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25 Mar 2017

Belarusian books gifted to Paris institute

MINSK, 25 March (BelTA) – A collection of 127 Belarusian books has been gifted by the Belarusian Information Ministry to the Paris-based National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures (INALCO). The books were handed over during the solemn opening of the Belarusian pavilion as part of the Paris Book Fair (Salon Livre Paris) on 24 March, representatives of the Embassy of Belarus in France told BelTA.

The key purpose of the Belarusian national pavilion is to draw the attention of general public abroad to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of book printing in Belarus under the UNESCO aegis in 2017. Ambassador of Belarus to France, Belarus’ Resident Representative to UNESCO Pavel Latushko stressed during the opening ceremony that the anniversary is a very symbolical date that confirms that Belarusian culture and education have deep historical roots while the legacy of Francysk Skaryna, who spread Renaissance ideas in Belarusian lands, emphasizes the fact that Belarus belongs to the common European spiritual space.

Pavel Latushko recited Francysk Skaryna’s preface to his books in modern Belarusian while INALCO Deputy Director for Book Stock Pierre-Frederic Garrett did the same in French.

INALCO representatives spoke highly of the collection of Belarusian books. They noted it will help their students study Belarusian, which is taught in INALCO in addition to 94 other languages. Pierre-Frederic Garrett added that ten French first-year students have started studying Belarusian in INALCO this year.

The Paris Book Fair will stay open till 27 March. This year it has gathered representatives of 42 countries. Over 150,000 visitors are expected to attend the event.

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