Lithuanians in the News
13th January 2019
Australian Lithuanian Sydney Artist Eva Kubbos Honoured by a Retrospective Exhibition in Vilnius
Portrait of Eva Kubbos by fellow Sydney Australian Lithuanian artist
Leeka Kraucevičiűtë – Gruzdeff. Photo courtesy Kasiulis Museum
A retrospective exhibition of the works of the distinguished Australian Lithuanian artist Eva Kubbos was opened at the Vytautas Kasiulis art museum in Vilnius on December 20, 2018.
The exhibition, “Eva Kubbos: tarp horizontř (between horizons)”, will be open for three months until March 10, 2019. It is a fitting tribute to the artist in her 90th year and in conjunction with Lithuania’s 100th Independence Anniversary celebrations during 2018. Taking part in the press conference during the opening of the exhibition were the director of the Vytautas Kasiulis museum, Ilona Maţeikienë, with curator of the exhibition, Regina Urbonienë. Ilona’s and Regina’s recent visit to Australia made this exhibition possible. Vytas Juđka, former President of the Sydney Lithuanian Community and currently residing in Vilnius, shared reminiscences of Eva Kubbos and the Sydney artistic scene during his time in Sydney.
“Without a name”, an abstract by Eva Kubbos.
Photo courtesy Kasiulis Museum
Eva Kubbos was born in Lithuania, received her early training in post-war Germany and has lived in Australia since 1949, settling in Sydney in 1960. During a distinguished artistic career she has been a foundation member of the Sydney Printmakers Society, a member of the Contemporary Art Society since 1961 and of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1963. She has been a winner of the prestigious Wynne Prize by Art Gallery of NSW in 1963, 1970, 1971 and 1979. The Pring Prize, for the best landscape executed in watercolour by a woman, was awarded to her eight times between 1970 and 1984. She has taken part in numerous personal and group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. (For further information please see on this website: Culture/ Arts/ Eva Kubbos).

Further information:

Lithuania in the News
18th November 2018
Lithuania Presented as a Leading European Centre in FinTech at China’s International Import Expo
President Dalia Grybauskaitë greeted by President Xi Jinping.
Photo courtesy Robertas Dačkus
Signalling China’s opening of its markets to foreign imports, China’s first International Import Expo (CIIE) was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai November 5 – 10, 2018. It was opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping. 130 countries took part in CIIE, with presentations by 2800 companies.
Lithuania’s President Grybauskaitë lead a Lithuanian trade delegation to CIIE and opened one of the three international forums on trade and investment. She was the first international leader to meet with President Xi, who stressed that Lithuania is an important country in its region and can play an important role in the interaction between Asia and Europe.
At a special FinTech (Financial Technologies) meeting in Shanghai, which was attended by 150 Chinese companies, President Grybauskaitë presented Lithuania as a hi-tech country, with a high reputation as a European leader in the rapidly developing technology of FinTech, which is the technology of applying digital technologies to the financial sector. Last year Lithuania’s FinTech industry grew 40%. It now encompasses 150 companies, including 6 Chinese ones. With a population of just under 3 million, Lithuania has nearly 2000 people working in FinTech. More generally, there are over 30,000 IT professionals working in Lithuania, with nearly another 10,000 soon to join the work force.
Lithuania is also at the forefront of blockchain technology, an exciting new development to store and convey data securely via the internet. Blockchain technology is set to revolutionise how the internet will be used in the future and will be very important to FinTech. Since January this year, Lithuania has already been hosting Europe’s first International Blockchain Centre, networked to similar centres in Shanghai and Melbourne in Australia.
President Grybauskaitë’s CIIE visit was sandwiched between two important ICT conferences in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius. The Baltic States’ largest ICT and innovation conference “#SWITCH!” was held on September 20 in Vilnius. It was then followed by the FinTech Inn conference on November 8 in Vilnius, the largest FinTech event in the Baltic region, attended by about 1,300 delegates. It is clear that there is a FinTech boom in Lithuania and Lithuania is positioning itself as the FinTech leader in the Nordic-Baltic region.
As put by the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Đimađius, FinTech is one of three “breakthrough areas” that Lithuania is keen to develop. The other two are laser technology and biochemistry. China is already the third biggest importer of Lithuanian-made lasers, making up 12% of Lithuanian laser exports.

