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The culture ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Sunday signed in Riga an agreement on the establishment of a Baltic cultural foundation.
Baltic states' flags
Baltic states' flags
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The foundation will fund Baltic cultural cooperation programs and jointly-organized international cultural events, Lithuania's Ministry of Culture says. The foundation will support professional projects in the areas of architecture, visual arts, design, literature, music, performing arts, libraries, museums and archives.

Under the plan, every country will allocate 100,000 euros for the new foundation and the money would, first of all, go to new cultural initiatives promoting the Baltic states' cultural internationality, including the presentation of the Baltic region's culture outside the Baltic states as well as the Baltic states' international initiatives.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will manage the new foundation for three years on a rotational basis.

The culture ministers also signed an agreement on the protection and development of the tradition to organize song and dance festivals. The agreement should help to improve preparations for song festivals, the statement said.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia plan to set up a special committee of 21 members. Each country would delegate its representatives from institutions organizing song festivals, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Science and national UNESCO commissions. Three experts from each country would work in the committee.

"By working together we learn from each other, share our good practices and strengthen the Baltic region, the joint field of culture and arts. Together we are more visible on the global map of culture, have more opportunities to develop and promote our countries' culture and arts. These agreements will help to further strengthen the partnership of cultural organizations," Lithuanian Minister of Culture Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson said in a statement.

The agreements were singed in Riga on the sidelines of a song festival dedicated to the centenary of the State of Latvia.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia hold traditional song and dance festivals every couple of years. Such festivals are included into the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.

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