Born Romain Kacew (Katsev) and raised a few doors from here at what’s now Basanavičiaus 18, Romain Gary became a prize-winning author after moving to France with his mother when he was 14. Following a distinguished war record as a pilot in the Free French Air Force, Gary published his first novel, Education Européenne, in 1945. Perhaps best remembered for writing the screenplay to the 1962 film The Longest Day, Romain Gary was married twice, held the unique (and illicit) distinction of winning the Prix Goncourt on two occasions and suffered from bouts of depression, a fact that led to his suicide in Paris on December 2, 1980. Unveiled in 2007, Romas Kvintas’ statue shows a boy clutching a galosh, recreating an alleged moment during the author’s childhood in the city when he reportedly ate one of his overshoes in an attempt to impress a girl living next door, a scene recreated in his 1961 autobiographical novel Promise at Dawn.
City centre location