Authors united by common interests

Belarusians Vladimir Lihodedov and Vladimir Peftiev delight readers with wonderful new edition

Belarusians Vladimir Lihodedov and Vladimir Peftiev delight readers with wonderful new edition

Cover of Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great
Duke Vladimir book-album
In 2015, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia celebrated the 1000th anniversary of the death of Great Duke Vladimir, the baptiser and enlightener of Rus, the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles. The anniversary was marked by a number of church, public and state events, including the unveiling of monuments, consecration of churches to honour the Great Duke, a scientific conference and the release of numerous editions and publications.

Among the books launched for the celebration was an edition entitled Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Duke Vladimir, co-authored by Vladimir Lihodedov and Vladimir Peftiev. The book is based on illustrations from the authors’ collections and primarily features old postcards and photos depicting Orthodox churches from the time of St. Vladimir. Monuments, cities, avenues, streets and other establishments have been named after him and are also represented in the book. There is also an historical essay devoted to the Rus baptiser’s life and deeds, as well as his relics and all forms of veneration.

The beautifully designed and printed book is among the best editions devoted to the 1000th anniversary and continues the In Search of the Lost series, run jointly with SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper and Zvyazda Publishing House.

Historian, collector and deltiologist Vladimir Lihodedov is well known in Belarus, thanks to his numerous publications. Besides In Search of the Lost, he has released several albums, including: St. Alexander Nevsky; The Year of 1812; Minsk: Time Travel; Tadeusz Kościuszko in Old Photos and Graphics; Synagogues; Stars of the Motherland; Belarus Through the Lens of a German Soldier, 1915-1918; and Adam Mickiewicz. Mr. Lihodedov’s books have been presented to the US Congress Library, as well as at book fairs in Frankfurt, Warsaw and Vilnius. The author has also organised several shows of postcards and photos devoted to late 19th-early 20th century Belarus.

Enthusiast Lihodedov is planning to open a museum dedicated to the printing and paper business in Minsk and Vileika, featuring restored printing machinery, able to republish editions by Frantsisk Skorina and Ivan Fiodorov, as well as ancient etchings and engravings. Already, he has used 16th century technologies to print a Skorina Bible.

The historian has been studying publishing, investigating documents containing information on the technologies used for paper making and publishing. Using engravings from Skorina’s times, he made a printing device, and set up the text of the Bible, to print on hand-made flax paper, produced using ancient scraping technology. He made seven copies of the Skorina Bible in this way (only a few exist in the world — including one in Belarus).

Belarusian specialists have highly praised the quality of the printed book, as have Moscow and St. Petersburg experts, saying that it closely resembles the original. It’s not difficult to produce a reproduction these days but it’s rare to see an edition made using ancient methods.

Mr. Lihodedov plans to print other editions released by 16th-17th century Belarusian publishing houses, and has received attention from Russia, Poland and Germany. The Poles, in particular, are keen to reproduce the Zabludowski Gospel.

In 2006, Mr. Lihodedov received the ‘For Spiritual Revival’ Award, as did his colleague and friend Vladimir Peftiev, who is mostly known among businessmen: as a passionate collector, a local land researcher and a patron. Mr. Peftiev devotes much time to his hobby and follows the best traditions of the famous business elite, such as factory owner Postnikov, and merchant-collectors Sorokin, Tretyakov, Shchukin and Vakhromeev (a grandfather of the Metropolitan Filaret — Vakhromeev). Their names are still remembered for their contribution to preserving cultural treasures. No doubt, Mr. Peftiev’s name will remain in Belarusian history not for his commercial successes but for his work in the service of culture, the nation and the public. The more he achieves in this field, the greater status his legacy and memory will be given.

Mr. Lihodedov and Mr. Peftiev have been working in tandem for a long time, having jointly published The Chronology of the 1812 War in Old Postcards and Graphics to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1812 War. They have also organised a thematic exhibition and unveiled a monument to 1812 victims not far from Vileika. The two are united by common interests and hobbies and share a love of cultural heritage. We cannot but appreciate their enduring efforts and wish them all possible luck in their noble activity.

Priest Gordey Shcheglov, a Professor at Minsk Theological Academy
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