Further information:

Lithuania in the News
23rd September 2018
New Digital Life Given to the Image of Divine Mercy in Vilnius
Divine Mercy 3D © VGTU LinkMenř fabrikas
For the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Lithuania, September 22 - 23, 2018, Lithuania’s capital city Vilnius is bringing religion into the digital age with an exciting new virtual reality project - a 3D version of the Shrine of Divine Mercy, complete with the world-famous image of Divine Mercy. Different versions of the painting can be found in Catholic churches throughout the world, although few know it originated in Vilnius. Painted in 1934 in Vilnius, the image of Divine Mercy has become an icon for Catholics around the world and is one of the Catholicism’s most sacred treasures.
Vilnius’ Mayor, Remigijus Đimađius, said: “Historically, religion always played a big role in Vilnius. The image of Divine Mercy that originated here has had a huge impact, spreading to churches all over the world. .... Now, with the help of technology, we hope to bring it back to life again so that millions can enjoy it. It’s an example that shows religion and technology can co-exist, and also perfectly represents how Vilnius is moving into the future with creativity and ingenuity without forgetting about our past.”
The project has been the initiative of Go Vilnius (the city’s tourism and business development agency) and carried out by VGTU’s LinkMenř fabrikas, the innovation and creativity centre of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) with support of Drone Team, a local 3D scanning and modelling company. VGTU LinkMenř fabrikas team used cutting-edge technology to meticulously scan every millimetre of the painting and all its surroundings in order to create a virtual environment that mirrors the shrine in every way. For last Christmas the team had also created the ground breaking nano-sized nativity scene. (See on this website, News, January 7, 2018 – “The 2017 Vilnius Christmas Festivities Astound the World”).
Boasting picturesque churches and narrow cobbled streets, Vilnius is a vibrant city of contrasts. The city attracts over 1 million tourists every year, with over 30,000 pilgrims. Vilnius has been an important religious destination for over 400 years. With its rich history and unique mosaic of churches, the image of Divine Mercy serves as the ultimate site of pilgrimage in the city, with visitors travelling many thousands of miles to see the painting and ask for blessing.
Vilnius has embraced the digital age, becoming a hi-tech hub and showcasing its use of innovative technologies in different areas, including religion.
Just recently August 24 -26, Melbourne in Australia hosted the 4th Oceania Apostolic Congress of Mercy, which was attended by the Archbishop of Vilnius Gintaras Gruđas and Lithuanian Parliamentarian Rita Tamađunienë. They encouraged religious tourism to Lithuania, in particular to experience Vilnius as a witness to Divine Mercy. Rita Tamađunienë also met up with Lithuanian communities in Melbourne and Sydney.

This news item is based in part on a press release by Go Vilnius, September 21, 2018.
CONTACT - Gintarë Kavaliűnaitë, Go Vilnius Public Relations Manager, phone. +370 617 45202, email: , website:
Further information:
The 3D format of the Shrine of Divine Mercy is available for the whole world to see under
Video on how the Divine Mercy image and Divine Mercy Shrine was recreated in 3D:
Divine Mercy story and pilgrimage in Vilnius:
Vilnius pilgrim route:

Lithuania in the News
2nd September 2018
Important Historic Visit by Israel PM Netanyahu to Lithuania
(L-R) Israel Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon,
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitë.
Photo courtesy Robertas Dačkus
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has completed a historic 4 day visit to Lithuania August 23-26, 2018. He met with Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitë, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and took part in a high level summit with the three prime ministers of the Baltic States. This is the first time that an Israeli Prime Minister has visited Lithuania. The importance of this visit is shown by the fact that, in spite of his undoubtedly very busy schedule and heavy workload, Prime Minister Netanyahu felt it important to spend 4 days in Lithuania.
Lithuania has become an important mediator in the relations between Israel and the European Union. In Lithuania, Netanyahu thanked Lithuania numerous times for its support for Israel in various EU forums. He said Israel is badly misunderstood in the EU, while Israel’s intelligence services are saving European lives, and he stated that “it is time that Europe understood this.”
In Prime Minister Netanyahu’s discussions with Lithuania’s President and Prime Minister, strengthening mutual relations in many areas was raised - in defence, economy, cyber security, science and innovations, culture and tourism. This year, Israel took part in the military exercise “Saber Strike” in Lithuania for the first time. The ties between Israel and Lithuania are expected to get stronger and stronger.
Many Israeli citizens are Litvaks – descendents of Lithuanian Jews – including Yetanyahu himself, who is a Litvak from both sides of his family and also traces descent from the very famous Vilna Gaon, an outstanding rabbi and scholar in 18th Century Vilnius. Israeli Litvaks are now showing great interest to visit their historic homeland. From October there will now be five flights a week between Israel and Lithuania.
During the visit, preserving the memory of Holocaust victims and promoting Litvak culture were high on the agenda. PM Skvernelis stated, that “Holocaust is among the most painful and horrible tragedies in the history of Lithuania”, when most of Lithuania’s Jews were massacred. PM Skvernelis together with PM Netanyahu took part in ceremonies at the Paneriai Memorial in Vilnius to commemorate Holocaust victims and also to honour as “Righteous Among the Nations” Lithuanians who had risked their lives in saving Jews. In Europe, Lithuania has the largest number of its citizens per capita recognised as “Righteous Among the Nations”.
PM Netanyahu thanked the Lithuanian government for its strong stance against anti-Semitism and for the extraordinary love and respect shown to Israel. He left very impressed by what he had seen and experienced in Lithuania.

