Monument made of coins in central Vilnius to memorialise the litas and pay tribute to first Governor of Bank of Lithuania
Today, an unveiling ceremony of a monument dedicated to Vladas Jurgutis, the first Governor of the Bank of Lithuania, was held in central Vilnius, near the building of the Bank of Lithuania. The monument was cast from copper/zinc/nickel alloy of molten 50 litas cent coins; approximately 75 thousand coins were used to create it. This is the first and only bust in Lithuania that is cast from molten coins.
‘This monument will remind us of the litas, the monetary unit that faithfully served our country, and will express our respect to professor Vladas Jurgutis, the first governor of the Bank of Lithuania, who greatly contributed to interwar Lithuania’s monetary stability and consolidation of the litas in the national economy; thanks to him, the litas became one of the strongest currencies at that time. V. Jurgutis strengthened the Bank of Lithuania as a state institution, whose traditions we are continuing even now. The monument cast from litas coins is a symbolic way of expressing gratitude to the pioneers of Lithuania’s monetary system,’ said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
He thanked Gediminas Piekuras, the sculptor who created the monument for Vladas Jurgutis as well as a number of other sculptures located in various public areas in Vilnius.
Sculptor Gediminas Piekuras. Photo by Tomas Lukšys (BFL).
The newest architectural accent in the capital was also welcomed by Remigijus Šimašius,Mayor of Vilnius, who also attended the unveiling ceremony of the monument.
Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, and Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius. Photo by Tomas Lukšys (BFL).
The bust of Vladas Jurgutis stands on a pedestal featuring images of litas coins from interwar and present-time Lithuania. Hence the pedestal symbolically links the monetary history of the first Republic of Lithuania and that of present Lithuania — it is the history in which the name of Vladas Jurgutis is written.
450 kg of 50 litas cent coins produced from copper/zinc/nickel alloy were used to cast the monument. A decision was made to make the bust from higher denomination coins — 50 litas cent: it was easier to cast the bust and the pedestal using a smaller amount of coins.
Vitas Vasiliauskas is handing in a small copy of the sculpture of Vladas Jurgutis to Loreta Stonienė, teacher of Vladas Jurgutis Basic School and Head of Museum in Palanga. Photo by Tomas Lukšys (BFL).
Vladas Jurgutis is one of the most eminent figures of interwar Lithuania: a politician, scientist, pedagogue and talented financier; from the inception of the Bank of Lithuania and the issue of the national currency, the litas, into circulation, he had led our country’s central bank — the Bank of Lithuania — and the country’s entire monetary policy for seven years (1922–1929). At the time, he had laid a solid foundation for Lithuania’s monetary system.
To emphasise Vladas Jurgutis’ merits in banking in Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania has established the Vladas Jurgutis Award. This year it is awarded for the seventh time. The Bank of Lithuania has also established the Vladas Jurgutis Scholarship. It is awarded every year to two best-performing full-time students majoring in banking and finance at Lithuanian universities.