Vilnius University started the new academic year on 1 September by re-opening the monument of Kristijonas Donelaitis, the Lithuanian fiction pioneer, in the Library courtyard of the University. The present bronze sculpture changed the previous monument which was made of fiberglass and installed at the University in 1964.
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė opened the monument together with Jūras Banys, Rector of the Vilnius University. The President admitted that this monument have always been very important to her as she „was used to see the monument every time when entering the university library. The monument means a lot to lithuanians – everyone passing by the monument realizes the importance of our language as well as our national identity".
Lithuanian President reminded everybody also that "on the 1st of September we celebrate not only the day of science and knowledge but also the day of our freedom – this is the day when the last Russian troops were withdrawn from Lithuania. According to the President, this fact becomes meaningful in particular in the context of current events. "I wish you knowledge as one of the most important weapons in the modern world. Knowledge, belief, unity and the ability to take responsibility and make sacrifices, if needed," the Lithuanian president addressed the Vilnius University community on Monday.