Wrocław became a twin town of Vilnius

wroclaw.pl

Vilnius have 35 twin towns and sister cities. On 4th September in Wrocław a twin town agreement between Vilnius and Wrocław was signed. The document was signed by the Mayor of Vilnius Artūras Zuokas and the President of Wrocław Rafał Dutkiewicz. The authorities of Vilnius have signed similar agreements with four other Polish cities – Warsaw, Gdańsk, Łódź and Kraków.

The agreement was signed in the Great Hall of the town hall during the sitting of the Wrocław City Council. There was a cream cake with crests of both cities, champagne and a speech. “Vilnius is a twin town of Lviv which is also our twin town. Today Vilnius became a twin town of Wrocław” – said the President of Wrocław Rafał Dutkiewicz and added that multicultural history was significant for both cities.

As it was stressed in the document, one of the aims of the agreement is strengthening relations between residents of both cities. Cultural cooperation is also of great significance because of the forthcoming celebrations of the European Capitol of Culture 2016. “Vilnius was the European Capitol of Culture in 2009. Now we can share our knowledge and experience with you. I believe that our cooperation will be an example for other Lithuanian and Polish cities” – said the Mayor of Vilnius Artūras Zuokas. According to him, markets and fairs could be joint projects because the Vilnius authorities have a great experience in organizing such events. Next year Vilnius “Kaziuki” fair will take place in Wrocław.

The Mayor of Vilnius gave the President of Wrocław painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy. Among others, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Wrocław Józef Kupny and the Archbishop of Wrocław cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz who was born in the Vilnius region were also present at the meeting. The Metropolitan Archbishop gave the Mayor of Vilnius the Millennium Ring of the Wrocław Archdiocese.

The agreement signed by the authorities of Vilnius and Wrocław states that “the agreement aims at development of friendly relations between Vilnius and Wrocław, sharing knowledge and experience especially concerning city management and protection of heritage and identity of both cities”. The cooperation between Wrocław and Vilnius covers the fields of city management, science and technology, education, art and culture, tourism and sport, environment protection, health care, social security, energy, military engineering, municipal or urban engineering, communication and transport, renovation and protection of architectural objects and strategic urban planning.

Before signing the agreement Artūras Zuokas and Rafał Dutkiewicz met with student of the IX Secondary School in Wrocław. During one-hour-long debate titled “City and State. Role, significance, future” they have talked about politics, importance of the agreement between Wrocław and Vilnius, close neighbourhood of Lithuania, Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia, history of Wrocław and Vilnius, multiculturalism and the identity of residents.

Source: http://www.wilnoteka.lt/pl/artykul/wroclaw-miastem-partnerskim-wilna

Tłumaczenie by Maciej Jóźwiak w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Maciej Jóźwiak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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