Topping the prize rankings

Dmitry Strukov. Album of Drawings. 1864-1867 facsimile edition, released in 2011 by Petrus Brovka Belarusian Encyclopaedia Publishing House, awarded winner’s diploma and Grand Prix at 9th CIS International Art of Book Contest, hosted by Astana
By Svetlana Iskortseva

The unique photo album, belonging to the Encyclopaedia of Rarities series, aims to reveal forgotten historical and cultural monuments, while promoting the revival of national traditions to the younger generation. The book contains watercolours by Russian painter, architect and researcher of Christian relics Dmitry Strukov, created between 1864 and 1867, during expeditions through the Northern-Western lands of Tsarist Russia. The album contains pictures of around 200 wooden and stone Orthodox and Catholic churches, most of which are no longer standing, in addition to drawings of church relics, gravestones, ancient mounds and views of towns and villages. Alongside Strukov’s drawings, the edition also gives fragments of his itineraries and commentary by contemporary art experts. There is only one original, held by the Rare Book Department of Vilnius University Library, which has never been on show to the public.

The Grand Prix wasn’t the only award won by the Petrus Brovka Belarusian Encyclopaedia Publishing House at the contest in Astana. Its Live Faith. Vetka, released this year jointly with Moscow City’s Department for Mass Media and Advertising, won a first degree diploma in the ‘Commonwealth’ nomination. The edition continues the Encyclopaedia of Rarities series, showing works from Vetka Museum of Folk Arts (named after F.G. Shklyarov).

Back in the 17th century, Old Believers settled in Vetka and neighbouring areas, coming from various Russian regions, including from Moscow. Belarus’ largest centre of Old Believers originated in Vetka, boasting a culture uniting Russian and Belarusian roots and making a priceless contribution to the cultural traditions of our two states.

In total, 121 editions from 10 countries took part in the event — from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Our country presented 23 books, of which 13 are released by state publishing houses. These were entered in all the contest’s nominations and, after summarising the results, Belarus took the lead for the number of awards. Domestic book publishers were awarded seven honorary diplomas of various degrees.

According to the Belarusian Information Ministry’s Department for Publishing Activity and Book Trade, the solemn awards ceremony of the 9th CIS International Art of Book Contest will take place in September, at the 25th Moscow International Book Fair. The winning editions will be displayed at a show run by the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, before being donated to the Museum of CIS History. Next February, the best books from across the CIS will grace the 20th Minsk International Book Fair.
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