The Vilnius City Council approved the proposal of the Mayor Remigijus Šimašius to award the title of an honorary citizen of Vilnius to the politician, public figure, culturologist and publicist Professor Vytautas Landsbergis. Professor Vytautas Landsbergis became the 18th honorary citizen of Vilnius.
With dozens of the highest-ranking awards from various countries in the three decades since the restoration of independence, Professor Vytautas Landsbergis has been a resident of Vilnius for more than 70 years, while his activities have made the name of the Lithuanian capital widely known. The Council’s decision commemorates the historical role of Vytautas Landsbergis and his merits to the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the development of free Lithuania and the politics and culture of Vilnius at the same time, acknowledging the fact that all activities of the Professor are worthy of the title of an honorary citizen of Vilnius.
“Without the efforts and courage of this man three decades ago, Vilnius and Lithuania would be different today, if they existed at all. Vilnius already has a great team of honorary citizens, but it is obvious that this person deserves such respect more than anyone else. And this year, when we have just commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the painful but yet victorious January the 13th, is a perfect time for that,” said the Mayor of the capital Remigijus Šimašius.
According to the Mayor, this award of an honorary citizen of Vilnius is also a sign of respect for all Lithuanian people who contributed to the origins of a free Vilnius at a difficult and fateful point in time.
Professor Vytautas Landsbergis will be presented with the regalia of honorary citizen at a special event.
The title of a Vilnius city citizen of honour is the highest appreciation, which city citizens may initiate and award to personalities for their works important to the city and Lithuania. The title of an honorary citizen has been awarded since 1996. So far, Ronald Reagan, Jon Baldvin Hanibalsson, Kazimieras Vasiliauskas, Mstislav Rostropovich, Dennis Hastert, Česlovas Milošas, Justinas Marcinkevičius, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jonas Kubilius, Algirdas Kaušpėdas, Tomas Venclova, Shimon Peres, Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, Algimantas Nasvytis, Samuelis Bakas, George W. Bush, Viktoras ir Danguolė Butkai and Julius Sasnauskas have been awarded this title.