• January 20, 2015
  • 191

Belarusians want to reactivate Belarusian Museum in Vilnius

The Belarusian community wants to reactivate Iwan Łuckiewicz’s Belarusian Museum in Vilnius. The institution operated from 1921 to 1945. It was the centre of social life of Vilnian Belarusians in the pre-war Vilnius. The Belarusian dissident Aleś Bialacki and the activist of the Belarusian community in Lithuania Liudvika Kardis talked with the Mayor of Vilnius Artūras Zuokas about the potential reactivation of the museum..

Aleś Bialacki pointed out that reactivation of Belarusian museum is very important because it would be an important centre of culture and education for Belarusians living in Vilnius. According to him, such an institution would interest numerous visitors from Belorussia. The Mayor of Vilnius Artūras Zuokas is of a similar opinion. “It would be the place which shows an independent and European view on the history of Belarusian-Lithuanian relationship” – said Artūras Zuokas.

The collection of a Belarusian ethnographer and archeologist Iwan Łuckiewicz and the pieces provided by private individuals: Eustachy Tyszkiewicz and Bohdan Danieyko constituted the basis for the creation of Łuckiewicz’s Belarusian Museum in 1921. Its place of residence was located in the Basilian monastery at Ostrobramska 9 Street. The museum’s collection contained such valuable pieces as the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1588 published by Mamonicz printing house, Ewangelie Nowogródzkie (Evangels of Nowogród) from the end of XIV century, Al-Kitab; books printed in the Belarusian language in Iwye, Vilnius, Supraśl, Nesvizh and Slutsk; a fragment of Francysk Skaryna’s Prague Bible from 1517. The museum’s collection was so extensive that by 1939 the administration was still describing its pieces. Since its establishment, Antoni Łuckiewicz, the brother of a Belarusian ethnographer and archeologist Iwan Łuckiewicz, has been the director of the museum.

The museum ceased to exist by the end of 1944. The part of the collection that was not plundered during the warfare was distributed among different institutions in USRR; some of the valuable pieces can be found in Belorussia.

Based on: vilnius.lt, kamunikat.fontel.net

Translated by Tomasz Szatkowski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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