Lithuania's Culture Minister Šarūnas Birutis has urged the Municipality of Vilnius to call an emergency situation over the crumbling hill of the Gediminas Castle.

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© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Meanwhile the municipality and the National Museum maintain that the move is unnecessary, as safety of Vilnius residents is not in danger.

"To start the work without delay, a few steps need to be taken: it is my understanding that (the decaying hill of Gediminas) equals an emergency situation or a disaster, such instances can receive money from the state reserve.

"I have urged the municipality to look into the situation and to designate it as a disaster and a special situation to pave way for immediate allocation of money from the state reserve, even if the amount is not big," the minister told BNS.

He says a sum of €380,000 has been envisaged in the state budget of 2016 and 2017 for hill rescue efforts, but the money will not cover all costs.

The Emergency Situations Commission of the Lithuanian capital's municipality decided earlier this week that there were no grounds for calling an emergency situation. The move was supported by the National Museum, and its director Birutė Kulnytė said the efforts to reinforce the crumbling slope were hindered by the communication with the ministry.

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