Grūto park is a museum with sculptures and bas-reliefs of the Soviet era in Lithuania.
The establishment of this Museum was long debated and even protested. Some of the Lithuanian patriots objected strongly to the exhibition of Soviet sculptures and other ideolocal relics. The collection of the Museum consists of sculptures and bas-reliefs of the Soviet era the “heroes”. They are symbols of the cruelty and absurdity of the Soviet regime and show the manipulations performed with historical facts.
In the Soviets day, the Meseum items used to be erected in many Lithuanian cities. These are the statues of V. Lenin, J. Stalin, Z. Angarietis, V. Kapsukas, F. Dzerzhinsky and others, as well as monuments to the members of the Youth Communist League and the Soviet Army. The orderi n which the monuments are lined is based on the fact that all of these people took greater or smaller part in the organization and implementation of terror, and in the annihilation of the sovereignty of Lithuania.
NIQUENESS OF THE EXPOSITION
To date, no other museum or cultural institution has endeavoured to collect or duly exhibit Soviet relics. In Grūtas Park, monumental sculptures are positioned in a 2 km-long exposition, where guard towers, fragments of concentration camps and other details resemble Siberia. Grūtas Park is situated on a 20 ha area, exhibiting 86 works by 46 authors. Such a large concentration of monu- ments and sculptures of ideological content in a single out-door exposition is a rare and maybe even unique phenomenon in the world.
AIM OF THE EXPOSITION
Taking the “idols” off the pedestal, changing the location and status of the exhibiting of the monuments, and using a special exhibition technique and additional aids have substantially altered the ideological content of the monumen- tal sculptures. The Grūtas Park expo- sition discloses the negative content of the Soviet ideology and its impact on the value system. The aim of this exposition is to provide an opportunity for Lithuanian people, visitors coming to our country as well as future gene- rations to see the naked Soviet ideology which suppressed and hurt the spirit of our nation for many decades.
INFORMATION CENTRE – MUSEUM
The wooden building of the museum resembles a cultural house like ones that were built in the 1940`s and 50`s.
The sound, cinema and photo documentaries collected and displayed at the information centre and museum, show and denounce the ideologized Soviet propaganda culture, pseudo-science, the aims, mechanism and forms of the Soviet ideology and propaganda, and disclose the genocide of the Lithuanian nation. These are live documentaries evidencing the refined execution of the Soviet policy having recourse to military, political, ideological, artistic and other measures, concealment of crimes and worship of criminal principals.
From 1989-91, during the restoration of Lithuanian independence, many ideologized monuments from the Soviet times were dismantled and, with the absence of any storage procedure, piled in storehouses and backyards, most frequently on the premises of utility companies. Thanks to such “preservation”, many monuments were damaged (some of them “suffered” during dismantling while others caught the eye of metal traders, etc.), and eventually could have been totally destroyed, as happened in the neighbouring republics. There were various opinions and proposals regarding the fate of the dismantled Soviet sculptures. Destroy? Preserve?
Hesonos klubas public agency located in Grūtas near Druskininkai was the winner of the tender called by the Ministry of Culture in 1998 for the establishment of an exposition of dismantled monumental sculptures from the Soviet period. A strong argument for choosing this undertaking was that its manager, Viliumas Malinauskas, was planning to establish the exposition using private funds earned from his family`s mushroom and berry business without asking for financial support from the state. The project submitted for tender also stressed the importance of the new tourist site for the development of this region in Southern Lithuania.
The work of preparing the exposition started in early 1999. Grūtas Park was officially opened on 1 April 2001.
Address Grūtas, 66441 Druskininkai
Tel. (370 313) 55511
Mob. (370 682) 42320
Fax. (370 313) 47451
Opening hours The park is open daily year round
in winter 9.00 – 17.00
in season 9.00 – 20.00