2021.12.02

Relocation of the monument

Historical memory will be preserved

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Ceremony of sanctifying the monument to French war prisoners, who perished in construction of the Wilhelm Canal took place on December 2.

The monument was opened by ambassador of France in Lithuania . E. Alix Victoria Everard and ambassador of Germany J. E. Matthias Sonn.

The canal was constructed in 1863–1873 by the order of King Wilhelm I of Prussia and named after him. Apart from local workers, French war prisoners were involved in the construction and dug the last few miles to Memel (former name of Klaipeda). Many of them perished and were buried here.

In 1993 a monument was erected in Perkelos street, however, development of the port towards south made the original location of the monument unsuitable.

After KCT have rented additional 5 ha of port land adjacent to container terminal this year, the monument occurred on the company’s premises. Development plan for the area includes construction of the new automated terminal gate and heavy traffic, so public visiting of the monument would become practically impossible. Therefore, KCT have supported the decision to relocate the monument to a new site and sponsored realisation of the project.

The monument has been relocated to a new spot in Kairiu Street directly adjacent to the Wilhelm Canal, on the way to future marina for recreation boats and new living area Stariskes. The new location provides easy access to the monument and much better conditions for honoring the French war prisoners and preserving historical memory.

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