Lithuania: Conference Centres

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd November 2015.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Lithuanian government against plans for a convention centre to be built in the Jewish Cemetery in Piramont, Vilnius; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Government is aware of plans announced by the Lithuanian Government to renovate the Soviet-era Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports, located in the Šnipiškės Jewish cemetery. The existing building on the site has been left derelict for some time. The Chairperson of the Jewish Community in Lithuania has been clear in her public support for the renovation, stressing that the current site is run-down and at risk otherwise of further deterioration. It is our understanding that there will be no significant structural changes and that only the interior will be renovated for use as a centre for conferences and cultural events. The surrounding area will be maintained as a memorial park. The Lithuanian Prime Minister has said that all Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania would be memorialised and marked by the end of 2017. We welcome his commitment to working alongside the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the international Jewish community on this renovation. The Lithuanian government has also said it will discuss the renovation with the Israeli government.

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