MINSK, 29 December (BelTA) – A monument to prominent Belarusian poet Yanka Kupala was unveiled in Ashdod, Israel, on 29 December, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Embassy in the State of Israel.
The monument was erected in the square which was named after Yanka Kupala in 2012 in honor of the 130th anniversary of his birth. This is a joint initiative of the Belarusian Embassy in Israel and the local branch of the National Association of Immigrants from Belarus, implemented thanks to the support of the city administration. This is the second time a sculpture in memory of a great Belarusian poet was installed abroad. The first one was built in New York.
The opening ceremony was attended by about 60 guests, including representatives of the Israeli political and business communities, city administration and the diplomatic corps, civil society, media and the Belarusian community. "Yanka Kupala's art is a beautiful symbol of the unity and friendship of the peoples, an example of intercultural tolerance and understanding," Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Israel Vladimir Skvortsov said during the ceremony. "It is encouraging that the memorial was made by Vladimir Payin, a talented sculptor, a native of Belarus, who personified the close historical and cultural ties between the two peoples in his work," the diplomat said.
According to Vladimir Skvortsov, the event is very important for the Belarusian-Israeli interaction. “2015 can be broadly described as the year of friendship between the two countries. Together we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, sharing the same view of this big event. Visa requirements were abolished in late November, which brought the Belarusian-Israeli relations into a qualitatively new format, opened new horizons for cooperation,” the Ambassador said. “I am sure that the square of Yanka Kupala and the monument in his honor in Ashdod will become another bridge between the cultures of our countries and a clear confirmation of the strong Belarusian-Israeli friendship. It will also be one of the attractions of the city, for foreign tourists and our countrymen,” the diplomat noted.
Ashdod is home to one of the largest and most active Belarusian communities in Israel which makes a contribution to the promotion of the cultural dialogue. Ashdod is also a sister city of Brest where a monument to Israeli Prime Minister, Nobel Peace Prize Menachem Begin, who was born and raised in the Belarusian town, was opened.
The Ambassador read out a greeting message from Belarus Culture Minister Boris Svetlov who stressed that the opening of the monument in honor of Yanka Kupala is the evidence of strong cultural ties between the people of the two countries, mutual understanding and a deep respect for the common history. "In our days, when, unfortunately, many interethnic and interreligious conflicts deteriorated, each step aimed at strengthening and developing international cultural and social contacts is an important contribution to the preservation of peace,” Boris Svetlov said.More about Society