Heritage Communication in the Interior Design of the Seimas: Problems of Selection, Design and Presentation of Symbols
Keywords:interior, communication, concept, parliamentarism, heritage, visualization
After declaration of Independence by the Parliament of Lithuania in 1990 in the building constructed in 1976-1980, its environment and interior spaces, which usually are supposed to spread the history of the institution and spirit of the system have been undergoing changes rather slowly. The building constructed in the late seventies of the 20th C. was designed for the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), which used to be convened 2-3 times a year and imitated parliamentarism. In reality, it was an administrative building of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council and its servicing „apparatus“.
As late as in 1997 the first interior plan of the historic environment of the then-called first palace was launched in order the walls of the parliament would spread the tradition of the Seimas of Lithuania, which dates back in the 15th Century - the period of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. In 2002, the Office of the Seimas included history experts into the development of the interior concept.
This article discusses the development of the present interior design of the parliament building, actions that determined decisions in choosing the symbols in the development of Lithuania to mark the history of the parliament. The author also reveals the problems of decision making and attitude to the changes and perspectives of the interior design of the Seimas, communication of parliamentary heritage, as formation of a new visual documentary piece of work.
In terms of heritage communication, the historical interior design of the Seimas was born in this century as a new visual work, created based on various historical, political studies and documentary funds, which never directly targeted the object that interested the Seimas Office staff and heads of the parliament, i.e. parliamentarism. Construction of parliamentary tradition heritage provided a possibility not only to create „a concept of commemoration of the most prominent Lithuanian parliament members and events related with the Seimas of Lithuania“, which determined the decisions in 2000-2006 to commemorate parliament members and parliamentary events significant for the state of Lithuania also outside the parliamentary building, elsewhere in Lithuania - now it should be considered as dissemination of parliamentarism idea. The same direction of such decisions could be maintained also in the future. The historical environment interior design of the building of the Lithuanian Seimas, which has been developed since 1997 following the consistent experts‘ concept, currently lacks uniform historical attitude: which significance is given to the parliaments of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, whether the contemporary parliament admits the role of parliamentary and other political activities of the elite of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, which is worth displaying in the working political environment. Opposing opinions expressed by some politicians made displaying of images of the 4th Seimas (1936-1940) impossible in the permanent exposition of the Seimas interior, though they are included into the interior design concept.
Environment development is substantially influenced by the heads and office of the Seimas, coordinating the major decisions. Major importance and exclusive attention to historical interior design creation, understanding it as in particular important information for social consciousness, were granted by the heads of the 7th (1996-2000) and 8th (2000-2004) Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (Seimas board members).