(L-R) Simonas Kairys, Minister of Culture of Lithuania; Eric Thill, Luxembourg's Minister for Culture; Credit: MCULT

Luxembourg's Ministry of Culture has reported that Culture Minister Eric Thill met with his Lithuanian counterpart for an exchange of views during the latter's visit to the Grand Duchy on Monday 29 April 2024. 

Lithuanian Minister of Culture, Simonas Kairys, visited Luxembourg on the occasion of celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Lithuania's accession to the European Union and NATO. During this visit, Luxembourg's Minister for Culture, Eric Thill, invited Minister Kairysfor an exchange of views on current issues at the bilateral and multilateral level.

Looking at bilateral relations, the ministers first reported on the respective evaluations of the European Capitals of Culture, Esch2022 and Kaunas 2022. As reported by Luxembourg's Culture Ministry, about 30 projects were carried out jointly between Luxembourg and Lithuanian stakeholders during this culture capital year. The impacts observed a posteriori are also similar, particularly in terms of the creation of new infrastructures and in relation to regional communities. A notable difference is that Kaunas 2022 was much more affected by the outbreak of the war in Ukraine immediately after its opening, with Minister Kairys believing that this, however, contributed to raising the significance of this important European cultural action.

Ministers Thill and Kairys spoke at length about the impact of the war in Ukraine on culture, cultural heritage, artists and creative professionals. As Ukrainian cultural life and cultural heritage are directly targeted by Russian aggression, the two ministers noted that it is all the more essential to continue to support Ukraine, to show solidarity and to defend the values and style of European lives which are intimately linked to culture. In this context, Minister Kairys issued an invitation to Minister Thill to attend an international conference on the recovery of the Ukrainian cultural sector, which will be held in Vilnius on 7 June 2024 and whose main objective will be to ensure that culture be included as part of the broader discussions on the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Ministers Thill and Kairys both underlined the importance of culture being better recognised as an essential public good and as an objective in its own right of sustainable development, which will need to be defended and negotiated jointly in multilateral forums. The two ministers concluded that generating more understanding for culture as a political field in its own right is essential.