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17 Jan 2018

Belarus hopes to return wooden angel sculpture dating back to 18th century from Uzbekistan

MINSK, 17 January (BelTA) – Belarus’ Culture Ministry hopes to return a wooden angel sculpture dating back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries from Uzbekistan, Natalia Khvir, the head of the historical and cultural heritage protection department at the Culture Ministry, said at a roundtable meeting in BelTA’s press center.

According to her, the ministry is currently working together with other stakeholders to return this item from Tashkent. There is the information that one of the citizens of Uzbekistan is in possession of the wooden sculpture which was supposedly taken from the territory of the Republic of Belarus in the early 1980s. However, in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan this item is not returnable, i.e. there is a ban on its export.

Uzbekistan’s Culture Ministry has requested the Culture Ministry of Belarus to provide additional information about the sculpture being part of the cultural heritage of the people of Belarus. “Now, together with the National Art Museum of Belarus we are preparing an expert analysis to show that Belarus is a country of origin of the sculpture. We expect that this issue will be raised during the forthcoming interstate meetings this year, and that this cultural value will be returned to our country as an exception,” Natalia Khvir noted.

She also gave some information about the cultural object. This is the sculpture of an angel, made of soft wood - linden. It is 124cm high. It was made in the style close to the Baroque. This is the figure of an angel without headgear, with curly hair, the body shown in motion, slightly tilted to the right. The sculpture is wall-mounted, in the form of relief, hollow inside, designed to be placed near the altar. The estimated date of its manufacturing is the late 18th century - early 19th century.

At the same time, the current status of the sculpture is not good and requires restoration: there are cracks, the wood is eroded in some places. No conditions necessary to preserve its integrity have been ensured in the place of its current location. In this regard, Natalia Khvir added that the Culture Ministry hopes that this value will be returned to Belarus.


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