Europos Parkas was founded by sculptor Gintaras Karosas (b. 1968). In 1987 he found a place near Vilnius suitable for a park and started clearing wild neglected woodland. In 1991 the artist created the first sculpture marking the birth of Europos Parkas. Since 1993, the park has hosted International Sculpture Symposiums. The sculpture of famous conceptualist Dennis Oppenheim, built in Europos Parkas in 1996, has encouraged the contribution of other classics of modern sculpture to the museum. Today, the 55 ha sculpture park displays more than 90 works of art by artists from 27 different countries. The museum is being developed as unity of nature and works of art. The park is being landscaped by Gintaras Karosas. The permanent exhibition of modern art displayed in Europos Parkas is, considered by specialists to be one of the most interesting open-air museums in the world.
Read more about the founding of Europos Parkas at:
Events and Facts
In 1991, the first sculpture was erected Symbol of Europos Parkas by Gintaras Karosas. Built in a sacred place surrounded with oak trees, it was like the foundation stone marking the birth of the Park. The sculpture became the symbol of the Museum and appeared on its logo.
On October 5, 1991 the first guided tour in Europos Parkas was conducted. The founder of the Museum Gintaras Karosas, than a student of Vilnius Academy, showed his newly created sculpture Symbol of Europos Parkas to his colleagues from the Academy.
In 1992, the woodland was being cleared, the meadows were being flattened, and spaces for the exposition of sculptures were being prepared.
On March 9, 1993 a non-profit organisation was established, which in accordance with effective laws on June 17, 1997 was reorganised into the non-profit public institution Europos parkas (the area of its activities is Museum Activities and Conservation of Historical Places and Buildings).
On July 4-August 21, 1993 the First International Sculpture Symposium was organised. It was the first event of the kind in Lithuania. The Symposium was attended by 14 artists from Greece, the USA, Hungary, Finland, Armenia and Lithuania, who created sculptures that later became the first exhibits of the Open-Air Museum.
On August 20, 1993 an exposition of the Sculpture Museum of the Centre of Europe was opened to the public. A special publication was issued and a video film Man’s Signs. Europos Parkas was made (director - Algirdas Tarvydas).
The Second International Sculpture Symposium of 1994 was attended by artists from Japan, the USA, Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania. Their sculptures of stone and metal supplemented the permanent exposition of the Open-Air Museum. A special publication was issued and a video film Europos Parkas was made (directors – Audre Kudabiene and Gintaras Kudaba).
In 1994, Cloud Hands, a sculpture by Jon Barlow Hudson, was erected. It was made of four massive stones weighing 4-5 tons, joined in the centre by a stainless-steel tetrahedron. Visitors sometimes call it “hanging stones.”
In the autumn of the same year, Tei Kobayashi created a composition YONI: Homage to Marija Gimbutas. It was one of the first site-specific works in Europos Parkas.
In April 1995, an educational programme was launched aimed at helping visitors of the Museum to learn more about the sculptures erected in Europos Parkas and to deepen their knowledge of contemporary art.
In June 1995, Gintaras Karosas visited Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan. (The visit was funded by the Open Society Fund Lithuania and Hakone Museum).
In June 1995, the Museum received a gift from sculptor Benbow Bullock – the sculptor’s work Upper Quadrant, which arrived by ship.
The Third International Sculpture Symposium took place on July 7 – August 17, 1995. It was attended by artists from Japan, Cyprus, the USA and Lithuania. Elena Urbaitis, an American of Lithuanian origin, created a composition Reflectiveness. She was the first Lithuanian emigrant artist who participated in a project of Europos Parkas. Two publications about the sculptures of the Museum were issued.
In August 1995, a direct one-kilometre road to the Park and two parking lots were built.
In August – September 1995, at the invitation of the US Information Agency (USIA), the head of the Museum took a refresher course in major museums of the USA (in about 40 museums of Washington, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Santa Fe, California and New York). The course was funded by the USIA.
In April – November 1995, ten road signs, giving directions to Europos Parkas, were built.
In 1995, the area of the exposition was being expanded, several ponds were dug and the woodland was being cleared.
In 1995, the Park started implementing the Europos Parkas Membership Programme.
In May 1996, Gintaras Karosas took part in the International Conference of the Association of Residential Arts Centres Res Artis in Ireland. Gintaras Karosas was the only participant representing the arts centres of Eastern and Central Europe. His participation was funded by the European Council.
In May 1996, on the initiative of Kestutis Labanauskas, park specialist, Vilnius Nature Protection Society complemented the exposition of the naturally growing Lithuanian trees of Europos Parkas. The Society planted the trees that were common in Lithuania but had not been growing in the Park.
