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Polish-Lithuanian research centre opened at the University of Aberdeen
On 31st of January 2020, the ambassador of Lithuania to the UK Renatas Norkus together with the ambassador of Poland to the UK Arkady Rzegocki opened a brand new Research Center for Polish-Lithuanian studies at the University of Aberdeen. This centre is the first of this kind in the UK and was founded by Robert I. Frost, a professor at the University of Aberdeen and one of the leading experts on Polish-Lithuanian history in Europe, in collaboration with Lithuanian and Polish embassies in the UK.
Mr Norkus in his opening speech stated that the new research centre is a key to future transnational collaborations between scholars from Lithuania, the UK and Poland on research into the history and culture of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and historical and cultural legacy of one of the longest-lasting political unions in European history.
The opening of the research centre was celebrated with a two-day symposium “Union and Its Legacies. Poland-Lithuania since 1386”. It was organised by University of Aberdeen alongside Lithuanian and Polish embassies in UK. The symposium marked the 450th anniversary of Union of Lublin and the 633th anniversary of Union of Krewo which both contributed and led to the creation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. It included a number of discussions involving scholars and museum representatives. Representatives from Lithuania were historians Artūras Vasiliauskas, Mindaugas Šapoka, Tomas Balkelis and a deputy director of the Palace of the Grand Dukes Jolanta Karpavičienė. Other museum representatives and scholars from the UK, Poland and Ukraine also attended.
The discussions revolved around the legacy of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 21st Century and breaking down the predominant nationalist narratives of east European history. The symposium ended with a public roundtable discussion with the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish studies that compared the Polish-Lithuanian Union with the British and Irish unions and the differences in the legacies of all three unions.
Photos by Polish-Lithuanian Research Centre.