Belgian royals round off Lithuania tour with visit to cultural capital Kaunas
The Belgian state visit to Lithuania was officially concluded on Wednesday afternoon with a visit to the city of Kaunas, in the centre of the country. Among other things, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde went to have a look at the National Museum Ciurlionis.
Kaunas is Lithuania's second-largest city. This year, the city also carries the title of 'European cultural capital'. Mayor Visvaldas Matijosaitis solemnly welcomed the king and queen at the historic presidential palace. The very young accordionist Erikas Kelpsta graced the reception.
The Belgian royal couple were also given a tour of the museum on Lithuanian writer, painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911). They received explanations from museum director Daina Kamarauskiene and Belgian TV and radio presenter Kurt Van Eeghem, who wrote a book about Ciurlionis.
The museum tour was followed by visits to Projects 5X5 and K-Totem, two graphic projects for which the city of Kaunas has partnered with Designregio Kortrijk (West Flanders province).
The day in Kaunas marks the end of Belgium's second-ever official state visit to Lithuania. The previous state visit to the Baltic state was made by king Philippe's and queen Mathilde's predecessors, king Albert and queen Paola, in 2006.
Queen Mathilde (left) and king Philippe (right) inspect the original copy of Lithuania's Act of Independence at the historical presidential palace in Kaunas © BELGA PHOTO POOL OLIVIER MATTHYS