Further information:

Lithuania in the News
10th June 2018
Lithuania Joins the OECD
The signing ceremony.
Photo courtesy Dačkus
At the end of May Lithuania was admitted to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the 36th member of the organisation which represents highly developed countries.
This body has been the last important international organisation for Lithuania to join, after the UN, NATO and the European Union, to confirm its status as a country ”that punches above its weight” in international affairs.
President Dalia Grybauskaitë signed the OECD accession papers at the OECD headquarters in Paris on May 30. At the accession ceremony President Grybauskiaitë was warmly congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron and the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. No other country had managed to go through the OECD application process as speedily as Lithuania has done.
According to President Grybauskaitë, “the OECD is a highly influential organization, as it is de facto secretariat for the Group of Seven powerful states and an idea forum for the G20. Therefore, the membership will provide Lithuania with more possibilities to contribute to shaping global economy”.

Further information:

Lithuania in the News
8th April 2018
Lithuania’s Diplomatic Triumph in Washington
During the US – Baltic Summit in Washington last Tuesday, 3 April 2018, the Baltic States secured important security guarantees from the United States. The Summit was organised on Lithuania’s initiative. Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitë met with US President Donald Trump before attending the Summit together with other Baltic leaders. In view of the prevailing geopolitical situation, the US – Baltic Summit generated of a great deal of media attention, despite competing major news stories.

At the US-Baltic Summit. President Grybauskaitë (centre) opposite President Trump, second on the her right –
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. Photo courtesy / photographer Robertas Dačkus

Lithuania’s Summit initiative had been carefully coordinated with the other Baltic States, as well as Poland and Ukraine. In keeping with Lithuania’s increasing stature as a regional leader, Lithuania was asked, according to sources, to be the spokesperson for Ukraine’s interests.
The US President and the Presidents of Baltic States strongly reaffirmed the core principle of NATO's defence: “All for one, one for all”, enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. This joint political declaration, together with other aspects of the Summit, coming ahead of a forthcoming meeting of President Trump with Russia’s President Putin, could be seen as a pointed reference to strong American support for the Baltic States, as part of the deterrence strategy against potential aggressors.

Presidents at the Summit press conference: (L-R) Raimonds Vëjonis (Latvia), Kersti Kaljulaid (Estonia),
Dalia Grybauskaitë (Lithuania), Donald Trump (USA). Photo courtesy / photographer Robertas Dačkus

Other important outcomes of the Summit included United States’ commitment to continue stationing forces in the Baltic States and to seek a solution to air defence. As President Grybauskaitë emphasised “Lithuania heard very concrete US guarantees. It means that the bond uniting us remains strong and that the security of the Baltic countries and the United States is indivisible”.
Cybersecurity, strategic communications, nuclear safety and energy security were other issues on which firm commitments to cooperate were made. United States has committed itself to establish a joint Cybersecurity Centre with Lithuania; this in parallel with an already functioning NATO Cybersecurity Centre in Estonia – again a reflection of Lithuania’s regional leadership.
President Grybauskaitë also visited the US Congress, attended the US-Baltic Business Summit and met up with the US Chamber of Commerce. An important memorandum on the importation of American LNG to Klaipëda was signed and significant trade contacts were made. The Lithuanian port of Klaipëda is more and more valued as the northernmost ice-free port on the Baltic Sea and is becoming a port of choice for America.

