“ Address: Vilinus / Lithuania „
The Vilnius European Capital of Culture 2009 (VECC) event is now well underway with events left right and centre in the capital. It is almost impossible to walk around the city without noticing one of the large green markers telling you about and exhibition or event. The best thing is that almost all of the events are free for all.
The VECC event is being organized in conjunction with the Linz European Capital of Culture 2009, which is far less impoverished and better organized.
While the Lithuanian organizers are trying hard, they had their canines removed when the funding was cut in half due to the economic crisis causing many of the larger and more costly events to be cancelled on the eve of the starting event.
Whats happening in the city now is cool and fun, but it could have been so much better.
Many things have conspired to make the VECC look silly and fall apart at the seams.
The national airline FlyLAL has failed and went bankrupt (many believe this was done illegally and deliberately) leaving the city almost unreachable. Then all the money for the events disappeared, then the organizing committee was embroiled in two embezzlement scandals, then the director was sacked and here we are.
The result has been a huge knock for the confidence of the city, but the events are still going ahead as planned. There is a lot to do for free like art exhibitions and free cinema and sculptures and workshops. You can find all the event listings on www.culturelive.lt under the english section.
One of my favourite parts of the event is the Haiku poetry. You can contribute your own poetry to the website and read others that celebrate the city. Thats also on the website.
Even though it has been plagued by problems, I do suggest checking out the VECC and enjoying the capital, because it is pretty nice.
Vilnius will be filled with more than 300 culture, art and social events