Construction on Modern Art Centre begins in Vilnius

Viktoras Butkus

The construction of the Modern Art Centre in place of the demolished Lietuva Cinema in Vilnius formally got underway on Wednesday.

Viktoras Butkus, the initiator of the project, says that he plans to donate the 15-million-euro center to the state or to the city once it is launched.

"The concept is that the museum has to be open and interesting. There are a number of museums in Vilnius where the atmosphere is gloomy and cold and aren't allowed to touch anything. Another thing is that people don't know what do in a museum," Butkus said during the official ceremony.

"We have already started a program to attract interest and we are learning together to make the museum interesting," he said

According to Butkus, the new museum will display a collection featuring Lithuanian modern from the 1960s up to the present day.

He estimates that the total value of the project may reach around 15 million euros, including the art collection valued at 4 million euros.

The 3,700-square-meter building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, a world-renowned architect, is planned to be completed by the fall of 2018. The construction will be financed by private funds from Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus.

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