MINSK, 8 December (BelTA) – Plans are in place to expand the Museum of Gifts in the Palace of Independence beyond the hall on the third floor into other premises, Press Secretary of the Belarusian President Natalya Eismont told the participants of the excursion around the Palace of Independence in Minsk, BelTA has learned.
The Museum of Gifts holds hundreds of different items, souvenirs, works of art presented to Aleksandr Lukashenko by foreign leaders, politicians, delegations, diplomats, world-famous people, and also fellow countrymen and domestic enterprises. There are elegant Chinese vases, sets of carved chess, a whole arsenal of cold arms and even pistols and an assault rifle. On display are also paintings, a glove from a space suit, a variety of figurines, traditional outfits of different peoples. A separate exposition is dedicated to sports gifts: hockey jerseys with autographs of famous players, medals, souvenirs, a hockey stick and many more.
The participants of the excursion asked the press secretary which of the exhibits she considers the most precious, not in terms of financial value but in terms of importance. Natalya Eismont found it hard to answer, saying that it is difficult to choose from such a diverse collection of memorable items.
There is, however, one exhibit that has immediately won her heart. It is a bouquet of cornflowers - an exquisite artistic composition, a true piece of art. This work is so dainty that the flowers look alive. Cornflowers are a symbol of Belarus. The flower adorns the traditional Slutsk sashes and celebrated in the poetry of Maksim Bogdanovich who called it “the flower of the Motherland”.
The author of the work is Kobrin-born artist Nikolai Kuzmich. The souvenir “Cornflowers” was given to the president on behalf of residents of Brest in September 2019 (as the city marked its 1,000th birthday) as a token of respect for the president's attentive attitude to the history of the city and personal contribution to its development. On that memorable day, the head of state gave Brest a unique copy of the Brest Bible (so-called Radziwill Bible), which is the most valuable edition. It was printed in 1563 at the Brest printing house, which was considered the first printing house on the territory of modern Belarus. The bible was commissioned and financed by Prince Nikolai Radziwill the Black, headman of Brest.
Natalya Eismont also said that the museum storerooms contain a lot of gifts to the head of state from organizations and enterprises of the country. When representatives of different regions come on a tour to the Palace of Independence and visit the museum, they sometimes ask where they can see the gift they presented to the president. “Unfortunately, there is not enough space in the hall to house all the exhibits,” Natalya Eismont explained. According to her, plans are in place to study the possibility to expand the exhibition using other halls of the palace.