In 1996, Monument of the Centre of Europe, a landscape sculpture by Gintaras Karosas, was completed. In this work, on grey-granite plates the author chiselled the names of all capital cities of Europe and respective distance from the Centre of Europe to each of them. Monument of the Centre of Europe was sponsored by: the Macedonian Government, the Embassy of the Republic of Germany in Vilnius, and Joint Venture Baltexfilm, official representative of Fujifilm in Lithuania.
The Fourth International Sculpture Symposium took place on July 5 – August 15, 1996. It was attended by sculptors from Mexico, the USA, Holland, Peru and Lithuania. Mexican sculptor Javier Cruz created a monumental 6,5-metre-high sculpture Woman Looking at the Moon. The Lithuanian part of the exposition was complemented with the sculptures of Lithuanian artists Bronius Vysniauskas, Aloyzas Smilingis, and emigrant sculptor Vytautas Kasuba.
In 1996, Chair/Pool (6m x 5 m x 5,5 m), a sculpture by the famous conceptualist Dennis Oppenheim, was erected. The giant chair contains more than 2 tons of water.
On October 2, 1996 Algirdas Brazauskas, President of the Republic of Lithuania, visited the Museum.
On October 5, 1996 Europos Parkas invited the interested public to the presentation of new works.
In 1996, the Museum had 30 000 visitors.
From 5 July to 15 August 1997, artists from Japan, Egypt and Great Britain took part in the Fifth International Sculpture Symposium. On 10 August 1997, the general public was invited to the presentation of the works created.
In 1997, after arrangements with world famous artists Dennis Oppenheim and Sol LeWitt were made, models, drawings, and descriptions of their works were received and engineering calculations made. Soon after, construction work of Oppenheim’s Drinking Structure with Exposed Kidney Pool and LeWitt’s Double Negative Pyramid began.
In September 1997, Prof. Magdalena Abakanowicz and art critic Michael Brenson visited the museum.
In October 1997,
Abakanowicz began work on her landscape in Europos Parkas.
In 1997, two
colour publications about the Museum of the Centre of Europe were published.
In May 1998, sculptor Cristina Biaggi sent her bronze sculpture
From 1 to 28
July 1998, the First Plainair of Young Artists from Eastern and Central
Europe was held. Artists from Croatia and Moldova took part. The aim of the
plainair was to consolidate cultural ties among young artists from
neighbouring countries which share similar historical experience.
In July 1998,
Tread Lightly on this Earth was installed.
From 1 to 28
August 1998, the Sixth International Sculpture Symposium was held. The wide
artistic spectrum of the sculptures created (Jann Rosen-Queralt’s
Loci:Aero, Karen McCoy’s
contemplating Lithuania, Janet Echelman’s
Trying to hide
with your tail in the air) attested to the innovative significance
of the event.
1998, the Venezuelan sculptor Miguel Sanoja presented Europos Parkas with
1998, the landscape project
Unknown Growth by Magdalena Abakanowicz was completed. The
impressive landscape – the range of massive boulders, and twenty-two
variously sized man-made forms – spans the area of 2,012 square metres.
Structure with Exposed Kidney Pool, the second sculpture by Dennis
Oppenheim at Europos parkas, was built. The sculpture was sponsored by
In 1999, composed of several thousand concrete blocks, the work
Pyramid by world famous minimalist Sol LeWitt was built.
In spring of 1999, Gintaras Karosas finished his landscape project For Your Convenience.
In June 1999, French director Thierry Spitzer was shooting a documentary about Magdalena Abakanowicz in Europos Parkas.
On July 1-28, 1999 the Second Plenary of Young Artists from Eastern and Central Europe was held. It was attended by artists from Belarus and Russia.
On August 1-28, 1999 the Seventh International Sculpture Symposium took place. It was attended by artists from France, Great Britain, Canada and the USA. Installation of Spider Web Sails by Corine Beoust on the trees of the Park was possible only with the help of climbers.
In 1999, the major part of the project by Czech artist Prof. Ales Vesely was completed.
In 1999, footpaths were made on the whole 55 ha territory, a large area of woodland was cleared, and the seventh pond was dug.
In July – September, 1999 during the initiative Give Europe your old TV set, people brought more than 3,000 TV sets for the erection of a sculpture made of TV sets.
In 1998, eight coloured publications in the Lithuanian and English languages were issued, and a map of the park was drawn. The plan provides the footpath network, indicates the place of each sculpture on the territory, its author, and title.
In 1999, Europos Parkas had 40 000 visitors.
In the spring of the year 2000, some areas of the exposition were rearranged, including the placement of sculptures to the sites more suitable for them. The footpath network of Europos Parkas was being expanded and improved.
In 2000, benches for visitors were being built on the whole territory of the Museum, and an information stand was built at the entrance to the Park.
