Diverse heritage of national classic

The State Literary Museum of Yanka Kupala stores over 560 manuscripts by the great writer
By Kirill Kudrin

According to its director, Yelena Matevosyan, the museum owns more than 42,000 items relating to the literary genius, including a rare and valuable collection of 562 manuscripts by Kupala. Last month, the museum gained three more to add to its previous 559 texts. “In Belarus and abroad, there are few museums which can boast so many manuscripts by our national legend,” Ms. Matevosyan asserts.

This year, the museum celebrates two  memorable dates: the 130th anniversary of the birth of the People’s Poet of Belarus (being widely celebrated here and abroad); and 50 years of the museum’s independence. In 1962, as a result of the reorganisation of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, it passed to the control of the Ministry of Culture.

The State Literary Museum of Yanka Kupala in Minsk is one of the oldest literary museums in the country. Previously, there was only one such institution — the House-Museum of Adam Mickiewicz in Novogrudok. Over its 50 years of independence, its members have established four exhibitions exploring the creativity of the writer. The first stage of the fifth exhibition opened in early August and is interactive: at the entrance to the hall, every visitor receives 3D-glasses, allowing them to better feel the atmosphere of a magical Midsummer holiday. It also introduces the poet’s pictures, books, media publications, household goods and personal items. His study is even recreated.

Ms. Matevosyan views We Read Kupala’s Works Together as being among the most significant events organised to date for the 130th anniversary. Works by the national poet of Belarus were read by residents of all ages and social groups. The village of Vyazynka hosted the Republican Festival of Poetry, Song and Craft With One Thought on the Happiness of Belarus, with about 7000 people taking part.

The number of foreigners visiting the Museum of Yanka Kupala is ever increasing, especially those from neighbouring countries Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Many also visit the branch in the village of Vyazynka.
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