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Lithuanian culture people frustrated with long search for culture minister

Kultūros ministerija
Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / The Ministry of Culture
Šaltinis: BNS

Prominent figures of Lithuania;s culture scene have expressed concern over the staling and prolonged search for candidates to head the Ministry of Culture. A number of cultural figures told BNS that the candidates proposed by the Labour Party were not of the ministerial level but individuals "close to culture."

Vida Ramaškienė, director of the international film festival Vilnius Spring, says the future culture minister should be able to think of culture in a more global and strategic manner.

"The person holding the post of the culture minister should think and see the culture in a strategic light, both on the national and the international level. Lithuania definitely has people who know this, who are capable of communicating and are deepply involved with culture. This may not be in line with party processes but that's a different story," Ramaškiene told BNS.

"The field is highly vulnerable and full of emotions, just like it is often the case with art people, (the candidate) should be ready psychologically and possess abilities to unite people," she added.

Director of the National Drama Theater, Martynas Budraitis, says he has been observing a tendency of proposing candidates with no experience or direct link to culture.

"The story continues – proposed candidates have not the bare minimum of understanding of culture, cultural operations, or experience. There are indeed superior specialists who could hold the post and whom the cultural sector and the overall progress of Lithuania could benefit from," said Budraitis but refused to specify any candidates.

Prime Minister-designate Algirdas Butkevičius, the leader of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, has rejected three candidates proposed by the Labour Party.

On Thursday, he dismissed the candidacy of writer and journalist Giedrius Drukteinis regardless of the earlier assurance that he would be a suitable personality.

Earlier this week, the prime minister has rejected actor Juozas Gaižauskas and event organizer Tadas Rimdžius.

Butkevičius said on Wednesday he would want to see Lithuania's former ambassador to UNESCO Ina Marčiulionytė in the post, however, the diplomat said she had not received an offer.

On Tuesday, a few dozen of prominent cultural figures signed an open letter to Lithuania's top-ranking officials, calling for appointment of a professional, reliable, and recognized cultural personality to head the Culture Ministry.

Under the center-left coalition agreement, the leader of the Culture Ministry is to be proposed by the Labour Party.

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