Posted: 07.06.2023 10:45:00

Belarusian Statehood. Chronicle of our time

The Museum of Modern Belarusian Statehood not only takes us to the past, but also makes us think about the present

Darya Titova

Statehood is the most important value and testifies to the nation’s ability to develop independently — the President of Belarus is convinced of this, and this point of view has found a warm resonance in the hearts of Belarusians. Belarusian statehood has its own history and foundations, as well as unique and unshakable symbols, institutions and traditions. The Belarusian Statehood project of The MT tells about the main ones.

The President of Belarus,     
Aleksandr Lukashenko,

“Accessibility is number one issue! This museum is not for me — I can tell a lot about our modern history. The museum should be for those who do not know all this. Therefore, there should be maximum openness.”

During the grand opening of the Museum of Modern Belarusian Statehood on June 22nd, 2012

‘Smart’ museum

The Museum of Modern Belarusian Statehood is part of the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus, and is considered one of the important information, presentation and communication centres of Belarus.
The uniqueness of the exposition is the wide use of multimedia technologies: touch kiosks, ‘smart light’ systems, an electronic review book, multimedia control tablets and others. For example, when a guide speaks, only the exhibit in question is highlighted. Thus, the attention of visitors is not scattered.
The main leitmotif of the museum exposition is the achievements of the country during the years of state independence, international recognition of the national identity of the Belarusian people and the sovereignty of the Belarusian state.

Yury Mozolevsky

The exposition is located in six halls and covers the period of modern history of Belarus from 1990 to the present day. The leading place in the exposition is given to the processes of formation of the presidential republic, constitutional reforms, the establishment of state symbols, the functioning of government bodies, as well as the achievements of our country in the socio-economic, cultural, sports, scientific and other areas.
For the creators of the museum, it was important to emphasise the connection with the thousand-year history of the Belarusian nation. That is why in the introductory hall, in a place of honour, you can see the coat of arms of ancient Polotsk — the city from which we count the Belarusian statehood.
Beautifully executed models of architectural monuments that have been built or reconstructed over the past decades flaunt here — from the Mir and Nesvizh Castles to the National Library and the All Saints memorial church in Minsk. 
The first hall of the main exposition is dedicated to the state structure of the Republic of Belarus. Within its walls one can get acquainted with documents and video materials from the period of the formation of modern Belarusian statehood, as well as with presidential and state symbols, banknotes and coins of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, state awards and Heroes of Belarus.
The museum has many originals of various documents of the highest level. For example, there is the text of the oath and the certificate of the President of the sample of 2010. Another exhibit is the Decree on the Transfer of the Celebration of Independence Day from July 27th to July 3rd, according to the results of the 1996 referendum.

Yury Mozolevsky

There are decrees that approve the current state symbols — the State Flag, the State Emblem, and the State Anthem.
The original podium, which is used during the presidential inauguration ceremony is the most photographed item in the museum. It exists in a single copy, but is not stored behind glass. Pictures with it are allowed.

People first

The Belarusian state is first of all people. It is their talents, labour achievements, feats in the name of saving others that underlie the reputation of our country. Here is the medal of the Hero of Belarus — the highest award bestowed to 13 people. The first was military pilot Vladimir Karvat, who, at the cost of his life, took the falling plane away from the village. Here, the Order of the Mother is the most frequently presented state award, and the Order of Friendship of Peoples is the only one that foreigners can receive.
The second hall reflects the socio-economic development of Belarus. Its exposition acquaints visitors with the activities of the National Academy of Sciences, the achievements of the Belarusian chemical and petrochemical industry, mechanical engineering, agriculture, and medicine.

Aleksandr Kulevsky

Among all the exhibits, however, there are more than 300 of them in the hall, one can see the model of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant.
Our country is among the top five world leaders in the export of potash fertilisers. But few of the citizens saw how these same fertilisers look. Minerals are neatly laid out in small transparent boxes on display.


There are even jewels in the showcases — emeralds, alexandrites and sapphires, which are grown in the laboratories of the Academy of Sciences. It is noteworthy that they arouse interest not only among domestic jewellers, but also among the world’s largest brands in the field of jewellery.
But no stones can be more precious than human health. A separate stand was dedicated to the golden hands of scientists and doctors. It was our specialists who were the first in the CIS to introduce an artificial heart valve in 1991. Among the advanced developments in medicine are a prosthesis for the treatment of diseases of the circulatory system, implants for fixing the spine. Here they are shown in full size and impress even those who are far from science.
The third hall tells about the development of culture and sports in the country. Here are the awards of cultural and art workers, models of cultural and sports facilities, Olympic awards of Belarusian athletes.
Walking through the halls of the museum, one can see the space suits of Oleg Novitsky, and the first Olympic medal won for Belarus by biathlete Alexander Popov in Albertville in 1992, and the award of Ksenia Sitnik, taken at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2005.

A gift is appreciated by the attention paid

The fourth hall introduces the ethno-confessional situation in the country, as well as various aspects of the foreign policy of Belarus. Among the museum exhibits of this hall are numerous gifts to Belarus, the President and the people from certain politicians, organisations and governments from abroad.
However, among all this magnificence, one of the most unusual exhibits can be seen — a model of the Victoria frigate. It is Impressive both in detail and scale. It is among the most expensive gifts from high people. But it was built by a seventh-grader of the Rudnya secondary school in the Mozyr District, Grigory Sliva. The enthusiastic boy handed it to Aleksandr Lukashenko in 2012 during his working trip to Polesie.

Yury Mozolevsky

The museum also houses a conference hall, which is designed for temporary exhibitions, interactive and patriotic events, as well as for negotiations of foreign delegations. It has already become a tradition to hold a solemn presentation of passports to young citizens of the country by the Constitution Day of the Republic of Belarus.

Yury Mozolevsky

On June 22nd, 2012, Aleksandr Lukashenko got acquainted with the exposition during the grand opening of the museum, while unexpectedly, in fact, he personally led a tour, talking about the main stages of the country’s formation, its agriculture, industry, recalling the bright moments of those years and sharing personal experiences.

On June 22nd, 2023, the museum will turn 11.

About 800 museum items are exhibited in the permanent exhibition and about 4000 more are kept in the funds.
The funds of the Museum of Modern Belarusian Statehood are replenished regularly. Moreover, the visitors themselves often help in this.
By Svetlana Sergeeva