Brest takes over as Belarus’ Cultural Capital

Official passing of symbols of national campaign held at Academic Drama Theatre during solemn closing of January Music Evenings International Classical Music Festival

Official passing of symbols of national campaign held at Academic Drama Theatre during solemn closing of January Music Evenings International Classical Music Festival

Local authorities joined the public, and diplomats accredited in Brest, for the official ceremony. Among the honorary guests was a delegation from Grodno — the 2014 Cultural Capital — led by Mayor Mechislav Goi. Belarus’ Culture Minister, Boris Svetlov, congratulated Brest residents on their new status, presenting Brest Mayor Alexander Rogachuk with a certificate and a symbolic glass statuette, which depicts a stork and Brest’s emblem.

Brest is Belarus’ sixth Cultural Capital, following in the footsteps of Polotsk, Gomel, Nesvizh and Mogilev. According to the Minister, the national campaign was held at the high organisational and artistic level in Grodno. “It is symbolic that Brest takes over this year, when we mark the 70th anniversary of victory over the Nazis. The bravery of the Brest Fortress defenders has entered the annals of the Great Patriotic War in golden letters. One of the main events will be the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hero Fortress title being awarded to Brest Fortress,” notes Mr. Svetlov. The Minister congratulated the staff of the memorial complex on being presented with the President’s special award to figures of culture and art. He thanked the personnel for helping with the patriotic education of young people and for preserving historical memories.

Mr. Svetlov hopes to see all cultural organisations across the city and the region unite efforts this year, including for creative youth initiatives, taking into account that 2015 is the Year of Youth. “I’m confident that the main goals of the campaign will be successfully fulfilled: the development of creative initiatives and artistic endeavours; the presentation of cultural identity; and the enhancement of the region’s tourist attractiveness,” summed up the Minister.

Brest’s Mayor noted that, thanks to this great initiative of the Culture Ministry, every Belarusian city has the chance to hold the title, for at least one year. “We anticipate not only many events but also hard work. We’ll do our best to meet the level shown by Grodno and we’ll try to do even better. I want Brest to become not only cultural capital but also capital of investment, construction, industry and sport. However, the main thing is that every Brest resident should feel cultured and patriotic,” underlined Mr. Rogachuk. Brest is planning to hold at least 150 original national and regional art projects, alongside campaigns and forums, in 2015. Most will relate to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory.

By Victor Panin
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