In Vilnius, a multimedia bench dedicated to Michał Kleofas Ogiński, which was given to the city by the Polish Embassy in Vilnius, was destroyed. Symbols of Polish state were painted over. According to the Polish diplomatic institution, it is a xenophobic act against Poland.
‘’We treat this fact not as a property damage but primarily as a xenophobic act directed against an image of the neighboring, friendly country and the diplomatic institution that represents it, and by that it’s directed against good Polish-Lithuanian relations’’-we read in an information.
The Embassy expresses ‘’its deep regrets regarding this incident’’.
On the Ogiński bench, placed in Vilnius in January, all symbols of Polish donor were painted over, including Polish state emblem, the Embassy’s logo and the national colors.
The Embassy turned to the police. Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vilnius self-authorities informed about the incident. Polish diplomatic institution hopes that the perpetrator will be caught, punished and will cover the repair costs of the bench.
– It’s not just a common vandalism, it’s a political provocation – Lithuanian political scientist Lauras Bielinis says, who doesn’t exclude the possibility that the incident may cause a lot of harm regarding two state’s relations but also between the nations – Polish and Lithuanian’’
A political scientist points that Lithuanian authorities should unequivocally condemn the fact of painting over Polish symbols on the bench that was given to the city by the Polish institution.-The incident is going to be investigated carefully. The perpetrator will be found and an imposed punishment should be maximum – Bielnis thinks.
In last January, Michał Kleofas Ogiński playing bench was located in one of squares at the Vilnius old town, next to the building of Polish Embassy and Ogińscy Palace. After pressing its button, you can hear the composer’s works and information about him.
Last year, Michał Kleofas Ogiński Year was celebrated in Poland and Lithuania due to the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birthday.
Tłumaczenie by Aleksandra Nowakowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Nowakowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.