In Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, lies the Antanas Zmuidzinavicius museum. Antanas Zmuidzinavicius was a famous 20th century Lithuanian painter who collected a lot of spooky folk art. This museum, which is in his old apartment in a stoneclad Soviet block, holds 3,000 statues, artefacts and likenesses of Satan. It’s kind of corny but we love things with the devil on them so we sent our Baltic contact Povi over to Kaunas to have a look around the place and check in with the museum’s director, Jurgita Rimkute.
Vice: These statues are fucking great. Is the job any good?
Jurgita Rimkute: I’ve been working here for a bit more than two years, the staff and I get along really well, it is all pretty normal. I do like it here, and it is not because of the devils. We’re not the Devil Museum, by the way, we’re a Museum of Devils.
Hmm, OK. What type of music do
you play in here? Any black metal?
No. We only play classical music. I am not sure rock music would be appropriate.
I disagree, but fine. Do you get
negative comments from locals?
The locals are very supportive and very proud of the museum. If you asked anyone in the town what’s the most interesting place in Kaunas worth visiting, most of them would say the Museum of Devils. We even have visits from local church people and their guests. They come here trying to get to know the devil better—so they can battle him better.
Are there any scary stories about
There have been a few times when cleaning ladies freaked out. One time they found a sealed packet squeezed in the gap between the front doors, which they thought was a bomb. And we do have some strange regulars who visit the museum. One lady visits us the same time and day every year. We think she’s from the USA, but we’re not sure.
There must be more than that.
There was a big deal made about light bulbs exploding above one of the statues. People freaked out and scrapped all the lights—but it turned out to be a power problem, because we’re sharing the same electricity line with the hospital next door. Whenever they used their equipment, our lights blew.
Do any of you feel a Satanic
presence in the museum?
There is a very weird feeling near the place where the “Hitler and Stalin” sculpture is. We were told by a visiting parapsychologist that this particular one has the worst “energy” of all the statues. Yet strangely it is also the most popular with visitors.
Do you believe in the devil?
Yes and no. I don’t think I believe in a devil like these ones at the museum, but at the end of the day I do believe in God, so I am supposed to believe in the devil as well.
Yeah, I guess that’s the deal. What
about the guy who collected all
these freaky statues?
Antanas Zmuidzinavicius started collecting the devils, and his goal was to collect 169 figures, but now we have more than 3,000 here.
POVILAS UTOVKA AND CASKA HEMELRYK