Lithuania in the News - In Brief
7th October 2008
Deimantas Narkevičius with HRH Princess Laurentien .
Lithuanian Artist Deimantas Narkevičius Winner of Europe’s Most Prestigious Art Award
The Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevičius has been awarded The Vincent Van Gogh Biennial Award for Contemporary Art 2008. This very prestigious prize, worth € 50,000, was presented to Narkevičius on 12 September 2008 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam by the Polish Ambassador Janusz Stanczyk, in the presence of HRH Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands.
Born in 1964 in Utena, Lithuania, Narkevičius is a sculptor and filmmaker, whose work has been exhibited in numerous leading galleries and art events throughout Europe, e.g Venice Biennale in Italy, Münster Sculpture Project in Germany, Tate Art Gallery in London, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris and many others. His work does not easily fall within any established art form and he describes his work as “dematerialised sculptures” – monuments created through the cinematic medium.
The Vincent Van Gogh Prize has been awarded every two years since 2000. This year there were over 50 nominations for the prize, which has the aim of stimulating contemporary art in Europe. In the final short list for the prize there were Deimantas Narkevičius, the Bristish artists Liam Gillick and Rebecca Warren and the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs.

Further information: 15&30/0908,

Justë Janulytë.
Venice Music Biennale Opening Concert Features Young Lithuanian Composer Justë Janulytë
The composition “Textile 2” for symphony orchestra by the young Lithuanian composer Justë Janulytë has been performed during the gala opening ceremony of the 2008 Venice Music Biennale (52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music) last Thursday, 2 October 2008. Her work is featured alongside works of such distinguished composers as Igor Stravinsky and Luigi Nono and the young Estonian composer Mirjam Tally. The theme for this year’s Biennale is Roots / Future, meaning the emphasis is on the works of young composers who have been influenced by the classics.
The 26 year old Justë Janulytë studied composition in Lithuania and Milan. In 2004 her work “White Music” for 15 string instruments was acknowledged as the best chamber music work by the Lithuanian Composers Union. Again in 2004, the Venice Music Biennale also featured the work “Poussla”, for ensemble and orchestra, by another Lithuanian composer, Vykintas Baltakas.

Further information: 30/09/08,

The Sicor Biotech building in Vilnius.
A Milestone for Biotechnology in Lithuania - EU Approves Cancer Drug Developed In Lithuania
The European Union Commission last month approved the oncologic drug TevaGrastim (R), developed by the Lithuanian company Sicor Biotech Ltd in Vilnius, Lithuania. The drug acts by stimulating the immune system and spurring bone marrow to make new cells and is considerably cheaper than similar drugs currently on the market.
Success came to Sicor Biotech after research of more than 10 years. Working on this drug were more than 120 scientists, most of them graduates of Vilnius University and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University in Vilnius. Head of Sicor Biotech, Prof. Algirdas Bumelis stated: “So far, our scientists are the only ones in Central and Eastern Europe to have pulled off such a high-level project”. Many in Lithuania regard the success of this project as one of Lithuania’s major scientific achievements, which augurs well for Lithuanian’s future in high technology.

Further information: 18/09/08, ,