A Lithuanian political science professor claims to have found one of the few remaining original copies of his country’s declaration of independence forgotten in a Berlin archive.
Liudas Mazylis, a professor at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas Lithuania, found the document after an eight-month and self-financed search.
The find was hailed by Lithuanian authorities as the discovery of the country’s “birth certificate” and it sparked celebrations in the Baltic country which will mark its centenary anniversary next year.
“I was driven by an excitement of the possibility of finding such an important document, which was lost for so long,” Mazylis said to Reuters.
The 1918 document, long-thought lost to history, is said to have been found in the archives of Germany’s foreign ministry.
The authenticity of the document was confirmed by German foreign ministry officials.
“What a great find! This is perfect news for our Lithuanian friends,” the ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. “We celebrate together with them.”
Exciting discovery in our political archive: documents from 1918 that contributed to #Lithuania’s independence. pic.twitter.com/DvdamLsrzY— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) March 30, 2017
Mazylis told France’s AFP news service his country’s declaration of independence was accompanied by a German-language version found inside a folder. On it, Mazylis told the AFP, are 20 “clearly original” signatures.