Legendary citadel recalls the past

Brest-Litovsk Fortress photos on display in the centre of London

By Anastasia Krutova

The Brest-Litovsk Fortress photo exhibition is being hosted by Pushkin House, located in the heart of the British capital. The show includes over 60 copies of photos from the Museum of the Defence of Brest Fortress archives. These cover the 170 year history of the legendary citadel, from its first day of the foundation stone being laid to the present. The exhibition opens with a photo of a painting by Polish artist Martin Zaleski. At the invitation of Count Paskevich, he visited the fort in 1840 and captured its construction in his drawings. There are also some interesting photos depicting the arrival of Emperor Alexander III at Brest-Litovsk Fortress in 1886, and a photo of the White Palace, where the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed in 1918.
A separate block of photos is dedicated to the heroic defence of the fortress during the Great Patriotic War. The exhibition also features shots of the peaceful life of the legendary citadel: the construction of the memorial and its monumental structures that have become the hallmark of not only the memorial but the city of Brest.

The exhibition first went on display in the UK in 2009. Its organisation was assisted by British Russell Porter. In February 2009, he paid a visit to Brest and saw Brest Fortress. He was greatly impressed with the Brest-Litovsk Fortress photo exhibition, which was then on display in Brest, and expressed willingness to organise a show in the UK, to allow his countrymen to see the stunning photos. Mr. Porter’s initiative was supported by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to the United Kingdom, H.E. Mr. Alexander Mikhnevich. With support from the Belarusian Embassy, the exhibition opened in Maldon in September 2009, later moving to Bristol, Glasgow, Durham, Cardiff, Newcastle, Inverness, Nottingham, Duxford, Liverpool and Cambridge. The exhibition also travelled to Jersey, where Soviet prisoners of war, including Belarusians, were forced into labour.

The exhibition is expected to further tour Europe, with talks underway regarding organisational issues.

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