In July 2000, on the initiative of the Russian Embassy, famous Russian sculptor Zurab Cereteli donated the Museum his sculpture Good Defeats Evil.
On August 1 - 28, 2000, the Eighth International Sculpture Symposium was held.
In the year 2000, the project of Ales Vesely was being carried on. Finally, the sculpture was made of 40 tons of steel, 4 tons of stainless steel, and 100 tons of concrete for the foundation. The sculpture required great input and original solutions not only in the process of production of the sculpture but also when transporting it. Vesely’s was sponsored by AB Fermentas.
In the year 2000, Gintaras Karosas built LNK Infotree - the largest sculpture of TV sets in the world. The landscape sculpture occupies an area of 3135 square metres, and the aggregate weight of the TV sets is more than 150 tons. For painting the wooden structure of the sculpture 500 litres of paint were used, the walls of the labyrinth were covered with 6000 square metres of UV-resistant plastic cover, and the roof of the labyrinth was covered with bitumen cover of 700 square metres. The silhouette of the sculpture from the bird’s eye view looks like a tree with Lenin’s sculpture lying in the central part of the labyrinth.
In December 2000, Gintaras Karosas, President of Europos Parkas, received an invitation to visit the Louisiana Modern Art Museum, which is considered one of the most beautiful open-air museums. Poul Erik Tojner, Director of the Louisiana Museum, and Kjeld Kjeldsen, its curator, told Gintaras Karosas how the museum had been created and what programmes had been carried out there. In Denmark, head of Europos Parkas visited Tickon Sculpture Park on Langeland Island and met the Park’s founder – sculptor Alfio Bonanno.
In April – May 2001, American artist Mara Adamitz Scrupe, using solar power, created a unique sculpture in Europos Parkas – Suspicious Science.
On April 19, 2001 LNK Infotree by Gintaras Karosas was officially opened. The sculpture was nominated for the Guinness World Records as the largest project of TV sets in the world.
In June 2001, a museum souvenir shop was opened.
On June 31, 2001 the Park hosted a work by Adomas Jacovskis, famous stage designer – a 4,5-metre-high and 6-metre-long Lying Head.
In July 2001, Beverly Pepper, the prominent Italian sculptor of American origin, visited the Museum. She chose a place in Europos Parkas for her grand project – a sculpture-theatre.
On July 28, 2001 Ukrainian sculptors, who took part in the Third Plenary of Young Artists from Eastern and Central Europe, introduced their works.
In August 2001, two Indian artists – Ashish Ghosh and Vibha Galhotra were working in Europos Parkas. They created installation tittled Intimate Beauty.
In the summer of 2001, due to the increase of the number of foreign visitors, the plans of Europos Parkas were translated into the Russian, German, French and Polish languages.
On September 21, 2001 during the Vilniaus Dienos Festival, Chamber of Light by famous Czech artist Prof. Ales Vesely was solemnly opened. It is the largest and the heaviest sculpture ever created in Europos Parkas. A steel structure that weighs forty-four tons with swinging floor had been produced in four different factories of Lithuanian and the Czech Republic for several years. The author came to Europos Parkas from Prague to take part in the opening ceremony of the sculpture. It was his twelfth visit to the Park. The same day Vesely presented Point of Ambivalence, another sculpture created by him in Europos Parkas, and an exhibition of drawings.
In September 2001, the central part of the Museum was lighted.
In September 2001, Gintaras Karosas began work on his landscape sculpture The Place.
On October 12, 2001 Europos Parkas celebrated its tenth anniversary. During the celebration Gintaras Karosas, founder of the Museum, organised a tour around Europos Parkas, telling visitors about the latest and the most famous exhibits. Guests watched films by Algirdas Tarvydas, and Audre Kudabiene and Gintaras Kudaba, and an exhibition of photographs from the First International Sculpture Symposium.
On December 1, 2001 the Europos Parkas Post Office was opened.
In December 2001, for his initiative and creativity, Gintaras Karosas, head of the Museum, received the St Christopher’s statuette (an award of the city of Vilnius.)
In 2001, Europos Parkas had 60 000 visitors.
In March 2002, construction of an educational centre began. In the near future it will help to expand the museum’s activities. To introduce the history of Europos Parkas to the visitors, to present the accumulated photo and video materials, and, of prime importance, to implement various educational programs.
In 2002, another pond in Europos Parkas was dug; the footpath network is continuously being cleared and improved, as well as the huge territory of the forest is being cleaned and preserved; new sites for sculptures are being prepared.
On April 4, 2002 a ceremony and press conference was held at which the leader of the “Factum” agency Vytautas Navaitis presented the creator of LNK Infotree Gintaras Karosas with the Guinness World Record certificate. The certificate acknowledges LNK Infotree as The World’s Largest Sculpture made of TV sets.
