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Lithuania/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

There are 9 national institutions in Lithuania: the National Martynas Mažvydas Library, Lithuanian National Museum, Lithuanian Art Museum, National M.K.Čiurlionis Art Museum, National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, National Kaunas Drama Theatre and Lithuanian National Philharmonic.

The founder of these entities is the Ministry of Culture, while funds are provided from the budget of the Ministry of Finance. National institutions play a key role in promoting and fostering professional arts in Lithuania and abroad, by collecting and preserving cultural properties and providing methodological assistance to "lower-rank" state and municipal institutions.

If seen from the totality of priorities outlined in the government's cultural policy, the reality is that the role of the Ministry of Culture has been to manage national institutions.

During the last decade there has been an increasing importance placed on the activities of independent or non-governmental cultural and arts organisations including theatre and modern dance groups, cinema, audio and video record studios, museums, galleries, heritage protection organisations, etc. For example, theatre directors Eimuntas Nekrošius and Oskaras Koršunovas, of renown throughout Europe, are directors of independent theatres.

Partnership between state / regional / municipal cultural institutions and the private sector still needs to be encouraged. There has been a rather slow increase in the number of private sector cultural organisations mainly due to constraints of legal acts and procedures. On the other hand, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of privately established museums and galleries, e.g. the Open Air Sculpture Museum "Europos centras", Liubavas Manor and Water Mill were renovated and established as a museum under the initiative of sculptor Gintaras Karosas; "Hesonos klubas" public agency located in Grūtas near Druskininkai was the winner of a competition held by the Ministry of Culture in 1998 for the establishment of an exhibition of dismantled ideological monumental sculptures from the Soviet period. Grūtas' Park was officially opened on 1 April 2001 (see: The last example of a significant private initiative is the Modern Art Centre (MAC), established in Vilnius by the Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus family in 2011 (see:

Chapter published: 28-11-2014

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