History

 

THE EARLY BEGINNINGS

The early history of the Money Museum can be traced back to 1985, when the Museum of the History of the State Bank was housed in the Lithuanian Republican Office of the USSR State Bank. In 1986, it stored 489 exhibits and was registered as one of the public museums of the Lithuanian SSR. Genovaitė Leonavičiūtė, a long-serving employee of the Lithuanian Republican Office of the USSR State Bank, was appointed as Head of the museum. The museum’s collections were limited to collections accumulated for ideological and propaganda purposes – all of it was related to bankers who participated in the war or were acknowledged as work veterans, to money-counting technologies as well as to anniversary, circulation and withdrawn roubles. In 1988, Vladislavas Andriuškevičius, Chairman of the Board of Affairs of the Lithuanian Republican Office of the USSR State Bank, became responsible for the museum’s public activities.

Upon the restoration of Lithuania’s independence in 1990 and re-establishment of the Bank of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Republican Office of the USSR State Bank and its subordinate institutions were liquidated – consequently, the museum was also closed. In 1993, Leonavičiūtė was assigned to resume the museum’s activities. The new exhibition was arranged from the exhibits gifted, found at or borrowed from bank divisions. As it was criticised by the Bank of Lithuania’s new management in 1996, the museum was closed down once again and its exhibition was dismantled. The management decided to look for new premises and staff members, prepare legal acts regulating the activities of the Museum of the Bank of Lithuania, conceptualise the new exhibition and plan for further strategic directions and tasks.

NEW VISION

On 10 June 1997, the historian and museologist Vidmantas Laurinavičius was appointed as Head and Custodian of the Museum of the Bank of Lithuania. He came up with a new vision for its future activities and reconstruction that was approved by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and the Association of Lithuanian Museums. On 11 November 1997, when the new vision was presented to the Committee of Directors of the Bank of Lithuania, its key guidelines were drafted and proposals regarding the premises and protection of its valuables were put forward. It was decided to give the museum 125 m2 premises (with 100 m2 dedicated to the exhibition area) in the Bank of Lithuania’s building at Totorių g. 2/8 with an entrance from the street side. The new interior, furniture and exhibition projects had to be quickly arranged, while the museum’s collections had to be supplemented with exhibits that would best reflect the new vision. On the basis of the strategic directions approved by the Committee, the Regulations (Statute) of the Museum of the Bank of Lithuania were drawn up.

In 1998, the museum became an associate member of the Association of Lithuanian Museums.   

The new exhibition presenting money of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as well as the history of banking and money in independent Lithuania was opened on 25 June 1999, thus commemorating the sixth anniversary of the litas introduction. Half a year later, on 5 January 2000, the museum welcomed its 1000th visitor.

With no free space available, various exhibitions (e.g. “The Euro and the Money of the EU Countries”, “The Litas: Traditions and the Present”, “Money of Re-established Lithuania. 1990–2000”, “Money in Caricature”, “Money in Photographs”) were arranged at the premises of the Bank of Lithuania and various exhibition halls in Vilnius.   

In 2000, a new conception for the museum’s activities and expansion was developed. 

During the reconstruction of the Bank of Lithuania’s premises in 2007–2010, the exhibition was closed down, yet the museum continued its activities. In a very short time, an exhibition on the Bank of Lithuania’s history was set up and, on 18 December that same year, was opened at the historical building of the Bank of Lithuania in Kaunas.

THE MUSEUM TODAY

 

On 21 December 2010, a new exhibition was opened. It is set up across five halls that occupy an area of 300 m2. The exhibition introduces visitors to the history of money and banking, Lithuanian currencies as well as banking development in the country from the first credit institutions to the present day. The museum is not only equipped with modern tools and integrates various visual, sound and light effects, but also provides screenings of various educational and documentary films, encouraging visitors to take an active part in the cognitive process. 

The Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania is an institutional member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and a member of the Lithuanian Integral Museum Information System (LIMIS).