President of the Republic of Lithuania

Culture and art strengthen Lithuanian-Italian friendship

2018-07-05

Thursday, July 5, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė and President Sergio Mattarella of Italy who is on an official visit to Lithuania, opened an international exhibition “Renaissance and Baroque Florence” at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. The presidents are also the patrons of the exhibition “Masterpieces of the History of the Veneration of St. Casimir: Lithuania-Italy” at the Church Heritage Museum of the Archdiocese of Vilnius. 

According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, culture and art have been deepening Lithuanian-Italian bond for over five hundred years. Renaissance ideas that reached Lithuania from Italy, baroque architecture of our churches, artwork of Italian masters who worked in Lithuania are the symbols of long lasting friendship and an invaluable part of European cultural heritage.

At the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the exhibition dedicated to the Centennial of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania features the 16-18th century masterpieces by Italian artists: Pietro Perugino, Giorgio Vasari, Beato Angelico and Massimiliano Soldani Benzi. Their artwork adorn the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, the famous Medici Palace in Florence as well as the halls of the Lithuanian dukes – Jagiellon and Vasa.

Lithuania attaches key importance to the exhibition of church heritage under high patronage of the presidents dedicated to the centennial of modern Lithuania, to the approaching visit of Pope Francis as well to the 560th birth anniversary of St. Casimir, patron saint of Lithuania. It features the most valuable St. Casimir-themed works from the museums of Florence and Palermo and artwork from Medici treasuries that reveal religious and historic bonds between Lithuania and Italy as well as Lithuania’s influence on the Christian Europe. Saint Casimir, a prince of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland is also venerated by Italian believers and is the patron saint of Palermo, the hometown of the Italian President.

Lithuania and Italy are closely interlinked by culture and art. In Rome, President Dalia Grybauskaitė opened Lithuanian festival of culture to mark the centennial of the restored state of Lithuania. Lithuania’s contemporary artists are welcome at the Venice Biennale while theater performances directed by Eimuntas Nekrošius and Oskaras Koršunovas as well as the excellence of Lithuanian musicians and opera singers are highly regarded in Italy.  

Tomorrow, President Sergio Mattarella of Italy and President Dalia Grybauskaitė will attend a ceremony of hoisting the flags of the three Baltic states on the occasion of the State (King Mindaugas Coronation) Day. It is symbolic that the baptism of Mindaugas as well as the acknowledgement of Lithuania’s sovereignty in the then Europe were validated by the decision of the Pope in Milan, Italy.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.07.06 09:42

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