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Original copy of Gutenberg Bible on first ever display in Minsk

Society 12.09.2017 | 17:12
Photo courtesy of the Belarusian National Library
Photo courtesy of the Belarusian National Library

MINSK, 12 September (BelTA) – An original copy of the Gutenberg Bible will be displayed at the exhibition Francysk Skaryna and His Epoch at the National Library of Belarus, BelTA learned from the library.

The unique book, which is considered to be the most ancient, renowned, and expensive edition in Europe, will be brought to Belarus from Germany on 12 September.

A fragment of this rare artifact belongs to the German National Library, Leipzig. The edition, accompanied by bibliographers, diplomats, and security guards, will be delivered to the Belarusian National Library by a special flight. It will go on display at the international exhibition Francysk Skaryna and His Epoch from 15 September.

The Gutenberg Bible is traditionally viewed as a starting point of book printing in Europe and a turning point marking the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern period. Printed in the noble Gothic type, the book has been acknowledged as a masterpiece of exquisite printing and artistry. The whole Bible is divided into two columns. Capital letters and headings are ornamented by hand in color.

Only several copies of this unique edition have survived. Very few countries can afford to showcase this book in public. The exhibition in Belarus has been made possible thanks to the German embassy in Belarus and the German National Library.

A facsimile reproduction of the complete Gutenberg Bible made in Leipzig in 1913 will be exhibited alongside the original copy in order to complement the image of the unique edition. Today the facsimile is also considered to be a bibliographic rarity. It was provided by the Russian State Library, Moscow.

The international exhibition Francysk Skaryna and His Epoch will be inaugurated at the Belarusian National Library on 14 September during the international congress 500 Years of Belarusian Book Printing. It will open to public from 15 September.

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