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Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius hopes to make use of Pope Francis' upcoming visit in September to promote the Lithuanian capital and attract more tourists.
Remigijus Šimašius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

The mayor on Thursday discussed details of the visit with Vilnius Archbishop Gintaras Grušas. According to Šimašius, Vilnius authorities plan to organize any maintenance work in the city in a way that will not disturb the visit, and major focus will be put on the media accompanying the pope.

"We won't build any Potemkin villages and paint the grass but, naturally, there are certain things and, for example, there shouldn't be any ongoing work, it must be finished before the visit or started after it. With no doubt, we need a special program for journalists so that they are not only accompanying the pope but are also able to see the city", the Vilnius mayor said.

Around 200 journalists from around the world will come to Vilnius with the pope, the municipality said.

Archbishop Grušas called on Vilnius Municipality to make proper preparations for the visit of the head of the Catholic Church and to cooperate on creating possibilities for Vilnius residents and guests to meet Pope Francis and "hear his words for every Lithuanian man".

"We can show our capital's hospitality and introduce Vilnius and Lithuania to the world", Grušas was quoted a statement released by the Archdiocese of Vilnius.

Pope Francis is set to pay a visit to Lithuania on Sep. 22-23 and will visit Vilnius and Lithuania's second-largest city of Kaunas, and will later travel to Latvia and Estonia.

BNS
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