On the southern border of Lithuania, next to the backwoods of Belarus, lies Druskininkai, population 20,000. The town is known for two things: its water and its artists.
The water stems from underground minerals that turned the sleepy hamlet into a spa town. As for the artists? Somehow, Druskininkai was home to two acclaimed ones.
The first was Mikalojus Chiurlionis, perhaps Lithuania's premier artist of all time. (One might say but that's akin to being the tallest midget, but let's cut the Lithuanians some slack.) The second was Chaim Lipchitz, who was born in the town.
Lipchitz didn't stay there long, however. In his teens, he moved to Paris, befriended Picasso and Modigliani, and changed from Chaim to Jacques. In the 1930s, he fled France for the US. Much of his late life was spent in Italy. In between those travels, Lipchitz managed to become one of the world's premier cubist sculptors.
So how did a small Lithuanian town manage to have such an artistic history?
There's gotta be something in the water...