Sadly, following the 1863–64 Uprising and increased russification programs, this early museum’s work was interrupted – it was reallocated and nationalized, and most of the Lithuanian history pieces were taken to Moscow. On the basis of the remaining collection a new, so-called Russian Antiquities Museum was established in connection with Vilnius Public Library and functioned from 1867 to 1915. Having lost its most valuable exhibits and become a branch of a library, the museum no longer played an important role in Lithuanian cultural life.
In 1918–1919 Jonas Basanavičius, one of the most important leaders of Lithuania’s national revival movement, began to create a new History and Ethnography Museum on the basis of the remaining Vilnius Antiquities Museum collection as well as that of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. But with the occupation of Vilnius by Poland in 1919, this work was interrupted and never resumed. During the interwar period, only museums run by separate academic societies existed.