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Lithuanian, German ministers sign agreement on 1918 Independence Act

VILNIUS – The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Germany signed in Berlin on Thursday an agreement on handover of the February 16, 1918 Independence Act to Lithuania for five years.

"The agreement has been signed," Rasa Jakilaitiene, spokeswoman for Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, told BNS.

Starting next year, the Independence Act should be exhibited in the House of the Signatories in downtown Vilnius where it was signed almost 100 years ago.

Liudas Mazylis, professor at Vytautas Magnus University, found the Council of Lithuania's hand-written resolution proclaiming the restoration of an independent state of Lithuania with Vilnius as its capital, written by hand in Lithuanian and German and with 20 signatures on it, in the German Foreign Ministry's archive in late March.

Presided by Jonas Basanavicius, the Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence in Vilnius on Feb. 16, 1918. Historians believe that several original copies of the document were signed on that day, but the whereabouts of the others are unknown.

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