On 24th September 2021 the official opening of the restored spaces of the southern building of Panemunė Castle of Vilnius Academy of Arts (VAA) took place. Representatives of Lithuanian art, culture, cultural heritage and politics gathered for the solemn celebration.
The honorable guests were greeted by the director of Panemunė Castle dr. Marius Daraškevičius and welcomed by rector of Vilnius Academy of Arts prof. Ieva Skauronė. Perhaps the most applauded guest of the evening was Mrs. Maina Gielgud - the descendant of Jonas Gelgaudas, the owner of Panemunė Castle. Mrs. Gielgud sent a virtual greeting from Portugal (video clip of the greeting).
During the ceremony honorable mentions were given to restorers, architects and project managers - people without whom the revival of the Castle would not be possible. The ceremony continued with the rector prof. Ieva Skauronė cutting the opening ribbon and starting a tour around the southern bulding of Panemunė Castle including the exhibition of costumes “Posing History” from the students of Scenography study programme.
Panemunė Castle is a valuable heritage object for the whole of Lithuania. During the four centuries of its existence, several famous noble families lived here - Eperješai, Gelgaudai, and the last ones - in the 19th century last quarter and in the first of 20th century - Puslovskiai and Tiškevičiai.
During the interwar period, Panemunė Castle passed to the Lithuanian state and has been the property of the state for almost 100 years. More detailed research of the castle began in the 1960s, but real works only started in the 1990s, when the castle came to Vilnius Academy of Arts (then the Lithuanian TRS State Art Institute). Today Panemunė Castle is a museum-gallery of Vilnius Academy of Arts.