Estate currently seeking its owner

Today, little remains of the once magnificent Reytan family estate in the village of Grushevka

Today, little remains of the once magnificent Reytan family estate in the village of Grushevka, in the Lyakhovichi District: a patrimonial burial vault, an entrance pomfret, an outbuilding and several utility structures — in all 12 buildings.
By Artem Kiriyanov

Today, little remains of the once magnificent Reytan family estate in the village of Grushevka, in the Lyakhovichi District: a patrimonial burial vault, an entrance pomfret, an outbuilding and several utility structures — in all 12 buildings. The wooden mansion is among them, distinguished by its huge size. Close to, you need to throw back your head to see to the top. Its architecture is unique but fragile, having slowly rotten over the decades.

Reytan family burial vault

Reytan family burial vault


The Guidance Counsellor for Protecting Historical and Cultural Heritage, at the Department of Ideological Work, Culture and Youth Affairs, with Lyakhovichi District Executive Committee, Natalia Skripnik, tells us that the estate house is included on the State List of Historical and Cultural Heritage. The site currently lacks an owner and only two of its buildings remain in use: stables used by Lyakhovichsky agricultural production co-operative.

The estate house and other buildings are protected by patron organisations, including Lyakhovichsky co-operative, secondary school #2 in Lyakhovichi, and Lyakhovichi Agrarian College. There are no current schedules for restoration, due to lack of funds.

Seeing Grushevka falling into ruin, artists Zmiter Yurkevich and Ales Rodin from Minsk decided to help the estate last spring, establishing the Tadeusz Reytan Art Community (honouring the deputy of the Sejm from the constituency of Novogrudok, who opposed the partition of the Rzech Pospolita at the end of the 18th century).

Zmiter Yurkevich tells us that they launched the organisation with a grand spring subbotnik (day of unpaid work) and have since been promoting their campaign via Dakh festivals of modern art, drawing attention to the collapsing estate. Zmiter believes that the name of national hero Tadeusz Reytan deserves recognition, being sadly forgotten today. The native of Grushevka set an example of reckless love for his country and brave patriotism, undeterred by threat, punishment or temptation. Jan Matejko’s painting of Tadeusz is widely known, depicting the courageous man lying in a torn shirt near the doors of the assembly hall. The hero is said to have shouted: ‘Kill me, but do not kill the Fatherland!’.

Next year will see the 275th anniversary of the birth of Tadeusz Reytan, with the Art Community planning several events to raise the profile of his estate, and its prospects for renovation. The District Executive Committee is to discuss the Grushevka estate’s future, at a session of the council of deputies. Zmiter Yurkevich hopes that the complex will remain state property, becoming a national historical and cultural treasure.
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