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Restored Gospel of 1600 on display at National Art Museum in Minsk

Society 21.09.2017 | 17:14

MINSK, 21 September (BelTA) - The exhibition “Book treasuries. Books made by the printing houses in Belarus in the 16th – early 19th centuries from the holdings of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus” is dedicated to the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing, BelTA has learned.

At the opening ceremony Director General of the National Art Museum Vladimir Prokoptsov said that the event is a modest contribution of the museum to the commemoration of the important dates. For his part, Deputy Director of the National Library Ales Susha noted that the National Art Museum shows an example of how to preserve the book heritage which occupies a worthy place in the museum expositions.

The exhibition presents the restored Gospel of 1600. This Gospel was printed by the printing center “The Mamonich House” in Vilna, the largest Belarusian printing center of the late 16th- early 17th centuries. The Mamonich brothers initially used the services of Pyotr Mstislavets, the closest associate of Ivan Fedorov. Four engravings of the evangelists in this edition go back to the images of Gospel of 1575, the first edition made by this printing house.

Book restoration expert Andrei Krapivka brought the edition back to life ahead of the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing. The restoration process is shown in the photos also presented at the exhibition. On display is the cover of the Gospel of the later period - the 19th century.

The exhibition feature a dozen of editions by the Belarusian printing houses from the museum which holds 192 books. Most of the books are Orthodox and Uniate editions, books intended for Old Believers.

Another rare edition on display is kafisty Vsesedmichnye (The Acathistos for All Week). It was printed in 1698 by Maksim Voshchanka in the Mogilev fraternal printing house which printed over 40 editions in late 17th -18th centuries.

The exhibition features the Prayer book of 1794 meant for Old Believers published in the famous printing house of the Basilian Holy Trinity monastery in Vilnius.

One more exhibit is the Evangelia in Festis (the New Testament for Holy Days) printed in Latin in 1765 by the printing house that was based in the Suprasl Orthodox Monastery during 1692/96-1803.

The exhibition includes one of the publications of Polotsk's Piarists printing house, Missale Romanum (book containing the prayers, important chants, and necessary instructions for the celebration of the mass) of 1826.

Some books have beautiful covers, for example, the New Testament cover of 17-18th centuries which hails from Church of Saint Nicholas in Ureche (Minsk Oblast). Different techniques such as casting, minting, engraving and others were used in its creation.

The exhibition is running from 20 September till 19 October.

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