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26 May 2016

Belarusian icons on show in Vatican to be exhibited in Minsk

MINSK, 26 May (BelTA) - The exhibition of Belarusian icons, which is now on display in the Vatican museum, will be supplemented by exhibits from the holdings of the National Art Museum and presented in Minsk at the end of September, Director General of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Prokoptsov told media, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Prokoptsov noted that the idea of holding such a unique exhibition of Belarusian icons in the Vatican was suggested nine years ago, but was implemented only in 2016. However Belarus could not showcase everything it intended. The icons there were placed in glass display cases, and some items simply could not fit into them due to their large size. “We had to reconsider the concept of the exhibition twice and leave the biggest icons behind in Minsk,” Vladimir Prokoptsov said.

After the Vatican the exhibition will be extended and put for display in Minsk. In addition to Catholic and Orthodox icons the exhibition will showcase the altar painting, liturgical objects, weaving, a collection of stamps dedicated to religious themes.

The exhibition “Icon Painting in Belarus in the 17th -21st centuries” opened in the Vatican on 18 May. A few days later Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko visited the exhibition accompanied by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The exhibition features 31 icons by Belarusian painters and 2 engraved icon frames. Belarusian icons are exhibited for the first time at an exhibition in the Museum of Vatican City, in close proximity to the famous Sistine Chapel with frescoes by Michelangelo. Thanks to this, specialists and numerous tourists from all over the world will be able to get acquainted with the unique works of Belarusian icon painting.

The last time the Belarusian icons were displayed in galleries in Italy was in 2004-2005, in Milan and Trieste. These exhibitions stirred a great interest on the part of Italian viewers in the art of Belarus and showed the commonality of spiritual aspirations and artistic canons in Europe, the successor to the Byzantine tradition.

The exhibition of the Belarusian icons in the Vatican will stay open until 25 July.

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