The history of the Lithuanian Embassy in Italy was a drama spanning many decades. In 1937 Lithuania acquired a building in Rome called “Villa Lituania”, and until the Soviet occupation was able to repay half of the value of the property.
After the occupation, “Villa Lituania” fell into the hands of the Soviets. Russia never recognized the take-over and refused to return ownership of the building to Lithuania. Russian diplomats still rule “Villa Lituania” to this day.
A memorably photo – the President with Lithuanian honorary consuls and representatives of the Lithuanian Community
After lengthy negotiations with the Italian government, an agreement was reached in 2013, by which Italy designated the Lithuanian Embassy a site for 99 years, for the symbolic payment of one euro. The property, worth nearly 9 million euros, was given to Lithuania in 2013 to use free of payment until 2112, with the option of extending the term at that time. The Embassy occupies the entire 4th floor of the centrally located “Blumenstihl Palace”, with 640 square metres of space. It is a designated historical architectural monument, created by the famous Italian architect Luca Carimini at the end of the 19th century. Renovation plans were drawn up over three years, and the work begun early in 2018 was finished this year.
The opening ceremonies were attended by former Italian premier Mario Monti, and former foreign affairs minister Giulio Terzi, who had signed the intergovernmental agreement for the property transfer. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that the Embassy is truly worthy of Lithuania, reflecting both the historical and the modern. The bright new facility contains historic furnishings from the legendary “Villa Lituania“, and works by Lithuanian artists on its walls. The Embassy’s windows open out onto the beautiful Tiber River.
The Embassy will be “home” to all Lithuanians living in Italy. A Lithuanian Community conference will be held there on May 11 of this year.