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Moscow joins celebrations of 500th anniversary of Belarusian book printing

Society 05.06.2017 | 18:39
Photo courtesy of the press service of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia
Photo courtesy of the press service of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia

MOSCOW, 5 June (BelTA) – Moscow has joined the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing. The business and culture center of the Belarusian Embassy in Russia hosted a roundtable “Diplomacy of the word: 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing in the context of the world culture” on 5 June, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian embassy.

Belarusian Information Minister Lilia Ananich noted that the event was timed to coincide with the participation of Belarusian publishers in Red Square Book Festival in Moscow. “The presentation of Belarusian books near the Kremlin, at the heart of the Russian capital, is a symbolic, important, and good sign. Our participation should lead to further development of Belarus' humanitarian space,” the minister stressed.

She pointed out that the year 2017 celebrates Francysk Skaryna and the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing. Francysk Skaryna's Psalter published on 6 August 1517 was the first printed book in the Belarusian language. This is why this day is marked as the beginning of the Belarusian book printing.

Lilia Ananich briefed the participants about the events held in Belarus to celebrate the first Belarusian book printer. UNESCO's decision to include the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing in the 2017 list of anniversaries attests to the international recognition of Francysk Skaryna's legacy.

“In his works, we can trace the spirit of enlightenment, democratic traditions of the Renaissance and cultural ties with foreign countries. This year, we hold presentations of books about Francysk Skaryna in different countries, including Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, China, Serbia, and others. Today books and cooperation between publishers are a very important humanitarian bridge of friendship,” Lilia Ananich emphasized.

The roundtable was held to talk about the role of literature in maintaining mutual understanding and fraternal relations in the CIS, the traditions of friendship of writers in the post-Soviet space, the ways of improving cooperation in culture, and the development of the Belarusian book printing in the context of the world history. The meeting also discussed the translation of Francysk Skaryna's works into the languages of the CIS, preserving his legacy.

Mikhail Shvydkoi, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation, emphasized the need to promote the Belarusian literature and its outstanding classics in Russia and other CIS member states. He suggested encouraging the translation of the Belarusian literature, facilitating the cooperation between publishers and book distributors of Belarus, Russia and other CIS countries.

A number of constructive ideas for cooperation were put forward by First Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Nash Sovremennik magazine Alexander Kazintsev, Director of the Mastatskaya Litaratura publishing house Alexander Badak, First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Union of Writers Yelena Stelmakh, head of the international relations department at the Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences Kazbek Sultanov, Chairman of the Federal National-Cultural Autonomy of Belarusians in Russia Sergei Kandybovich, Chief Editor of the Union. Belarus-Russia newspaper Olga Gerasimenko, and deputy head of the periodical press department of the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications Gennady Kudy.

Natalia Vashchilo, an advisor with the Belarusian Embassy in Russia, talked about the activities of the Belarusian diplomatic mission to promote the Belarusian literature and art. She said that in September, the embassy will host events dedicated to Francysk Skaryna: the exhibition “Skaryna's Book Legacy” by the Belarusian National Library and the production “Skaryna” by the Mogilev Regional Drama Theater.

As he summed up the results of the meeting, Belarusian Deputy Information Minister Alexander Karlyukevich, the moderator of the event, said that today's discussion and meetings of writers of Belarus and Russia and other countries of the CIS will be continued as part of new publishing projects held to promote the development of the national literature in the CIS member states.

The roundtable was organized by Belarus' Information Ministry, the Union of Writers of Belarus, the Zvyazda publishing house with the support of the Embassy of Belarus in Russia.

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