The House of Signatories is a monument of history and architecture where the Act of Reinstating Independence of Lithuania was signed on February 16, 1918.
After the third partition of Poland and Lithuania in 1795, all of Lithuania, except Užnemunė, was occupied by Tsarist Russia. The name of Lithuania disappeared from the map of the world. The road to independence is a long 123-year struggle to save Lithuanian writing, Lithuanian church services, the right to study and speak the mother tongue, the right to use national symbolism and to be an independent nation.
The House of Signatories uses traditional and contemporary techniques to present modern Lithuania’s path to statehood – from the mid-19th century to the seminal event of the signing of the February 16th Act of Independence.
The exhibition is organized around three central themes – nation, freedom and statehood. Taking us back to the second half of the 19th century, it presents a narrative spoken by Signatories’ generation, who express their ideas and values, hopes and dreams, and speak about their activities and determination that a Lithuanian state be created.
Through the exhibition the visitor also becomes acquainted with the individuals who signed the 16 February 1918 Act of Independence – their personalities and life histories. This narrative is not so much intended to acquaint visitors with our great-grandparents’ generation as to help us understand these people by asking ourselves questions: how well do we know them, are the ideas and values they promoted relevant today, and what do freedom and statehood mean to us?
The exhibition not only makes broad use of multimedia techniques such as video projections, image and voice recording, interactive information terminals and virtual reality projections, but also contains many authentic, original artefacts and personal objects that belonged to the Signatories. These valuable pieces of memorial heritage have been donated or lent by families of the Signatories.