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Museum diorama manages to fully reflect courage, great tragedy and true heroism

First battle diorama of defence of Minsk opens at Belarusian State Museum of Great Patriotic War History
By Karina Kurskaya

The Defence of Minsk on June 25th-28th 1941 diorama, created by the Moscow Studio of Military Artists, shows one of the most dramatic pages in the defence of Minsk: fighting near the town of Zaslavl. Action takes place on the earth and in the sky, with Soviet soldiers accurately portrayed as having a very limited number of tanks and artillery and little ammunition, yet destroying enemy armoured vehicles with Molotov cocktails. Meanwhile, pilots from the 207th bomber aviation regiment turn themselves into fire rams. In the foreground, refugees look out directly from the canvas. The accompanying soundtrack brings the scene to life, with the roar of planes and tank engines, the sound of exploding shells and heroes speaking.

The museum’s Director, Sergey Azaronok, believes that it manages to fully reflect the tragedy and heroism of the Soviet people in defending the city. He tells us, “It absolutely corresponds to the time, having been discussed not only by the artistic council (which met here) but with veterans, whose opinions are vital.”

At the opening of the exhibition, the State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, Grigory Rapota, praised the diorama and the work of the museum in general. He noted, “The exhibition leaves strong impressions and the museum does well in achieving its educational role. The diorama fully reflects events from that difficult time, describing many interesting episodes.”

The diorama has been commissioned for the new museum building (opening in 2014) with 70 other smaller installations also planned. The aim is to give visitors a feeling of being immersed back in time.
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