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Make Everything Great Again

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Make Everything Great Again
Street art mural ″Make Everything Great Again″ depicting US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump giving a French kiss to Russian president Vladimir Putin
ArtistDominykas Čečkauskas, Mindaugas Bonanu
Year2016 (2016)
TypeStreet art
Dimensions250 cm × 450 cm (98 in × 177 in)
ConditionPainted over
LocationVilnius, Lithuania
WebsiteOfficial website

Make Everything Great Again was a street art mural by artists Dominykas Čečkauskas and Mindaugas Bonanu.[1][2][3] It was located on the wall of the barbecue restaurant Keulė Rūkė (Lithuanian for "Smoking Pig" (literal translation "The pig was smoking")) in the railway station area of old town of Vilnius in Lithuania.[2][3]

The mural depicting then U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump giving a fraternal kiss to the Russian president Vladimir Putin was unveiled in May 2016. The caption Make Everything Great Again plays on Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again".[4]

The Keulė Rūkė restaurant closed its doors in October 2019.[5] Since July 2019, the mural was reported to have been painted over with a message "make empathy great again", although a small version of the original mural remained on a wall in the inner courtyard of the building.[6][7]



The artwork was unveiled in May 2016.[8] Make Everything Great Again appeared on the wall after Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump exchanged statements of mutual admiration, with the President of Russia describing Donald Trump as "a very colorful person, talented without any doubt,"[1][9][10] with Donald Trump replying that it was "a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond."[9][11]


The image drew inspiration from photographs from 1979 of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing as part of the socialist fraternal greeting which in turn inspired the 1990 graffiti painting My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love portrayed on the Berlin Wall by Dmitri Vrubel.[2][3][12]

One of the artists, Dominykas Čečkauskas, owned the restaurant that had asked for the artwork.[1][9][12] He said in an interview: "We saw similarities between the two heroes (Trump and Putin). ... They both have an ego that is too big, and it is funny that they get along well." Čečkauskas said "We are in a sort of a Cold War again, and America may get a president who will want to be friends with Russia."[13] The artists, with the help of the mural, predict that if Russia and the US would ever "make out, it would happen in the Baltic states ... with tongues or with tanks.”.[14] The other artist, Mindaugas Bonanu, has stated that the kiss is not necessarily homoerotic. "I think there's nothing gay about them. They are kissing, right, like a Soviet Union thing; I think it's more about the past. But a lot of people especially in the US don't know the history," he has been cited as saying.[15]

Vandalism and restoration[edit]

In August 2016, the mural was defaced by unknown individuals with white paint.[16] It was subsequently restored, albeit changed into an image of Trump and Putin shotgunning a joint.[17]

Government reaction[edit]

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius emphasized the values of civil liberties in his city in a statement to Lithuanian media organization LTnews.net: "There is no censorship in our city. That's why I support the idea of making this graffiti. It shows that Vilnius is the city of freedom, love and beauty."[18] Šimašius further remarked on a post to his Facebook: "Vilnius is a city of freedom, where we don't have to be afraid of weapon rattling just several dozen kilometres away and express what we believe in without censorship."[18]


The work rapidly became popular and commented upon both within its home country and in global newspapers.[9][2][3] BBC News commented, "Once the initial shock has passed of seeing such testosterone-fuelled survivors of Cold War tension kissing, a closer look at the mural reveals a level of subtle political commentary that cuts against the superficial sensation."[19] Esquire called it "a provocative mural, to say the least."[4] Market Watch noted the mural had the impact of "sending a few ripples across the globe."[20]


  1. ^ a b c Johnston, Jules (14 May 2016), "Donald Trump kisses Vladimir Putin on wall of Lithuanian restaurant", Politico, retrieved 12 June 2017
  2. ^ a b c d Taylor, Adam (16 May 2016), "This artist's interpretation of Putin and Trump kissing cannot be unseen", The Independent, archived from the original on 20 August 2016, retrieved 12 June 2017
  3. ^ a b c d Krupkin, Taly (18 May 2016), "Graffiti of Trump Passionately Kissing Putin Goes Viral", Haaretz, retrieved 12 June 2017
  4. ^ a b Griffin, Elizabeth (15 May 2016), "Here's Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Kissing", Esquire, retrieved 12 June 2017
  5. ^ "Keulė Rūkė". Keulė Rūkė - Facebook. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  6. ^ "It's gone .... - Review of Putin/Trump Mural, Vilnius, Lithuania". Tripadvisor. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Вместо граффити с Путиным и Трампом в Вильнюсе появился новый рисунок" [A new drawing has appeared in the place of the graffiti of Trump and Putin in Vilnius]. www.obzor.lt (in Russian). 22 July 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  8. ^ Moran, Lee (16 May 2016), "Donald Trump And Vladimir Putin Will Not Like This Street Art Mural", The Huffington Post, retrieved 12 June 2017
  9. ^ a b c d Neidig, Harper (14 May 2016), "Mural of Trump kissing Putin goes viral", The Hill, retrieved 12 June 2017
  10. ^ Diamond, Jeremy; Botelho, Greg (18 December 2015), "Putin praises 'bright and talented' Trump", CNN, retrieved 12 June 2017
  11. ^ Worland, Justin (17 December 2015), "Donald Trump Calls Putin Compliment a 'Great Honor'", Time, retrieved 12 June 2017
  12. ^ a b della Cava, Marco (15 May 2016), "Putin kissing Trump mural goes viral", USA Today, retrieved 12 June 2017
  13. ^ Taylor, Adam (13 May 2016), "The Putin-Trump kiss being shared around the world", The Washington Post, retrieved 12 June 2017
  14. ^ Prince, Lauren (14 May 2016), "Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin Lock Lips in Lithuanian Street Art", NBC News, retrieved 12 June 2017
  15. ^ Naylor, Aliide (8 August 2018), "The Strange Roots of the Homophobic Trump-Putin Kissing Meme", Frieze, retrieved 19 September 2019
  16. ^ Shearlaw, Maeve (12 August 2016). "Vandals censor image of Putin snogging Trump in Lithuania". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  17. ^ See This Putin & Trump Street Art in Vilnius, Lithuania, 14 June 2021, retrieved 18 May 2022
  18. ^ a b "Trump-Putin kiss makes Vilnius 'city of love' – mayor, Delfi", The Lithuania Tribune, 16 May 2016, retrieved 12 June 2017
  19. ^ Grovier, Kelly (18 May 2016), "What does the Trump/Putin kiss really mean?", BBC News, BBC, retrieved 12 June 2017
  20. ^ Coffey, Michelle (14 May 2016), "A mural of Trump kissing Putin on the lips is being shared everywhere", Market Watch, retrieved 12 June 2017