Even when rushing down the busy Basanavičiaus Street, it is hard not to notice the ornate mansion of Israel Bunimovich that is now the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The main façade is eye-catching for its harmony and luxury. The sharp-eyed passer-by will probably notice the colourful ceiling mouldings and sophisticated lights, but this building conceals much more.
Ministry employees rush through its high corridors every day. The filled doors adorned with carvings are constantly being opened and closed, and meetings are held in the representative halls. Your eyes are drawn to the ornate ceiling mouldings, gold-plated details, glazed tile stoves, and inlay wood flooring decorated with intarsia. Life revolves around the main axis of the building – the central staircase decorated with stained glass by artist Kazimieras Morkūnas.
The history of the building is no less colourful than that of its owner. Israel Bunimovich was a merchant, banker, philanthropist and public activist who participated in many activities and projects. With 10 children, he was the head of a large family, and was also one of the leaders of the community. The modern solutions that he called for meant that the building had many different functions. It had flats that were rented out, it housed various assistance committees, the radio, and a museum, and it hosted banquets and charity events. During the tour, you will be able to get acquainted with the building’s memorable architecture and ever-changing history.