Kaunas, Lithuania's second-biggest city, is set to be crowned the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2022.
In the meantime, the city has begun to celebrate this illustrious new title with a weekend festival dedicated to the town's Jewish heritage. In honor of these festivities, three massive murals representing the city's most famous and influential Jewish residences are all set to be unveiled.
Kaunas, known in Yiddish as Kovno, was home to over 30,000 Jews, 25% of the city's population on the eve of World War II. The city was also known around Europe for the important Jewish cultural and educational institutions that resided within it.
Following the Holocaust, nearly all of the city's Jewish community perished, with only 2,000 recorded survivors.
One of the murals is of the prolific Israeli poet Leah Goldberg, painted on a building in the central Kaustono Street, where her family resided before immigrating to Israel in 1935.
The mural, done by the young Lithuanian artist Linas Kaziulionis, measures 15 by 10 meters and includes an image of Goldberg along with her poem "Oren" (Pine) in Hebrew and Lithuanian.
At the unveiling ceremony, organized by the Israeli embassy in Lithuania, several of Goldberg's poems were read in Hebrew and Lithuanian by Bella Shirin, an Israeli living in Kaunas.
Israel's envoy to Lithuania, Yossi Levi, said: "If the great poet Leah Goldberg, who her whole life missed this beautiful city, was able to see her face looking at her on the street where she resided as a young woman - she would have felt enormous joy."