On May 9, 2002 dignitaries and the public visited Europos Parkas to celebrate the Day of Europe. At the park guests met with President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, the head of European Commission delegation in Lithuania Michael Graham, Minister of Foreign Affaires of Lithuania Antanas Valionis, chief negotiator with European Union Petras Austrevicius and others. The entrance to the Park was free.
On May 10-12, 2002 the head of the museum Gintaras Karosas presented a paper Europos Parkas: Realization of Artistic Idea at the international conference in Palanga, The Road of the Parks and Gardens: Experience and European Projects.
In July 2002, the Fourth Plenary of Young Artists from Eastern and Central Europe was held at Europos Parkas. It was attended by sculptors from Hungary, Georgia, and Lithuania.
In August 2002, the Tenth International Sculpture Symposium took place. DeWitt Godfrey (U.S.A.) created the largest object, Europe Sculpture. To make it 3.5 tons of steel squares and more than two thousand bolts were used. Japanese artist Akihiko Kuwayama created a steel Snake that hides in the grass. The collection of Europos Parkas was enlarged by the three artworks by Lithuanian artists: Threshold 1838 by Egle Kuckaite, Dreamy Pillow by Mija Dzeinara Ubartas, and White by Arturas Raila.
In August 2002, Dutch artist Peter Djelan created nine masks in Europos Parkas and placed them in the trees, representing their souls. This installation is a part of a larger project: to travel across the 15 EU member-states and 12 candidate countries and to accomplish in each of them an artistic work.
In August 2002, a record-breaking number of visitors enjoyed Europos Parkas. Attendance has grown by more than 27 percent in comparison with August 2001. 11,325 visitors attended the Museum to watch the artists creating and to enjoy their artworks.
In August 2002, Europos Parkas website was supplemented with 360° photographs by Richard Kambak.
On September 30, 2002 Dr. Rokas Bernotas, the ambassador of Lithuania to the Council of Europe, visited Europos Parkas together with the directors of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe: H.P. Laurens, J.E. Dinsdale, H. de Jonge, P. Blair. The guests were acquainted with the history and collection of the Park. They commended the founder of the Museum Gintaras Karosas for his wonderful idea and its realization, also noting that Europos Parkas deserves to be well-known around the world. According to the guests, Europos Parkas sends an important message to the world about the peaceful coexistence of different cultures. The result of this meeting was the exhibition of the photographs of Europos Parkas in the Council of Europe’s headquarters in Strasbourg.
On October 3, 2002 Europos Parkas invited the representatives of the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism and Lithuanian Tourism Foundation, the executives of Tourist Information Centres, the guides to a gathering. Gintaras Karosas thanked the guests officially for their cooperation, rejoiced at the increasing number of visitors, and wishing all the very best in the forthcoming season.
On October 4-6, 2002 the art manager of Europos Parkas participated in the International ECOS (European Community of Stone) Conference in Ireland. During the conference the activities of Europos Parkas were presented. As well, the possibilities of participation in international projects with EU countries were investigated.
In 2002, the students of Vilnius Pedagogical University together with Prof. Vytautas Dvareckas started scientific research of the flora and fauna, water reservoirs and soil of Europos Parkas.
In 2002, Europos Parkas initiated the international project European Space: Expanding and applied for financial support to the EU program Culture 2000.
In December 2002, with the days becoming shorter, night excursions with burning torches around the Park became very popular. Seeing the sculptures with burning torches in their hands, illuminated sculptures, and attractive fire works created a festival atmosphere and left unforgettable impressions for the visitors.
In 2002, expansive coverage about Europos Parkas was made by Russian TV channels, TV-Centr and ORT, as well as ARTE channel and LRT (Lithuanian National Television).
The museum’s events were followed by the mass media, being widely discussed in the Lithuanian National Television programs Kulturos Namai, Panorama, Labas Rytas, Sekmes Formule, the dailies Lietuvos Rytas, Respublika, Verslo Zinios, Kauno Diena, the weekly 7 Meno Dienos, Integracijos Zinios, Muziejininkystės Biuletenis, as well as in the internet portals: Omni Laikas, Delfi, Info.lt.
Europos Parkas was featured in the magazines like Nordisk Museologi, Bildkonstnaren (Sweden), Espace/Sculpture (Canada), and books by Marianna Butenschon Litauen. Kultur and Geselischaft (German) and by George Christea Jakten pa Europas mittpunkt (Sweden).
While making films about Lithuania and Europos Parkas, filmmakers from around the world (Finland, Russia, Germany, Austria) presented Europos Parkas as a symbol of Lithuanian integration to European Union.
In 2002, Europos Parkas had 65 000 visitors.