Foreign guests arriving as top-level delegations often bring gifts for their hosts, and these frequently find their way into the Museum of Modern Belarusian Statehood. Recently, gifts from 2015 went on show.
Last year, our country became a political centre of integration, while hosting negotiations to settle conflicts of international importance. Nina Kolymago, the Deputy Director of the National History Museum, tells us, “What else besides gifts demonstrates so well our multi-vector policy and our interaction with other countries.” It’s hard to argue. The exhibition demonstrates Belarus’ warm relations with dozens of countries — including China, India, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Serbia.
Russia occupies central place, since our countries enjoy more than partner relations. Probably with this in mind, Vladimir Putin presented a 20-piece Moscow Kremlin tea set last year, made from bone china and hand painted with non-glazed paints, with gold — to serve six. Other items provoking conversation are a casket, a sweet box and a crystal vase.
There are many vases in the exhibition: one in stone, presented by an Indian delegation; one of painted glass, donated by the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao; and a hand-made crystal vase, given by Gerard Depardieu. Last summer, Alexander Lukashenko chatted with the famous French actor and the pair tried their hand at scything hay. The episode is depicted on the crystal.
There’s a horse figurine from Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a Miniature Yurt given by Kyrgyzstan’s President, Almazbek Atambayev, and a small replica of the royal crown of the Silla dynasty, which was given by Korea’s National Kenji Museum.
As Ms. Kolymago wisely notes, each gift’s value rests on its exclusivity, rather than the value of the materials used.
The Head of the International Co-operation Department at the Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University, Svetlana Kobachevskaya, explains that the exhibition arouses much emotion in visiting foreigners and delegations, since not all states enjoy a warm relationship with Belarus, as is evident from the gifts given.
The show moves to Moscow soon and will then tour Belarus’ regional centres.
By Natalia Stepuro