aA
The Vilnius authorities rejected a proposal last week to hold a concert in the Lithuanian capital's Town Hall Square due to the Estonian organizers' ties with Russia, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius says.
Remigijus Šimašius
Remigijus Šimašius
© DELFI montažas

In a Facebook post, the mayor said he received a Lithuanian-language proposal from Artmusic, an agency registered in Estonia, to organized a free concert, Unity Songs, in the Town Hall Square in central Vilnius in May.

In his words, the organizers claimed to have held similar concerts in 12 countries, mainly in Europe, so far this year, with plans to hold them in Tallinn and Riga next year. They said two groups – Soprano and the Turetsky Choir – would perform, without stating which country they were from.

"Our team looked closer. Despite the Estonian request stating that the concert has attracted major international media attention, there was little information online. But soon emerged what we immediately suspected – the Kremlin's ears," Simasius said.

In his words, the official website unitysongs.moscow includes the logos of the Moscow authorities as well as the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, and features the Soviet star. The website states that these institutions, as well as the Russia's Ministry of Culture, support the project.

There are also photos on the website from previous concerts in Rome, Paris, Warsaw and Berlin, featuring performers wearing army uniforms with St George ribbons, and the Warsaw concert was named in the Russian language as "Victory Songs".

Russia traditionally marks the end of WWI, as the Victory Day on May 9. The concert in Germany also involved the display of photos of Soviet troops taking over Berlin.

"In Vilnius, we would have been shown photos of the Soviet army marching through Vilnius? So, we would have received this Estonian package with a real doze of Soviet propaganda – a commemoration of the Victory Day with St George ribbon, Soviet army uniforms and Soviet images," Simasius wrote.

He says he wrote back to the organizers that "a free Vilnius doesn’t need Russian propaganda or Soviet symbols we feel not nostalgic about".

"Therefore, your concert will not be held in the Town Hall Sqyare or any other public space in Vilnius. Neither in 2020, nor any time later. If you try to organize this concert in some private space, I would like to remind you that the use of criminal Soviet symbols is punishable under the Criminal Code in Lithuania as they were used during horrible crimes against humanity in Lithuania, Europe and Russia itself," Simasius said.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
|Populiariausi straipsniai ir video

Office: president and Anusauskas' defense priorities match

The priorities of Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Arvydas Anusauskas , candidate for the...

Lithuania posts 4-fold surge in coronavirus infections for November

Coronavirus infections surged four-fold in Lithuania in November compared to October and around 10...

2450 new coronavirus cases

On Wednesday, 2 450 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Lithuania . In total, the country has already...

Skvernelis expects coronavirus vaccine to reach Lithuania by late December

The first batch of a COVID-19 vaccine is likely to reach Lithuania by the end of December,...

Lithuania bans groups of more than 2 people also temporary stalls in stores

The Lithuanian government on Wednesday banned groups of more than two people in public places ,...

Top news

Office: president and Anusauskas' defense priorities match

The priorities of Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Arvydas Anusauskas , candidate for the...

Lithuania posts 4-fold surge in coronavirus infections for November

Coronavirus infections surged four-fold in Lithuania in November compared to October and around 10...

Šimonytė: Lithuania's budget deficit to exceed 5 pct of GDP next year

Lithuania's budget deficit in 2021 will "inevitably" exceed the current projection of 5 percent of...

2450 new coronavirus cases

On Wednesday, 2 450 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Lithuania . In total, the country has already...

Salvatore Babones | D+ nariams

The Quad’s Malabar exercises point the way to an Asian NATO

India, Japan, Australia, and the United States have a good model if they want to keep the peace...

|Maža didelių žinių kaina