2021.03.08 10:19

Lithuanian artists stage protest over closed galleries

LRT.lt2021.03.08 10:19

Even though Lithuania's government has allowed to reopen outdoor venues, artists claim it is unreasonable to keep galleries and museums closed.

On Saturday, cultural workers staged a protest over cultural spaces remaining closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The action in Vilnius saw artists stage a procession carrying large-scale paintings.

The protesters claim that galleries and museums are perfectly able to ensure safety and should not be under stricter lockdown restrictions than retailers.

“Galleries have big spaces and people do not crowd there. Art has the power to expand one's thinking, lighten up the mood during the lockdown,” said Goda Lukaitė, a painter and one of the organisers of the rally.

While Lithuania's government has eased restrictions on outdoor museums and other venues last week, indoor galleries and museums remain closed to visitors. Non-food shops were allowed to reopen back in February.

“We want to operate in our usual way, while, of course, refraining from exhibition opening events and managing visitor flows,” said art critic Kristina Alsytė, another co-organiser.

Culture Minister Simonas Kairys commented that the dissatisfaction was understandable.

He vowed to raise the issue of safely reopening museums and galleries during the government's meeting this week.