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On the Lithuanian Statehood Day (the day of the crowning of Lithuania’s King Mindaugas), President Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania to Gintaras Karosas
It is a fond memory that my grandfather, Vladimiras Karosas, too, received the Order of Duke Gediminas for merits to Lithuania from President Antanas Smetona says Karosas
Gintaras Karosas receives national award
On 6 July 2018, the Lithuanian Statehood Day (the day of the crowning of Lithuania’s King Mindaugas), President Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded the Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania to Gintaras Karosas for promoting Lithuania’s name around the globe.
Gintaras Karosas is a sculptor, a public, cultural, and political figure, founder of the Europos Parkas (Park of Europe) and Liubavas manor museums, creator of numerous pieces of art and the artistic landscape of the Park of Europe, and author of a number of books and articles, researcher of cultural heritage, and laureate of a National Award of Advancement.
It was very early in life that Gintaras Karosas choose his path of creating and preserving valuable Lithuania’s assets by combining art, nature, and people. Aged merely 19, he established Europos Parkas, a plain-air world art museum, now part of Lithuania’s identity, close to Vilnius. The establishment of the Europos Parkas anchored the idea of Lithuania as state in the centre of Europe.
‘I am happy with the honorary award, I try to serve Lithuania every day in my work, by carrying on my family tradition,’ says Karosas. ‘It is a fond memory that my grandfather, Vladimiras Karosas, too, received the Order of Duke Gediminas for merits to Lithuania from President Antanas Smetona on 16 February 1931.’
Gintaras Karosas is the founder of the first NGO museum in Lithuania. He also organised the first international sculpture symposia, various international events in Lithuania. Gintaras Karosas’s activity drew the international media’s attention back in 1995, when The Wall Street Journal’s extra Central Europe Economic Review placed the artist, then 27, amidst the Top 20 most prominent Eastern and Central European young people involved in reforms and active change. In cooperation with the world’s most renowned sculptors, D. Oppenheim, S. LeWitt, M. Abakanovicz, and others, Karosas set up large-scale works of art by the above creators. The artist’s piece of 3,000-plus old TV sets reflecting the absurdity of soviet ideology was registered in 2000 by Guinness World Records in 2000 as the world’s largest sculpture made of TV sets – a world record. This piece of work attracted quite a bit of international notice, which has persevered to this day. The artist designed and brought to life the Europos Parkas Educational Centre, a building of sculptural architecture with a grass-covered roof in the semblance of a mountain.
Gintaras Karosas is the author of many pieces of landscape art and sculptures at Europos Parkas museum, including artworks such as Jūsų patogumui (For Your Convenience, 1997–1999), Vieta (A Place, 2001), Besikeičiantys (The Continuosly Changing, 2005), Pamatai / Langas (The Foundations/Window, 2006), Nuo svajonės iki dabar (From Dream Until Now, 2009 m.), Ženklas (The Sign, dedicated to the Millennium of Lithuania), Siena (The Wall, 2009), Kultūra (Culture, 2009–2011), Kristijonui Donelaičiui (To Kristijonas Donelaitis, dedicated to the poet’s 300th anniversary, 2014 m.), and so on.
Gintaras Karosas is also the founder and creator of the land history, cultural and technological heritage museum at Liubavas manor. He oversaw the rebirth of the manor place by prospecting, preparing projects to restore and reconstruct the buildings and repurpose them to serve the museum’s needs. The high quality of the restoration work on the mill-house–museum earned him the highest prize of EU cultural heritage and the Europa Nostra award in 2012.
In 2008, Gintaras Karosas received the National Award of Advancement for achievement in culture. Ever since 2009, he has been (and is now) a non-party member of Vilnius District Municipal Council, president of the public institution Europos Parkas and the Lithuanian Association of Castles and Manors, chairman of the citizens’ association Talka Kalbai ir Tautai, member of the Vilnius regional board of the Royal Association of Lithuanian Nobles. He is also the author and compiler of books on the Europos Parkas and Liubavas manor, a prominent actor in Lithuania’s social life, and author of articles on art, culture, politics, and other topics.
Gintaras Karosas is convinced that his activities constitute his political mission to Lithuania. He says: ‘For me, the main criterion of work and activity has always been its meaning to Lithuania. Europos Parkas and the Liubavas manor museum are my contribution in shaping a unique face of Lithuania, enriching and preserving the country’s cultural heritage for future generations.’