Statues - Hither & Thither

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Kauno apskritis

K. Donelaicio gatvė 64
(Knygnešių kiemelis - Book Smugglers Yard)


The Sower

Bernardas Bučas

Kaunas /  Sėjėjas   Kaunas /  Sėjėjas


Bronze statue of a man sowing. The Sower is here considered as the guardian of the nation - in the parable of the sower the seeds falling on good soil represents those who hear the word, and truly understand it, causing it to bear fruit. Thus probably is meant that by teaching Lithuanian the nation will keep its language.
This is the second version of the statue - the first one he made in 1934 for the Lobby of the Agricultural Bank in Kaunas.

"Star Sower"

Since September 2008 this monument is spread over the internet in numerous blogs and other sites. Somebody had painted stars on the wall behind the statue, in such a manner that as he put a spotlight on the statue's shadow seem to sew stars. He made two photos, one at daylight with a streetsweeping woman next to the stars, the other at night. On both photos the name "morfai" is to be seen (if it is also painted on the wall, or added to the photo is not completely clear). The photo's appear for the first time in September 2008 on Morfai's blog (link) which also includes also a small video. Both photos are made on 10 September 2008 at 11:48 AM and 10:32 PM respectively.

Kaunas - Sėjėjas Kaunas - Sėjėjas
Photos by Morfai
Morfai did not added any text, "russia" sent the photos to English Russia (link), on 16 September 2008, with the text "The star sower monument in Kaunas, Lithuania. In the daytime this monument doesn't make any sense, but when night comes down to the city…" Googling for this exact sentence give 60 hits! All those sites include the same two photos.

At the end of 2008 the stars have been painted over by the municipality. With this Kaunas lost a potential tourist attraction…

Kaunas - Sėjėjas
Situation 14 July 2013

However, in 2013 the Star Sower was used as symbol for an exhibit in the Kaunas City Museum: "The head of EMMA Gallery Gorgonio Sanjuan describes Lithuania as a country which is related to the beauty, mistery and evokes curiousity to the Spanish painters. The sculpture 'Sower' by Bernardas Bučas has stimulated them to enter into international relations and 'spread the stars' in Kaunas - to display the artworks of thirty six painters who were inspired by the great Spanish artists such as Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and others."

Mykolas Kvetkauskas

The model for the sculptor was Mykolas Kvetkauskas (Spirakai 1882 - Valvadai 1941), as his brother's granddaughter Bonnie McNamara found out.

Knygnešių kiemelis - Book Smugglers Yard

Kaunas - Knygnešių kiemelis

During the summer of 1863 Tsar Alexander II, issued Temporary Rules for State Junior Schools of the Northwestern Krai, ruling that only Russian-language education would be allowed there. In 1864, the Governor General of the Vilnius Governorate, Mikhail Muravyov, ordered that Lithuanian language primers were to be printed only in the Cyrillic alphabet. Muravyov's successor, Konstantin Kaufman, in 1865 banned all Lithuanian-language use of the Latin alphabet. In 1866, the Tsar issued an oral ban on the printing or importing of printed matter in Lithuanian. Although formally, the order had no legal force, it was executed de facto until 1904.

Book smugglers transported Lithuanian language books printed in the Latin alphabet into Lithuanian-speaking areas of the Russian Empire, defying the ban. Opposing imperial Russian authorities' efforts to replace the traditional Latin orthography with Cyrillic, and transporting printed matter from as far away as the United States to do so, the book smugglers became a symbol of Lithuanians' resistance to Russification.

With help of these books the children were teached the Lithuanan language by their mothers at home (Wikipedia).

35 years after the withdrawal of the ban, in 1935, the city of Kaunas created a memoral yard to commemorate the ban: a wall with the names of the known book smugglers and the book disseminators and three free standing sculptures:

  1. The Book Smuggler, by Juozas Zikaras, 1928.
  2. Lithunian schooling, by Petras Rimša, 1940
  3. The Parable of the Sower, by Bernardas Bučas, 1939.

The Lithuanian schooling sculpture and the wall were removed by the Soviets in the 1950s and re-placed in 1994 and the 90th anniversary of the withdrawal of the ban. The two other sculptures stayed during the Soviet period.

Kaunas - Knygnešių kiemelis


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 54°53'58" - E 23°54'38") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: lt149; Photograph: 14 July 2013  / updated: 16 February 2020
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

Bronzefiguren Kaufen

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