In 2020, the Year of the Vilna Gaon and of the History of the Jews of Lithuania, the City of Vilnius announced an open international tender for a monument to Lithuanian rescuers of Jews during the Nazi occupation, which rendered 14 architectural-sculptural ideas.
Participants in the tender offered compositions for the public space near Onos Šimaitės Street, where a monumental stone has been built by the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) community. The organizers hope to find an artistic solution that will become a real cultural phenomenon honouring and perpetuating all the brave and selfless people who rescued Jews during the Nazi occupation.
Works submitted for the tender will be evaluated by an international commission of experts consisting of the Chief Architect of the City Mindaugas Pakalnis (Chairman of the Commission), Faina Kukliansky, Chair of the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community, artist Esther Shalev-Gerz, who was born in Vilnius and now resides in Paris, sculptor, Professor of Sculpture Department of Vilnius Academy of Arts Petras Mazūras, artist and sculptor Žilvinas Landzbergas and Director of Museum of Vilnius Rasa Antanavičiūtė.
Tenderers having won the first place will conclude a procurement contract with the authorized contracting authority for the implementation of the offered project idea. Three artists having presented best designs will be awarded prizes: the winner of the first place will receive EUR 5 000, the second place – EUR 3 000, and the third place – EUR 2 000.
The planned maximum budget for the services of design of arrangement of the monumental object, the land plot and accesses thereto as well as construction services is EUR 300 000 (inclusive of VAT). This amount shall include all costs related to the arrangement of the environment and other costs of construction of the object. The plan is to pay EUR 250 000 for works of design and work of the sculptor, and to use the remaining EUR 50 000 to arrange accesses to the monument. Another public procurement procedure shall be held for arranging accesses to the object according to a design prepared by the successful tenderer of the ongoing tender.
The Ministry of Culture holds the tender together with the City of Vilnius, while the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community, the Jewish Community “Vilnius – Jerusalem of Lithuania”, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Lithuanian Art Museum assisted in drafting tender conditions. Conditions of public procurement for the tender were drafted by joint efforts of representatives of the above-mentioned institutions and representatives of the Lithuanian Union of Architects and the Lithuanian Union of Artists.