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Prime Minister participated in the grand opening of “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022”

LITHUANIA, January 22 - Prime Minister Šimonytė and William Kentridge

On 22 January, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė visited Kaunas, which kicked off its year as the European Capital of Culture.

“I am convinced that Kaunas city and Kaunas district will be discovered not only by the whole Europe, but that all of us living in Lithuania will also see and hear Kaunas anew,” said Šimonytė at the official reception of the Mayor of Kaunas.

The Prime Minister expressed an expectation that a full year of cultural events would lay the foundation for the sustainable growth of culture in Kaunas and Kaunas district after the end of the official part of the programme.

“It is highly important to hand the city keys to the younger generation, who needs to unlock and build its city, and to construct its personal relationship with the city space and its history,” said Šimonytė inviting the residents of Kaunas to contribute to the prosperity, growth and openness of the city, as well as of the whole of Lithuania.

An important cultural goal highlighted by the Prime Minister in her speech is to accept differences, to promote understanding and art of dialog.

“We happen to live in a world where there are far more speakers than listeners, where aggressive monologues threaten to displace the communally-spirited understanding of the otherness. Let us listen and hear, notice and see, appreciate and respect those around us, different as they may be and different as they may think,” said Šimonytė.

The Prime Minister thanked everyone who contributed to the creation and implementation of a modern vision of Kaunas and the organisation of one of the largest cultural projects in the history of Lithuania at the beginning of the 21st century.

I. Šimonytė started her acquaintance with the program “Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022” by visiting Yoko Ono's installation in the building of the Bank of Lithuania, and later visited William Kentridge's exhibition “What We Don't Remember” at the M. K. Čiurlionis Museum. The Prime Minister also participated in the opening of the exhibition “Modernism for the Future 365/360“at Kaunas Central Post Office.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative has been running since 1985. During this time, almost 60 cities in various countries have been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture. This title has helped cities to draw attention to themselves, both nationally and internationally, and to implement socio-economic programmes through culture.