Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Change in Lithuania

...just a small, fairly insignificant one. The most recent British Ambassador, Colin Roberts (photo from Lietuvos Rytas), is leaving his post, as they do every few years.

It's a shame that the support foreign countries give to culture (or anything else, I suspect), is so dependent on the personality and interests of the ambassador. Mr Roberts' successor was a great supporter of the arts, and especially music, in Lithuania, as have been the last three German ambassadors, a Spanish ambassador, the Armenian one (who, based in Warsaw, has a bit of a commute to get himself to the Filharmonija...), the Americans come and go. The British embassy (all of them) has been spectacular by their absence in this regard. Obviously the discovery of culture by the UK government ('every child shall have five hours of arts a week') has not percolated into every nook and cranny of her officials. That can be a shame as far as fairly culture interested intelligentsias as in Lithuania are concerned.

(The British Council, while not bad on the visual arts, appears to know nothing about music if it's not hip-hop so there's no great hope there. But BC, as an NGO, could not possibly be seen as representing HM Government anyway).

Let's see what happens next.