The Minister of Culture: “France is an active participant in the cultural life of Lithuania”


2021 03 04


In an online meeting between Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys and H.E. Ms Claire Lignières-Counathe, Ambassador of France to Lithuania, a number of important questions regarding the pandemic and its effect on the cultural sector were discussed, and the participants expressed satisfaction with initiatives for cultural cooperation between the two countries and plans for the near future.

First, the Ambassador congratulated the Ministry of Culture for its submission of a nomination file to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, in an effort to have Kaunas Modernist architecture included on the World Heritage List. Ambassador Lignières-Counathe was pleased to note that when Kaunas becomes the European Capital of Culture next year, a large number of joint events will be held together with French creative artists, and that Kaunas is actively cooperating with the French city of Grenoble, which will become the European Green Capital next year. The Institut français, together with the ConTempo festival, plans to present French performance artists in 2022.

Minister of Culture Kairys and the Ambassador exchanged thoughts on the pandemic in both countries and its influence on culture and the creative sector. “Our main task at present is to deal with the lockdown's consequences for culture and to restore culture to its place in the life of the country and its people, as quickly as possible. In the future, I intend to seek closer cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries, and greater integration of culture into education”, said Minister Kairys.

The Minister of Culture was happy to note that the Embassy of France as well as the Institut français remain active partners in Lithuania's cultural cooperation. The Ambassador, for her part, discussed some of the more significant projects that were carried out in 2020, and shared future plans, including a documentary about the Great Synagogue of Vilnius, events marking the centenary of the birth of the sculptor Antanas Mončys, and the ongoing joint French-Lithuanian contemporary dance programme KlaipėDAnse, which is being carried out in cooperation between the Šeiko Dance Company and the national choreographic centres of Caen and Grenoble. Ambassador Lignières-Counathe expressed certainty that France will devote considerable attention to culture when it assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2022.