19 July 2006

Vilnius a city of world class

Vilnius, Lithuania

Congratulations to Vilnius for being an excellent host to the 30th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in July. At the reception given by the Mayor of Vilnius, Mr. Arturas Zoukas, the Secretary General of the OWHC, Mr. Denis Ricard, was given the floor to inform the participants of the activities of the Organisation. For many years, the OWHC has had the pleasure of counting Vilnius among its most active members. Among the city’s many contributions to the OWHC, Mayor Zoukas served as Vice-President of the Board of Directors for 4 years and in 2003 the city organized and hosted a very successful OWHC Conference. Mayor Zoukas is now embarking on a new major project for his city. A multifunctional complex, including exhibition, conference, sport, commercial centres as well as a residential area, is planned. An international architecture competition will take place in Vilnius. Most of the project is expected to be completed by 2009 when Vilnius will be the Cultural Capital of Europe. Furthermore, there are at present discussions with the Guggenheim Museum of New York and the Hermitage of St-Petersburg to include the exhibition center in the rotating exhibiton networks of these world renowned museums.

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