Artists Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas are representing Lithuania at the 52nd Biennale di Venezia with a project devoted to the past and present of Villa Lithania in Rome, the Lithuanian embassy in Italy, operating from 1933 to 1940 when it became a possession of the URSS after the Soviet occupation of the baltic republic. The keys of the property were handed by Italian authorities to Russians and since then, regardless the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1990-91, the Villa has been remained a Russian property. Nowaday it is considered to be the last occupied territory of Lithuania.
Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas are taking up its cause through a highly symbolic project: a pigeon race to send a peace message from Lithuania to Russians at Villa Lithuania in Italy.
Ilaria Vanni, lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Tecnology di Sidney met Simon Rees, the commissioner for the artists at the 2007 Lithuanian Pavilion and curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Vilnius. Lithuania, its cultural scene and the construction of a cultural and national identity in the face both of Russia and Eruope are the main issues of their conversation.