A real-time video portal has been unveiled in Vilnius, connecting locals to the Polish city of Lublin.
Framed in grey concrete, the virtual bridge allows residents of the Lithuanian capital to see and visually communicate with passersby standing at the “other end” of the portal, more than 550 km away.
“The portal is a bridge to unity, an invitation to rise above prejudices, above the disagreements that belong to the past, it’s an invitation to rise above the illusion of us and them,” said Benediktas Gylys, the president of Benediktas Gylys Foundation and the ideator of the PORTAL project.
“PORTAL reminds us that we must not allow the pandemic to suspend contacts between neighbours, undermine solidarity and international cooperation,’’ said Krzysztof Stanowski, Director of the International Cooperation Centre, and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland. “By participating in the project, we want to recall and emphasize the historical role of cities in building a space of freedom and tolerance.”
The two Harry Potter-esque structures weigh 11-tonnes each, costing £111,000 in total. The project was partly funded by the Lithuanian and Polish municipalities, as well as the Benediktas Gylys Foundation, after the it won a competition aiming to promote tourism in the Lithuanian capital city.
In the future, there are plans to also build portals connecting Vilnius to Reykjavik and London.