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Borehole Laisvė in the courtyard of the Parliament marks a symbol of the role played by geologists in the restoration of independence

2016-04-28

Today, on the occasion of the Day of Geologists, a special ceremony dedicated to replacement of a lid on artesian borehole Laisvė (Freedom), to be found in the inner courtyard of the Parliament. The borehole measures 30 meters and was installed back on 20 January 1991, and has survived to this day. As Jonas Satkūnas, director of the Lithuanian Geological Survey (“LGS”) under the Ministry of Environment said, half joking, this is a legitimate structure, since it is included in the Register of Groundwater of the LGS, under title Laisvė.

The old lid is now replaced with a new, cast from bronze, and bearing inscription as follows: “Water borehole Laisvė No 27075. January 1991. From the Lithuanian geologists to the protectors of the Parliament”. According to Kęstutis Trečiokas, Minister of Environment, and attending the ceremony, the new lid presents a symbol for the efforts of the geologists to protect the Parliament. In the words of the Minister, “Water, just as freedom, was closely related back then, just like water and life are related. This borehole should be preserved for the generations to come, representing a symbol of the input by the geologists into national independence”.

During the lid replacement ceremony, Raimundas Paliukas, chairman of the Committee on Education, Science and Culture at the Parliament, Jonas Gečas, honorary chairman of the Union of Freedom Fighters, and Jonas Algirdas Misiūnas, the “godfather” of the borehole shared some of their recollections and ideas.

In January 1991, in light of the threat of severing potable water supply to the house of the Parliament, Jonas Algirdas Misiūnas, the chief engineer of Vilnius Hydrogeological Expedition (so known at the time), was approached by the guards of the Parliament with an idea to have an automatic water supply system installed as soon as possible. Mr. Misiūnas accepted at once, and the borehole was drilled and installed in just a few days, no matter efforts, or time spent. The borehole included an in-depth pump and automatic control system.

Once the ceremony of replacement of the lid of the borehole Laisvė was completed, a picture exhibition dedicated to the Day of Geologists was opened at Vitražai Gallery of the Parliament. There were pictures made by their authors and other members of the LGS capturing a number of geological objects still widely unknown across the country, including quarries, exposures, springs, rocks, and boulders (as well as the field work conducted by the geologists).

Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas opened the exhibition, and referred to the profession of geologist as a very special one (although of little visibility, and sometime depreciated). Raimundas Paliukas, chairman of the Committee on Education, Science and Culture at the Parliament made a vow to make sure the Day of Geologists finds a place on the list of memorable days. Mr. Paliukas congratulated the geologists with their professional day and awarded letters of recognition from the Committee on Education, Science and Culture to Jonas Satkūnas, director of the LGS, and Kęstutis Kadūnas, head of the Hydrogeology Division.

Communication Division
28/04/2016

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas