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Famous hill, symbol of Lithuania, is collapsing

Staff Writer |
The Lithuanian government is to declare an emergency situation due to the collapsing Gediminas Hill, in order to bring the situation under control as soon as possible, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Monday.

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The emergency situation is being called to "accelerate technical decisions, which are necessary for sorting out the problems of Gediminas Hill, and for finding appropriate funding", Skvernelis was quoted as saying by local media.

Lithuanian and Polish geological experts will carry out a geophysical research on the hill, which has suffered several landslips, and an action plan will be prepared to determine the most effective measures to prevent further landslip.

Gediminas Hill and Gediminas' Tower, the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius, are one of the most important symbols not only of the capital city, but also of Lithuania's state.

The panoramic views offered by the Gediminas' Tower is a must-see on the list of many tourists coming to Lithuania.

It is anticipated that visiting the hill will be limited during the period of emergency.

The necessary funding must be found this year and works on the project must also begin this year, Skvernelis said.

The government delegated responsibility to the ministry of culture to deal with the situation on the hill.

The National Museum of Lithuania and the Geological Survey of Lithuania were tasked with observing any daily changes on the south-eastern slope of Gediminas Hill and immediately undertaking any necessary measures to deal with a possible landslip, Elta news agency reported.

Last week, works began to strengthen the hill's north-western slope. However, the mound's south-eastern slope, where Gediminas Tower is located, is now under risk.

Skvernelis has said that up to five million euros (5.6 million U.S. dollars) could be necessary to fix this part of Gediminas Hill.

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