2020 will mark the 300 birth anniversary of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman (1720-1797), known as the Gaon of Vilna, or Vilnius.

The inclusion of this anniversary was backed by Belarus, Poland, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the UK-based Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, the Lithuanian commission said.

2021 will mark the 100th birth anniversary of Lithuanian archeologist, anthropologist and archeomythology pioneer Marija Birute Alseikaite-Gimbutiene (1921-1994). The inclusion of this anniversary was backed by Latvia, Germany and the Alumni Association of Pacific University.

Marija Gimbutienė
Foto: Wikimedia Commons

In exchange, Lithuania backed the inclusions of other anniversaries into the UNESCO list.

All in all, the UNESCO list of anniversaries for 2020–2021 includes anniversaries of people with achievements in the areas of culture, education and science from 59 countries.