The Polish and Lithuanian first ladies Agata Duda and Diana Nausėdienė visited Vilnius University (VU) yesterday. The special visit was dedicated to the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus. His royal library legacy is closely connected with the establishment of the VU Library, which is marking its 450th anniversary this year.
The first ladies were met by VU Vice-Rector for Partnerships Dr Artūras Vasiliauskas. Ms Duda and Ms Nausėdienė visited the Church of St. Johns, the monument to Adam Mickiewicz and the regalia and portraits of Stephen Bathory University in the Council Hall.
Ms Duda and Ms Nausėdienė also visited the hall of Professor Joachim Lelevelis - this is the first visit of officials to the hall after restoration works that received the highest accolades. At the time of Stephen Bathory University, at the request of the famous historian Joachim Lelewel, a valuable collection of his books and atlases from the Kórnik Library in Poland was moved to this hall. When visiting this hall, Ms Duda and Ms Nausėdienė were introduced to an extremely valuable collection of cartography and unique old maps copied by the historian himself. One of the maps was shown to the first ladies.
The first ladies were presented with exclusive exhibits of the VU library - the manuscripts of Lithuanian and Polish culture as well as figures important to the history of science, such as historian J. Lelewel and former university students - poets Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Słowacki. Probably the most important exhibit is one of the 14 books with ornate superexlibris of the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Augustus kept in the VU library. Sigismund Augustus Library, which consisted of about 4,000 books, was inherited by Vilnius Jesuit College by will. So it happened that the collection was scattered and found in various European countries.
Dean of VU Faculty of History, heraldry expert Dr Loreta Skurvydaitė showed the first ladies other famous places in VU and told the stories connecting objects in these places with Lithuania and Poland. The premises of VU Library and the White Hall were presented by VU Library Director Irena Krivienė.