Lithuanians present Baltimore with Zappa sculpture

American musician Frank Zappa is to be honoured with a statue in his hometown of Baltimore created by fans from Lithuania, an ex-Soviet Baltic state Zappa never visited during his life-time.

The statue, to be unveiled on Sunday, is a replica of one that has been standing in the Baltic state's capital Vilnius since 1995, a photo artist behind the idea, Saulius Paukstys, told AFP on Tuesday.

"We're honouring the artist who influenced the development of culture for more than a generation," Paukstys said in Vilnius, before heading to the ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland.

"Zappa was a universal artist, active in social life and his influence goes far beyond activities as musician or composer," he added.

Paukstys was one of a group of enthusiasts who established a Frank Zappa fan club in Lithuania 15 years ago.

He said the popularity of the Zappa sculpture in Vilnius among tourists encouraged him to go ahead with idea to unveil similar bust in the US.

After consulting an American diplomat, the Lithuanians chose Zappa's hometown of Baltimore to host the monument, instead of Los Angeles where Zappa spent most of his life and died in 1993 aged 52.

Paukstys said there was nothing strange about Lithuanian Zappa fans building a statue in the US.

"That is how democracy works. If we have the serious idea, we can implement it. We like Zappa. Maybe somebody else will honour Beatles in the same way," he said.

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