Lithuania mulls de Beauvoir commemoration near Sartre sculpture in Nida
The Lithuanian coastal resort of Neringa's recent decision to unveil a sculpture in Nida to commemorate French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's visit to the Curonian Spit resort in 1965 has sparked controversy as critics say his feminist companion Simone de Beauvoir was left out.
French philosophers Sartre and de Beauvoir spent five days in Lithuania in the summer of 1965. Their trip was recorded by 26 year-old photographer Antanas Sutkus.
Sculptor Klaudijus Pūdymas made the bronze sculpture for Sartre based on a photograph by Lithuanian photographer Antanas Sutkus, in which de Beauvoir was also cut out.
Neringa Mayor Darius Jasaitis says Nida will consider commemorating de Beauvoir as well.
"It's never too late to commemorate the second outstanding person as well if the place will be an attraction. Who not? It's good that we are discussing it. We'll hold the first forum in the fall. … You'll see, we’ll soon have two sculptures," he told BNS Lithuania over the weekend.
The decision to commemorate only Sartre was been criticized by well-know women in Lithuania. "This monument has become a paradox monument not to Sartre, but to Lithuania's effort to eliminate women from the public discourse," writer Aušra Kaziliūnaitė told BNS Lithuania.