Further information:

Lithuania in the News
18th March 2018
Lithuania Celebrates a Century since Independence Restoration
A huge Lithuanian flag, larger than a
basketball court, hung from the TV Tower
in Vilnius for the Centenary celebrations.
Photo courtesy
, photo Telecentras
One hundred years ago, on February 16th in 1918, Lithuania declared restoration of its independence, after a century of Russian occupation. The Centenary of this historic event this year is commemorated and celebrated with pride by all Lithuanian communities, in Lithuania and around the world. Many festive events have already taken place with many more scheduled throughout the year. The spirit with which Lithuanians are responding to the anniversary amply manifests itself in this video clip: “RestoredLithuania100 – Labas!”
“100 Years” sign in front of the Presidential Palace in Vilnius.
Photo courtesy , photo Robertas Dačkus
Lithuania’s history of statehood 1253-1795 temporarily came to an end in 1795, to be restored in 1918. In the 15th century Lithuania had been the largest state in Europe. Even after its conquest by Russia in 1795, Vilnius was still the third largest city in the then Russian empire. Vilnius University at that time not only was the oldest in North-eastern Europe, but had more students than the universities of St. Petersburg and Moscow combined. So the tradition of independence in Lithuania remained strong even under Russian rule. This led to Lithuania to be the first among the Baltic States to declare independence in 1918, to be the first to declare independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 and to be the first to be free of Soviet army in 1993, ahead even of Poland and Eastern Germany.
For the actual February 16th anniversary, Lithuania was honoured by the presence of many international guests, presidents and crowned heads. Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, declared that the closing words of Lithuania’s national anthem – “Let unity flower” - could be suitable for an EU anthem. Of interest to Australians, Australian-born Crown Princess Margaret of Denmark was due to attend the festivities, but the unexpected death of her father-in-law prevented her from coming. Greetings from very many countries were also received – from Pope Francis, US President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Japanese Emperor Akihito, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, NZ Prime Minster Jacinta Ardern among many others.
Lithuania’s Centenary was noted by international media. The British journal “The Economist”, introduced Lithuania’s centenary with the headline as “100 not out”, a term familiar to cricket enthusiasts. The article stated “Lithuania has a history of statehood stretching back to the Middle Ages. ..... It was the first Baltic state to assert its independence in 1918. ..... It also inspired Lithuania’s audacious declaration of independence in 1990, the first in the crumbling Soviet Union, which initially shocked its Baltic neighbours and unsettled some outsiders. ..... The long struggle has left Lithuanians with a singular sense of European purpose.”
Australian Lithuanians were honoured by a delegation from Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) for their celebrations. The delegation was led by Darius Skusevičius (Vice-Minister) and included Gediminas Varvuolis (Lithuania’s Ambassador-Designate to Australia), and MFA officials Marijus Gudynas, Asta Slavinskaitë and Diana Mickevičienë. The delegation met with Australian Lithuanians and Australian government and parliament officials and business leaders.

Celebrations in Sydney. Photo courtesy “Műsř Pastogë”

Further information:

Lithuanians in the News
14th January 2018
International Recognition for Australian Lithuanian Philosopher Prof. Vytautas Doniela
Prof. Vytautas Doniela.
The outstanding work of Prof. Vytautas Doniela, a philosopher from the University of Newcastle, has recently been acknowledged internationally. A letter to the editor to the Lithuanian weekly “Műsř Pastogë” introduces the work of Prof. Doniela to Lithuanian readers. It is reproduced below, courtesy of “Műsř Pastogë”.

