritage Centre E. Ivaškevičius, Deputy Director and the Chief Architect of the Cultural Heritage Centre V. Kačinskas, Chief Archaeologist of the Department of Archaeology and the Head of the Department B. Dakanis, Senior Archaeologists  J. Balčiūnas, Arūnas Strazdas, P. Tebelškis, Algirdas Girininkas, Archaeologist Eugenijus Ivanauskas, Technician Linas Tamulynas, Senior Architect of the Buildings Department and the Head of the Department E. Zilinskas, Senior Historian Ona Stasiukaitienė, Architects  Rita Vėlyvienė, Antanas Rupeika, Senior Cartographer of the Memorial Sites Department and the Head of the Department Tadas Šidiškis, Senior Historian Loreta Kazlavickienė (Jatulionytė-Brezgienė), Historian Jolanta Paunksnienė, Senior Urbanist of the Monuments, Farmsteads and Urbanism Department and the Head of the Department Antanina Jarukaitienė, Senior Architect I. Kačinskaitė, Art Historian Giedrė Vengrytė (Radvilavičienė), Senior Art Historian of the Churches Inventory Department and the Head of the Department Svetlana Poligienė, Senior Art Historian Gintautas Žalėnas, Senior Engineer of the Fixation Department and the Head of the Department R. Žvirblis, Senior Engineers-Photogrammetrists Marija Žvirblienė and Rima Putrimienė, Senior Photographers Sigitas Platūkis and Aloyzas Petrašiūnas, Engineers Photogrammetrists Eglė Bagdonienė and Gervaldas Zabarauskas, Engineer Surveyor Edvardas Činčis, Senior Historians of Information Department and the Publishing House “Savastis” Search Group Bronius Kašelionis and Kazys Misius, Chief Administrator of the CIS Group and Group Manager Birutė Užkurėlytė, Specialists of Territorial Division of Accounting (14) and the Head of the Economy Department R. Paškevičius, as well as other employees of the Department.

By the Order of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania of December 10, 1998, evaluation criteria and procedures were approved for the artworks and movable objects which are on the lists of proposed objects to enter the Registers of Culture Values of the Republic of Lithuania.

By the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania of February 20, 2004 ethno-architecture evaluation criteria and procedures were approved.

By the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania of June 14, 2004 “On the Provision of the Real Estate Data in the Documents of the Real Estate Accounting” it was determined that in the Republic of Lithuania the Register of the Immovable Cultural Properties consists of the following: 1. List of Archaeological Sites, 2. List of Places of Events, 3. List of Burial Sites, 4. List of Mythological Sites, 5. List of Monuments, 6. List of Buildings, 7. List of Buildings Complexes, 8. List of Buildings Decorations and Equipment, 9. List of Urbanized Sites.

On September 28, 2004 the Immovable Cultural Heritage Act of the Republic of Lithuania was amended by the new version of the Immovable Cultural Heritage Law of the Republic of Lithuania, and since then the Cultural Heritage Department under the Ministry of Culture has been systemically managing protection the immovable cultural heritage protection, organizes and coordinates inventory, explanation and monitoring of immovable cultural heritage, maintains Registry of Cultural Values which registers immovable cultural values and their data, in accordance with the statutory requirements collects, manages and stores the related documents. The law confirms that the immovable cultural heritage accounting consists of inventory, clarification and registration of specific immovable cultural values, the immovable cultural heritage is inventoried by drawing up all works and other items possibly to be assigned to the list, as well as the fact that inventory data is constantly revised, collected and systematized. In order to reveal immovable cultural values, historical and physical examinations must be performed. Based on these studies, significance of cultural heritage objects, sites or their valuable features is determined. Significance of immovable cultural heritage, as well as valuable features of the cultural heritage objects and sites are determined cultural heritage evaluation boards. The Cultural Heritage Register is established, maintained, used and reorganized in accordance with the State Records Act, this Law, Movable Cultural Heritage Protection Law and other laws. Immovable cultural values are registered, if the assessment board decides that the legal protection is necessary. These values are registered as single or complex cultural heritage objects or sites.

By the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of January 6, 2006 No. Į-003 (version of the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of November 8, 2013 No. Į-325) the provisions of the Cultural Heritage Centre were approved. They obliged the Centre to implement the following objectives: to collect data about cultural heritage necessary for inventory and to maintain the cultural heritage inventory; to collect and to manage the documents and data about the cultural heritage. In line with these objectives, the Cultural Heritage Centre has been performing the following functions: collects material information which characterizes the cultural heritage and documents past and present; collects, refines and systematizes such information; conducts historical and physical researches (except for reconnaissance and detailed archaeological research) related to the cultural heritage and collects, manages and prepares the related documents and information; submits the collected data to the Cultural Heritage Department; performs activities of special heritage protection library.

Cultural Heritage Centre consists of the following: Administration (2 employees), Accounting Department (2 employees) and Data Unit (44 employees in total) which consists of the Sites Sub-Division (9 employees), Buildings Sub-Division (8 employees), Urbanized Sites Sub-Division (9 employees), Movable Objects Sub-Division (12 employees), Detailed Research Sub-Division (4 employees), Heritage Protection Library (4 employees), the General Division (7 employees). In total: 59 employees.

Since the year 1991 in the Cultural Heritage Centre the following employees have been working continuously: the Head of the Sites Sub-Division, Archaeologist A. Strazdas, the Chief Archaeologist J. Balčiūnas, the Head of the Buildings Sub-Division, Architect I. Kačinskaitė, Senior Monuments Specialist of the Urbanized Sites Sub-Division Jadvyga Verksnienė, Cultural Project Manager J. Bardauskas and Deputy Director E. Ivaškevičius. The following doctors of science are newly employed in the Cultural Heritage Centre: Dalia Klajumienė, Regimanta Stankevičienė, Marija Drėmaitė, Asta Giniūnienė, Girėnas Povilionis, Gabija Surdokaitė-Vitienė, Alantė Valtaitė-Gagač and other perspective employees.

By the Order of the Director of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture of June 9, 2005 Immovable Cultural Heritage Assessment Board (the first one) of the Cultural Heritage Protection Department under the Ministry of Culture was formed. In the Board the following representatives of the Cultural Heritage Centre were employed: I. Kačinskaitė – specialist of immovable cultural values protection, expert of architecture and urban sites; specialization in the Board – green immovable cultural heritage; D. Klajumienė – specialization in the Board – art immovable cultural heritage; E. Ivaškevičius (Chairman) – specialist of immovable cultural heritage protection, expert of historical artistic development; specialization in the Board – memorial immovable cultural heritage; M. Drėmaitė – specialist of immovable cultural values protection, expert of historical artistic development; specialization in the Board – engineering immovable cultural heritage.

The employees of the Cultural Heritage Centre have published: Eugenijus Ivaškevičius – Burial ground atlas of Lithuanian soldiers, partisans and riflemen 1919-1940, 2003; Valdas Striužas – 1941 Uprising in the East-South Lithuania, 2007; Girėnas Povilionis – The art of organ crafting in Lithuania: from Baroque till Classicism, 2009, Late Baroque organ crafting in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: organ crafting school in Vilnius: craftsman Nicolaus Jantzon, 2013; Asta Giniūnienė – Stations of the Cross in Lithuania the second half of the XVIII century – the beginning of the XX century: spread and expression, 2013.