Monument to the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania

Monument to the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania will be cast from 50 litas cent denomination coins

The monument to Vladas Jurgutis, first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania, will be cast from molten 50 litas cent (Lith. centas) coin copper alloy and erected in a niche of the Bank of Lithuania building in central Vilnius. The bust of Vladas Jurgutis and its pedestal is being created by the sculptor Gediminas Piekuras.

“It will be the first bust in Lithuania, and so far the only one, to be made from molten coins. We will thus not only pay tribute to the first Governor of the national bank, but in an original way immortalise the litas, which began its history at the time of Vladas Jurgutis and will remain in our memories as the currency unit that helped strengthen the re-established Republic of Lithuania,” says Vidmantas Laurinavičius, Head of the Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania.

The bust of Vladas Jurgutis will stand on a pedestal featuring images of litas coins from interwar Lithuania and present-time coins that had been in circulation before the adoption of the euro.

“In order to create an expressive portrait of Vladas Jurgutis, free modelling plasticity was chosen, which is enhanced by the proposed material. The classical sculptural composition conveys the period of the then Republic of Lithuania and perfectly matches architecture. Seeking the integrity of the composition and to monumentalise it, the same artistic means (material and plasticity) are used to also create a column. Coins and their fragments not only make it more attractive, but perform an educational function as well,” says G. Piekuras.

A decision was made to make the bust from higher denomination 50 centas coins so that it would be easier to cast the bust and the pedestal by using a smaller amount of coins. The amount of coins used, as well as their weight, will become clear once the monument is cast.

G. Piekuras has already created the casting’s model which will be the basis for the casting of the monument in the near future. It shall be created by the end of this year under the Bank of Lithuania’s contract with the sculptor.

Five artists took part in the public tender, announced by the Bank of Lithuania, to immortalise Vladas Jurgutis. The winner G. Piekuras has created sculptures which stand in open areas in Vilnius.

Vladas Jurgutis is one of the most eminent personalities of interwar Lithuania — a politician, scientist, pedagogue, talented financier; from the inception of the Bank of Lithuania and the issue of the national currency, the litas, into circulation, for seven years (1922–1929) he led our country’s central bank, the Bank of Lithuania, and the country’s entire monetary policy. He created a solid foundation for the then monetary policy of Lithuania.

To emphasise Vladas Jurgutis’ merits in banking in Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania has established the Vladas Jurgutis Award. This year it was already awarded for the seventh time.

The Bank of Lithuania has also established the Vladas Jurgutis Scholarship. It is awarded every year to two of the best-performing full-time students of banking and finance at Lithuanian universities.

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