“Letter to the Editor, Your Lithuanian readers, unless they are astronomers by profession or hobby, might not have noticed a Lithuanian name in a recent work about the nature of the cosmos. Debates about, say, the origins and composition of the universe are not new. In fact they have become increasingly complex through the growing power of optical instruments on the one hand, and of mathematics and logic on the other. More precisely, when optical investigations tend to run into dead ends or self-contradictions or apparent limits, it is high level mathematics and logic that may offer new approaches and possibly new break-throughs.
Vytautas at Heidelberg.
The work on the foundations of logic by a Lithuanian, Prof. Vytautas Doniela, formerly of the University of Newcastle, is referred to in the latest of several volumes by Dr. David Seargent (in the series “Astronomers’ Universe”, Springer Internat. Publishers). In a chapter of his volume “Astronomical Theories of the Solar System and Beyond” Dr. Seargent compares and discusses the views on logic of Prof. Doniela and of Prof. Max Tegmark (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
With a soft spot for mathematics and especially for some of its strange problems, Prof. Doniela had naturally gravitated to philosophy and logic, and his early Ph.D. thesis at the German university of Freiburg was written on the relation of logic to ontology. As Prof. Doniela in his advanced lectures and papers at internat. conferences used to go into the logical problems arising re continuum, change, infinity and the like, it is not surprising that Dr. Seargent says that Prof. Doniela’s views “held a great fascination for [him]”, p.232.
It is interesting that Dr. Seargent’s career followed a somewhat similar path. After starting off as a young ardent astronomer (while a uni student he had discovered an unlisted cosmic body which now bears his name), his Ph.D. thesis was much more philosophical/logical, “Plurality and Continuity”. Moreover, when his thesis was published in book form it was dedicated to “Bill” – and Bill is short for Prof. Vytautas Doniela in the context of the friendly and productive company of lecturer and his senior and postgraduate students. And so, Professor Vytautas (Bill) Doniela, a Lithuanian, who probably does not care for the alleged beauty of heavenly bodies is a logician relevant to problems about the cosmos.

A mutual colleague, ex-Newcastle”

For further information:
Please refer to an interview with Prof. Doniela on this website - Community/ People/ Vytautas Doniela

Lithuania in the News
7th January 2018
The 2017 Vilnius Christmas Festivities Astound the World
The Vilnius Christmas Tree in the Cathedral Square.
Photo courtesy
Some cities compete with each other for the best New Year fireworks, while others in the spirit of Christmas compete for the best Christmas tree. For Christmas 2017 Vilnius again amazed the world with a stunning Christmas tree. With a height of 27 meters and an amazing 70 thousand light bulbs illuminating it, it covers a surface area of more than 2500 sq. m. at its base. The Christmas tree makes an impressive sight situated in the Vilnius Cathedral Square, in front of the Cathedral and the Cathedral Bell Tower.
Internationally the Vilnius Christmas tree has received extensive media coverage in print, internet, radio & TV, and social media - described variously as the most beautiful in Europe, inimitable etc. “Now that really is a Christmas tree”, according to the British website The popular German magazine “Bild” also points out that the Vilnius Christmas tree is set off by the city of Vilnius, strikingly beautiful itself. With more than 50 churches in Vilnius, it compares Vilnius to Rome. The designer of the Christmas tree was Dominykas Koncevičius.
On the other extreme end of size magnitude, that at the level of nanotechnology, Vilnius again astounds. Vilnius scientists have made a very small three-dimensional exact copy of the traditional Nativity Scene in the Cathedral Square, on scale 10,000 times smaller, making it the smallest in the world and smaller than a human cell, visible only through a microscope.
The microscopic scale Vilnius Nativity Scene.
Photo courtesy
Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Đimađius said: “This is truly a unique initiative, which playfully brings a message to the world about Vilnius’ creative potential and speaks to the talent of our scientists and their ability to understand and implement modern technologies”. Lithuania has for a long time been a global leader in lasers and has again shown its mastery of high technology processes: those of 3D scanning, 3D modelling and 3D laser nanoprinting. Religious art has always employed the best technologies available at the time. In this case nanotechnology has raised Christmas art to a unique new level.
It took three months to execute this project. It involved a team from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and the University’s “LinkMenř Factory” Innovation Centre, together with the Vilnius University Laser Research Centre and the industrial companies “Femtika” and “Idea 3D.” The project was supported by the Vilnius Archdiocese, “Go Vilnius” and “Invest Lithuania”.
In total, five copies of the nano-Nativity Scene were made. One copy was presented to Pope Francis by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitë as a gift from Lithuanian people, who eagerly await his visit to Lithuania in 2018. Other copies will remain with the Lithuanian Presidential Palace, the Vilnius Archdiocese, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Vilnius Municipality.
In passing it is also interesting to note that the Archbishop of Vilnius, Gintaras Gruđas, is no stranger to high technology. Earlier in his life he had worked as a computer scientist with IBM.

Further information: