This Sunday, on October 8th, at 18:00, a new neo-fresco titled ‘Nezlamna / Unbreakable’ will adorn the center of Vilnius, dedicated to the strength and unbroken spirit of the Ukrainian people. The new neo-fresco, covering several hundred square meters, will appear in a prominent location, rising above the Neris River, on the building at A. Juozapaviciaus Street 9, with the wall for the artwork provided by Turto Bank.
The ‘Nezlamna’ neo-fresco is a collaborative project involving creators from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Estonia. It is dedicated to the unbroken resolve of the Ukrainian people to defend their freedom, emphasizing the significance of intangible cultural heritage that brings together communities and nations.
The same team that turned the so-called Moscow Houses into a symbol of Ukrainian strength last year, creating the neo-fresco ‘Do peremogi / To Victory,’ is implementing this project. The latter fresco, following the demolition of the Moscow Houses, will not be forgotten – preparations are underway for an auction where the artwork will be sold in parts. All funds raised will be directed to the public organization ‘Blue / Yellow,’ supporting Ukrainian soldiers.
A part of the creative team from Ukraine, including the photographer Elena Tita and Tetiana Drobotia, who is portrayed in the artwork, will specially arrive in Vilnius for the opening of the neo-fresco.
“We already feel a special atmosphere as the painting work on the ‘Nezlamna’ neo-fresco begins. The robot ‘Albertas,’ arriving from Estonia, started painting on Friday morning and will continue on Saturday. We invite everyone to come and witness this extraordinary painting method. On Sunday, join us, along with the Ukrainian and Lithuanian communities, to welcome the new artwork in the heart of Vilnius,” says Aiste Ulubey, one of the project organizers and the founder and CEO of the Art Agency Artscape.
According to Migle Masanauskiene, the project co-organizer and head of the secretariat of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO, this fresco demonstrates the strength of Ukrainians and the importance of traditional culture. “Traditions passed down from generation to generation bring communities together and provide strength, but they are just as fragile and vulnerable as material values. In the center of this fresco is a woman adorned in festive attire with traditional patterns, standing in the war-torn Kakhovka Dam, bearing witness to Vilnius residents and those who found refuge in Vilnius about the importance of cultural memory, identity, and the unity of Ukraine and Lithuania,” says M. Masanauskiene.
“Upon receiving the question of whether we have a suitable place for an exceptional artwork, we suggested a building in the city center visible from the entire central part of the city. It is like a kind of statue of freedom dedicated to the struggle of Ukrainians,” says Ernestas Cesokas, Acting Head of the Finance Department of Turto Bankas.
Symbol of Ukrainian Strength
At the center of the fresco is the same volunteer from Zaporizhia, T. Drobotia, who last year “conquered” the so-called Moscow Houses. This determined girl, adorned in a Ukrainian designer’s outfit with national patterns, is now depicted standing on a rock in the outskirts of Zaporizhia. The tragic realities of war are immortalized here, using a photograph from the series by photographer E. Tita, taken in Zaporizhia after Russia exploded the Kakhovka Dam. E. Tita has been documenting the realities of war in the Zaporizhia region for the past two years.
Tetiana is also adorned specifically for this fresco with a costume created by Ukrainian designers, featuring abundant elements of traditional Ukrainian textiles. The interpretation of the national costume also includes the vyshyvanka, an essential part of Ukrainian cultural identity, which gained significant symbolic meaning during the 2014 Maidan uprising and the war initiated by Russia against Ukraine.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). On this occasion, initiatives worldwide are dedicated to the custodians, supporters, and creators of living traditional cultures and intangible cultural heritage.
The large-format artwork on the building belonging to Turto Bankas will be moved using the unique invention created by the Estonian artistic and engineering collective ‘Robot Muralist.’ The robot ‘Albertas,’ a creation of the Estonian artistic and engineering collective ‘Robot Muralist,’ will paint the mural with aerosol paints. After the ‘Do Peremogi’ neo-fresco, this will be the second artwork in Lithuania implemented using this technology.
Invitation to Welcome the Mural Together
The opening of the ‘Nezlamna’ neo-fresco, accompanied by a concert by the ‘Maryna Pylypenko Ensemble,’ is scheduled for October 8th at 18:00 near the building at A. Juozapaviciaus Street 9. A large group of Ukrainians, who carry the message of Ukrainian strength, will gather for this occasion.
The opening will be addressed by the Ambassador of Ukraine in Lithuania, Petro Besta, the organizers of the event, and the creative team with Tetiana, the heroine of the fresco, at the forefront, adorned in an impressive costume.
The event host is Svitlana Zaluzhna, a refugee from Ukraine who found shelter in Lithuania and an activist who, in 2022-2023, created the UA+LT-TULA project with the aim of integrating and enriching Ukrainian and Lithuanian families through culture and art – a project that promotes unity.
The musical part of the program will feature the ‘Maryna Pylypenko Ensemble’ (ethno jazz), a trio of Ukrainian and Lithuanian musicians. Maryna, a singer from Dnipro, actively pursued a musical career in her hometown, worked as a vocal teacher in Odessa, and performed Ukrainian songs. In Lithuania, she continues her artistic activities, performing concerts and participating in events dedicated to supporting Ukraine.”
The project is partly funded by the Chancellery of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and Turto bankas.
Organised by Art Agency ‘Artscape’, Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO
Partners: art laboratory ‘Kiaurai sienos’
Creative and Production Group:
Neo-fresco: art director Lina Šlipavičiūtė (Lithuania), Robot Muralist (Estonia), model Tetiana Drobotia (Ukraine), photographer Elena Tita (Ukraine)
Costume: dress and necklace – designer George Lvov (Ukraine); crown – Natalia Boiko (Ukraine); costume consultant – Serhiy Bilivnenko (Ukraine), Doctor of History, expert in social anthropology, Associate Professor at the Department of History, Zaporizhzhia National University.