The Ministers of Culture of the Baltic States Have Agreed to Strengthen Cooperation

Date

2020 07 24

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Memorandumo pasirasymas.JPG

Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Nauris Puntulis, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and Tõnis Lukas, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Estonia signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Ministry of Culture today.

The Memorandum emphasises the importance of better knowledge and translation of the literature of the Baltic States and greater dissemination of works awarded by the Baltic Assembly Prize for literature. With this document, it has been agreed to prepare a financing scheme for the translation and publication of works awarded the Baltic Assembly Prize for literature, taking into account the specifics of each country. It is hoped that the Baltic Writers’ Union will help to implement this initiative.

Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania is very glad this Memorandum has been signed. According to the Minister, this Memorandum indicates the new start of the support of translations and publishing program. “We aim that books published by the laureates of The Baltic Assembly Prize for Literature reach the readers of all three Baltic countries. Ministries of Culture of all three countries as well as Writers’ Unions discussed a lot how to strengthen the cooperation in the field of literature so that works of our writers to be more known and accessible. This Memorandum determines that we have translation program that works constantly and is interconnected”, says Mr. Kvietkauskas.

Nauris Puntulis, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia acknowledged that signing this Memorandum indicates great cooperation of Baltic countries not only in theoretical but in practical level as well. Latvia is practically prepared to implement this Memorandum; financial resources are already planned for it.

“Language and literature are certainly one of the best ways of all to get to know each other’s world of thoughts and lives. The more we have opportunity to read each other’s literature, the better we know each other and understand why we act in a certain way. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to our good and fruitful cooperation”, states Tõnis Lukas, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Estonia.

The Baltic Assembly Prizes for Literature, the Arts and Science were established on the basis of the Resolution of the Baltic Assembly Session of 31 October 1993. The Baltic Assembly Prizes for the achievements in literature is awarded once a year to the author of a novel, play, poem, short story, essay collection or other similar work written in Lithuanian, Estonian or Latvian. The work must be published for the first time in the last three years.

During the meeting, the Ministers of Culture of the Baltic States have also discussed the consequences of the coronavirus on the cultural sector and its rescue plan in the neighbouring countries, a possibility of expanding cooperation through the Baltic Cultural Fund, future joint cultural projects, including the introduction of the Baltic States as the key guests in 2023 at the European Film Fair during the Berlin International Film Festival.

Today, the Ministers will open the exhibition “Wild Souls. Baltic Symbolism Art” at the National Gallery of Art, which can be considered as one of the most successful projects as regards cultural cooperation among the Baltic States. This exhibition, dedicated to the centenary of the statehood of the Baltic States, was opened for the first time in 2018 in the Orsay Museum in Paris and has attracted over 230 thousand visitors. In the same year, the exhibition was moved to the KUMU Museum in Tallinn. The works of 126 Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian artists will be on display in Vilnius until 11 October. After that, they will be moved to Riga, the capital of Latvia.