Partnership helps acquire rarities

16th-17th century Lithuanian map on show at National History Museum of Belarus
By Tatiana Pastukhova

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has assisted the museum in buying the valuable exhibit. As Belarus’ Deputy Culture Minister, Tadeush Struzhetsky, noted at the unveiling of the map, co-operation between the museum and JTI is a bright example of public-private partnership. He asserts that the Ministry will continue working on attracting sponsors and patrons, realising various interesting and important cultural projects.

The 16th-17th century Lithuanian map comes from the famous Atlas sive Cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricate figura, which shows that part of Belarus which was within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was compiled by the famous Flemish cartographer, geographer, engraver and publisher Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594) and was part of the atlas in 1623. It’s an extremely important authentic document and is unique for Belarus; only one of its kind was made earlier, between 1592 and1602.

Co-operation between the National History Museum and Japan Tobacco International began in 2010 and, since then, over 20 joint projects have been realised. Viktor Lukyanov, the Manager for Corporate Affairs at JTI in Belarus, notes that the company sees its mission as one of support for cultural institutions, helping preserve and promote our national historical and cultural heritage. The company pursues this policy in all countries in which it is present and liaises with such world known museums as the Louvre in France, the Prado Museum, La Scala in Italy, Russia’s Hermitage and the British Museum.

According to Mr. Lukyanov, joint projects by the museum and his company have won the ‘Best Partnership’ nomination for the Museums of Belarus in the Third Millennium contest, held in Grodno as part of the 1st National Museums of Belarus Forum.

In 2012, the National History Museum bought valuable exhibits and organised two international exhibitions with financial support from Japan Tobacco International.
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