Four kilogram folio
The Treasures of Belarusian Museums catalogue, presented in Minsk, is a first edition and lists the most precious museum exhibits in the country
By Vladimir Mikheev
The Treasures of Belarusian Museums catalogue, presented in Minsk, is a first edition and lists the most precious museum exhibits in the country.
The Treasures of Belarusian Museums catalogue is a unique, gilt-edged folio edition weighing around four kilograms. The 500-page catalogue contains information about 250 rare items from 32 Republican, regional and district museums of Belarus.
During presentation of the Treasures of Belarusian Museums catalogue
Work on the catalogue began two years ago. The authors started by gathering information and working with museums remotely. After that, the specialists organised an expedition, during which they visited funds of different cultural establishments and museum expositions.
The catalogue features unique collections of icon paintings, sculptures, carvings, and decorative-and-applied arts of great cultural and artistic value. The visual factor also significantly influenced the selection process. “In Belarus we have artefacts that could have been included in the catalogue, but unfortunately today their condition leaves much to be desired, so we did not include them,” explains the Candidate of Philological Sciences, Irina Laptenok, Pro-Rector of the Culture Institute of Belarus. “The edition features items dating back to 3,000 BC. It also contains artefacts that today have no equivalents in Eastern Europe. The most recent items of the catalogue date back to the late 18th-early 19th century. Although we exceeded the planned volume of the catalogue by a factor of two, we didn’t manage to include all the items that had been selected in this edition.”
The catalogue has been issued in three languages: Belarusian, Russian, and English. Ms. Laptenok believes that it will be interesting, not only for specialists, but also for the general public. “The book has many pictures and photographs larger than A4 in size. Moreover, it includes enlarged fragments of each item,” she added.
The catalogue has been created for the presentation of Belarusian culture abroad, and is expected to contribute to co-operation with other countries. The edition has already become part of the funds of the National Library, as well as regional and university libraries.