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The City of Vilnius has rented special premises at the site of the complex of the Great Synagogue on the Vokiečių Street to host creative tenants, who will, in their turn, organise various artistic workshops, exhibitions, educational, innovative and artistic projects, teach crafts, there will be educational theatre and visual arts activities. All this will be happening in a 1000 square meters building which used to operate as a primary school and it is atop the former treasured heritage - the Great Synagogue - the Jewish Cultural and Education Centre (13A, Vokiečių Street).
Special premises at the site of the complex of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius. Photo Saulius Žiūra (7)
Special premises at the site of the complex of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius. Photo Saulius Žiūra (7)

The ten organizations and individuals were selected from 27 bidders to lease the 1,000-square-meter building in Vokiečių Street. ‘We are very pleased that the project winners are smart and creative and that in their applications they showed a proper regard to this particular place that is currently subject to explorations which have recently resulted in extraordinary findings by the archaeologists. The spiritual and cultural heritage of the Vilnius Great Synagogue obliges to have a special disposition towards the place to achieve a dignified perpetuation, therefore, albeit temporary, the newcomers will contribute to the commemoration of the place through their creative and educational activities, promoting it in Lithuania and worldwide’, said Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius.

The tenants include Vilnius' Justinas Vienožinskis Art School, which will use the premises for educational activities and for creative workshops.

Junior Achievement Lithuania will use the premises for educational activities and start-up workshops and for entrepreneurship and innovation camps, and for educating young people about financial literacy.

The Art and Science Laboratory association will engage in cultural and educational activities, such as organizing lectures, chamber performances and cognitive camps for schoolchildren.

Two craftswomen will present the bookmaking craft to the general public, and the Vilnius Jewish religious community will organize various training and present Jewish traditions and the language.

Another three female artists plan to set up painting workshops in the building.

The local authority and all ten tenants will sign a lease agreement that will expire in 2020.

The building that housed the primary school has been vacant since last year. Plans call for demolishing the building in 2020 and commemorating the synagogue by 2023.

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