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    Intercity 'portals' connect Lublin and Vilnius

    Two giant portals sending live video have been erected in the Polish city of Lublin and the Lithuanian capital city Vilnius, through which residents of the two cities can now see each other going about their daily lives in real time. The installation has turned out to be a real hit among the locals. On July 1st 1569, the Union of Lublin was signed in Lublin, creating the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth out of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland.

    Vilnius residents waved to their counterparts in Lublin, while people in the eastern Polish city waved back and danced for the camera.

    The sculpture, named ‘Portals’, stands in front of Vilnius’ main railway station, while the portal in Poland stands on Lublin’s Lithuanian Square. They are separated by 415 kilometres.

    The creator of ‘Portals’, Vilnius-based artist Benediktas Gylys, said the aim is to break down barriers between different places and cultures, and the project planned to build dozens of such portals around the world.

    “Basically we are erasing distances and Portal is an 11-tonne bridge to different cultures, to different countries, and we plan to make dozens of these around the globe. So that you could travel, you could stand close to the portal and you could travel to different cultures in like three minutes. One minute you are in Bangkok, another minute you are in Lublin, the third minute you are somewhere in Chicago, and you’re seeing that everyone is basically the same – waving at you, that they are not your strangers that they are here to support you.” stated Gylys.

    The 24-hour live video from each city is mute, so the only way for passers-by to communicate is via body language.

    Lublin residents have been coming constantly to see people in Vilnius, Krzysztof Stanowski of the city’s International Cooperation Centre told Reuters.

    Vilnius residents said the portal’s appearance was positive. The Union of Lublin, binding Poland and Lithuania together, lasted until the third partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795  by Prussia, Russia and Austria.




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