The formally presented candidate for the position of culture minister, vice-rector of Vilnius Academy of Arts, Arunas Gelunas, is convinced that cultural policy is too focused on big cities and promises a more transparent use of funds allocated to culture, and more consultations with experts, reports ELTA. The candidate expressed his thoughts at a press conference on June 10, after his official presentation to Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. “Cultural policy is too much focused on big cities and the problems of elite culture. To my mind, one of the strategic objectives would be the emergence of quality culture, not only in big cities but also in the regions, the promotion of creativity,” said Gelunas. He added that “The stories of various clan influences and the non-transparent allocation of funds are really depressing. This is a problematic area; if the team that will be willing to work with me will help me, we will try to solve these problems.”
According to Speaker of the Seimas, Irena Degutiene, who was on a one-day working visit to Poland on June 11, sufficient goodwill is vital in addressing the national minority issues, reports ELTA. “I believe that upon resolving the problems at the municipal level it will be easier to find common solutions at the cross-border level,” Degutiene said after visiting Sejny, Nowiniki and Punsk. The Speaker expressed hope she would be the last Lithuanian government official who had to raise these issues and that these problems would be left aside during future visits. She met with Ryszard Grzybowski, governor of Sejny county and Bialystok voivodship Marshal Jaroslaw Dworzanski. She noted the problems of the Lithuanian minority in Poland, the maintenance of the Lithuanian school network and funding of these schools and the outstanding issues related to publishing of textbooks in the Lithuanian language.