"Even living abroad, the professor has never neglected Lithuania and has promoted, is promoting, and, I have no doubt, will continue promoting Lithuania's name thanks to his works. No physical distance can undermine a great spirit. Having established the Lithuanian Helsinki Group with his like-minded fellows, the professor was later forced to observe and support our revival from the United States. But then and now his poignant look and word is of great benefit for Lithuania," Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis said bestowing the award.
The minister underscored Venclova's commitment to the ideals of freedom and truth and the ability to find the right words in complicated situations.
Ažubalis also presented to the poet a recent concise book on Lithuania's history by Lithuanian historians Alfonsas Eidintas, Alfredas Bumblauskas, Antanas Kulakauskas, and Mindaugas Tamošaitis.
Earlier this week, Venclova, who is celebrating his 75th anniversary, was also awarded a sign of honor by the Ministry of Culture.