The first museum dedicated to Lithuanian Modern and contemporary art is due open in Vilnius, the country’s capital, in early 2019. The 33,400 sq. ft concrete-and-glass building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, will act as a “gateway” between the Medieval and 18th-century parts of the city, according to the architect.
Viktoras Butkus, the former director of the biotechnology company Fermentas, and his wife Danguole Butkien, are behind the €5m museum, which will house 4,000 works from their collection, dating from the 1960s onwards. Many of the collection’s key pieces from the Soviet era were deemed ideologically inappropriate at the time and ignored by major Lithuanian museums. “This collection is about the cultural legacy of the country,” Butkus says. “Lithuania has a lot of artists and their work appears in galleries and then fades away quickly.”
Butkus and Butkien founded the non-profit Modern Art Center, dedicated to contemporary Lithuanian art, in 2009. Construction on the new museum, designed in partnership with Do architects and Baltic Engineers, is due to begin in 2017.