Year of UNESCO World Heritage in Lithuania to be Marked in 2020


2020 01 08


In accordance with the submission by the Ministry of Culture, the Government has approved the programme dedicated to the year of UNESCO World Heritage in Lithuania in 2020.

2020 has been declared the year of UNESCO World Heritage in Lithuania in order to highlight the significance that Lithuania’s cultural heritage sites included on the World Heritage List – Vilnius Historic Centre, Kernavė Archaeological Site, Curonian Spit, Struve Geodetic Arc – hold to our country, and also in order to promote knowledge about them and raise the public awareness on the exceptional universal value of these sites and the importance of their legal protection and preservation for the future generations.

“Like any other country, Lithuania sees it as a great honour and responsibility to have cultural and natural heritage sites that are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This year is a great opportunity to re-evaluate the unique heritage of global cultural scope that we have and to provide the conditions to preserve and get to know it better. This is yet another encouragement to be proud in one’s country and to share its values with the entire world”, the Minister of Culture Mindaugas Kvietkauskas said.

Marking the year of UNESCO World Heritage in Lithuania, an event series is planned which will consist of a festive opening event and themed discussions. Moreover, international conference will be held, entitled Shared Heritage – Shared Knowledge: Cultural Landscape of the Curonian Spit in the Past and in the Present, as well as other commemorative events, conferences, and seminars dedicated to Lithuania’s globally significant heritage.

The year’s programme includes a variety of cultural, educational, and instructional activities. Plans include an exhibition with an educational programme “Lithuania’s Values in the UNESCO Lists and Registers”, a certification training program for teachers, and a learning program for pupils on the UNESCO World Heritage and the wealth of heritage in Lithuania. Educational programmes are planned to focus on the Curonian Spit’s cultural landscape, its material and non-material values, and a virtual advisor is planned to be made for the maintenance and supervision of the historical, urban, architectural, and residential environment. Additionally, tours and a competition, #manoUNESCO, are to be organised. In order to increase interaction between cultural heritage, tourism infrastructure, and the education system, other activities are also scheduled, such as a tourist route: an educational trail following the points of the Struve Geodetic Arc.

Plans of the programme also include the creation of four new educational documentaries about the wealth of World Heritage in Lithuania and animated documentaries for children. A publication for children will also be released which will be dedicated to the UNESCO World Heritage and the values of Vilnius Historic Centre. The Lithuanian National Radio and Television intends to prepare and broadcast radio and television shows, reports, and documentaries dedicated to the year of UNESCO World Heritage in Lithuania. A virtual publication is to be released on the protection and maintenance of the heritage in the capitals of the Baltic states (Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn) included in the UNESCO World Heritage List during the period of 1990–2019 and to publish it on the website of the Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency. During the marking of the UNESCO World Heritage Year in Lithuania, educational and tourist publications in Lithuanian and English are planned, as well as other promotion and publishing activities.

Participants of the implementation of the programme for the UNESCO World Heritage Year in Lithuania will include the National Commission for Cultural Heritage, Secretariat of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO, Directorate of the Curonian Spit National Park, National Agency for Education, Lithuanian National Radio and Television, public enterprise Keliauk Lietuvoje, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency, the Restorers’ Union, municipalities, museums, public libraries, ministries, and other institutions and enterprises.

The marking of the UNESCO World Heritage Year in Lithuania is connected to important anniversaries. In 2019, Vilnius Historic Centre marked its 25th anniversary since being included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, while Kernavė Archaeological Site marked the 15th; in 2020, the Curonian Spit will mark its 20th year on the list, whereas Struve Geodetic Arc will celebrate its 15th.


Photo by Edgaras Kurauskas