- About us
Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture
In 1990, following the restoration of Lithuania's independence, the Inspectorate of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Lithuania with the responsibility for preservation of cultural heritage was established and the Monument Management Department was founded. Upon the adoption of the Law on the Protection of Immovable Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Lithuania in 1994, the Inspectorate of Cultural Heritage and the Monument Management Department were reorganised by setting up the Department for Protection of Cultural Properties (as from 2005, the Department of Cultural Heritage) accountable to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. County divisions of the Inspectorate of Cultural Heritage were reorganised into territorial divisions of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture (hereinafter – the Department).
Currently, the structure of the Department consists of 6 divisions – the Heritage Management and Planning Division, the Control Division with a subordinate Subdivision of Cultural Properties Exported Abroad, the Heritage Registry, Public Relations and Education Division, the Legal Division with a Personnel Administration and Documents Subdivision, the Accounting and Accountability Division, the Administration Division as well as 10 territorial divisions located in each county.
The Department is also a founder of the state-funded institution - the Centre of Cultural Heritage, which collects and accumulates information on cultural heritage as well as conducts historical and physical research; another state institution, Monuments of Lithuania, responsible for maintenance of cultural heritage is also subordinate to the Department.
The Department of Cultural Heritage performs the functions of the protection of immovable cultural heritage and movable cultural properties assigned to it by laws and other legal acts; these functions include maintenance and management of cultural properties, maintenance of accounting and control of cultural heritage, as well as presentation of cultural heritage to the society; the Department also contributes to the formation and implementation of national policies in the area of protection of cultural heritage. The mission of the Department is to preserve cultural heritage of Lithuania and pass it on to future generations as a guarantee of survival of the national identity, an integral part of landscape and a means of formation of Lithuania's image by providing conditions for the society to get to know and use it.
The Department prepares and conducts the following programmes: Heritage management, Cultural heritage accounting, State administration of cultural heritage protection, Dissemination of knowledge about immovable cultural heritage, Compensations to managers of cultural heritage entities, the Special programme of research and services of immovable cultural heritage as well as the programme of implementation of the Agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the Holy See on cooperation in the area of education and culture.
The Heritage Registry, Public Relations and Education Division of the Department of Cultural Heritage coordinates programmes of the Council of Europe in Lithuania, such as the European Heritage Days which have become a tradition as well as the events of the European Day of Jewish Culture and the Week of discovering significant European Cemeteries.
The Department also organises various conferences and cooperates with international cultural heritage organisations (the Council of Europe, UNESCO, ICCROM) and the countries of the Baltic Sea Region in the area of protection of historic cities and practical maintenance and protection of buildings, as well as in the area of underwater cultural heritage and cultural heritage of coastal zones.