Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys: “America is an important partner of strategic and cultural cooperation”

Date

2021 02 12

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The Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys had a remote meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania Robert S. Gilchrist today. 

During the meeting, cooperation of the two countries was discussed, focusing on the following subjects: cultural heritage, historical memory, culture of Lithuanian Jews, fight against misinformation, media literacy, strategic communication and cultural cooperation. 

At first, the Minister Simonas Kairys thanked the Embassy for giving special attention to the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania, its continuity, and the 

financial support for the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum’s projects implemented last year, as well as for the assistance by U.S. state institutions in the transfer of the U.S.-residing Lithuanian Henry Lazarus Gaidis’ collection of equipment, military gear and archival documents to the National Museum of Lithuania. Last year the U.S. Ambassador was awarded a special memorial medal marking the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews of Lithuania, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) community. 

The discussion reviewed the key projects implemented in 2020 and the more significant activities of the year: the publication of the diary of one of the heads of the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) Zelig Kalmanovich, which was written in the Vilna Ghetto, the opening of the retrospective exhibition of Aleksandra Kašubienė (Kašuba), an artist who lived in the USA, at the National Gallery of Art, and projects in Lithuania and the USA related to the centennial of Jonas Mekas in 2022. 

Simonas Kairys presented the Ministry of Culture’s priorities to the ambassador, informed him about the draft of the Law on National Minorities which is currently being prepared, introduced the highlights of the Year of Lithuanian Tatar History and Culture as well as the possibilities of making culture accessible to people with disabilities. 

The meeting devoted attention to our country’s libraries as possible coordinators of media and information literacy education. The USA’s experience in this field is important to the Ministry of Culture’s Program of Media Literacy whose preparation is planned to be completed this year. 

According to the Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys, the U.S. is a highly significant partner of strategic and cultural cooperation. The minister also emphasised that the Ministry of Culture places high importance on the relationship with the Seimas’ Commission for the Cause of Freedom and the National Historical Memory; therefore, yesterday’s comments about the Holocaust by Seimas member Valdas Rakutis raise great concern about future cooperation.