Brno To Host Exhibition Telling The Story Of The First European Constitution

An exhibition telling the story of the 1791 Constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the first in Europe, will take place in Brno from August 13th-30th. The opening ceremony will be held at 4.30pm today in Malinovského náměstí, attended by special guests from Poland and Lithuania. Photo Credit:

Brno, Aug 17 (BD) – The Constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, dating from 1791, is the oldest constitution in Europe, and second oldest in the world after the 1789 American Constitution. The “Republic of Two Nations” exhibition tells the story of this historic document, with the aim of highlighting the importance of civil liberties and citizen participation in public affairs through history. The exhibition began on August 13th, but the opening ceremony of the exhibition will take place today at 4.30pm on Malinovského náměstí, preceded by the reception of VIP guests from Lithuania and Poland at the New Town Hall.

The exhibition was on display in Prague in May to commemorate the 230th anniversary of the constitution, supported by the Lithuanian Embassy, the Polish Embassy, the Polish Institute in Prague, and the Office of Svjatlana Cichanouska, Leader of Democratic Belarus in Vilnius. It has now been installed in Brno, on Malinovského náměstí in the area in front of the Mahen Theater, where it will be on show to the public until August 30th.

The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania united in 1569, and the constitution of 3 May 1791 was an attempt to strengthen the constitutional monarchy, establishing political equality between burghers and nobility, and providing state protection for other sections of the population.

The exhibition will be opened by Marek Fišer (Pirati), Brno City Councilor for Culture, Laimonas Talat-Kelpša and Antoni Jerzy Wręga, Lithuanian and Polish Ambassadors to the Czech Republic, and Kryscina Šyjanok, a representative of the Belarusian community in the Czech Republic. The ceremony will also feature a greeting from Svjatlana Cichanouská.

The opening will be preceded by the reception of the Polish and Lithuanian Ambassadors at the New Town Hall at 3.30pm. The reception will also be attended by the Lithuanian Consul in Brno, the Polish Consuls in Brno and Ostrava, and the Director of the Polish Institute. The City of Brno will be represented by Marek Fišer.

“Darkness and evil are best fought by education and understanding,” said Fišer. “That is why I am glad that this exhibition has also come to us in Brno. I hope that as many people as possible will visit it and that the knowledge they will gain here will also be reflected in their lives, that they will understand how valuable our freedom is and will strive to never lose it again.” 

Brno was chosen as another stop in the journey of the outdoor exhibition as it has partnership agreements with cities in both Lithuania and Poland. A partnership agreement was signed with Poznan, Poland, in 1966, and with Kaunas in Lithuania in 1994. Honorary consuls of both countries operate in Brno.

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