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30 Nov 2017

Science conference on Francysk Skaryna’s life and work underway in Minsk

MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) - Francysk Skaryna’s life and work are in the spotlight of the international science conference “Francysk Skaryna and his epoch. 500th anniversary of the Belarusian and East Slavic book printing” running in Minsk from 30 November to 2 December, BelTA has learned.

The conference has drawn together representatives of the CIS scientific community. Taking part in the opening ceremony were Belarusian First Deputy Culture Minister Irina Dryga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Czechia to Belarus Milan Ekert, Deputy Head of the Italian mission in Belarus Paolo Tonini, Second Secretary for Cultural Affairs at the Polish Embassy in Belarus Elzbieta Iniewska, and other speakers.

Several important projects were carried out in Belarus in 2017, one of them being a facsimile edition of Skaryna’s works, Irina Dryga remarked when reading out a welcome speech of the Belarusian culture minister. The current meeting of scientists is meant to sum up the results of the previous study of Skaryna’s work and outline the ways to continue exploring his legacy.

According to Paolo Tonini, the figure of Francysk Skaryna bounds Belarus and Italy together. The study should continue, he said, to learn more about the events of the past and find out how to keep moving on. Skaryna is an example of how a person can contribute to the development of his epoch, Paolo Tonini said.

Czech Ambassador to Belarus Milan Ekert pointed to Skaryna’s unifying role for European countries. He expressed hope that new facts will be discovered about the life of the book printer since the interest in this person has been growing across Europe.

Poland hosted several events dedicated to Francysk Skaryna and the 500th anniversary of the Belarusian book printing in 2017, Elzbieta Iniewska added. The information on this person and the contribution to cultural development is becoming more and more widespread, she underlined.

As many as 76 participants from Belarus and the CIS are expected to give reports during breakout sessions. The conference is designed to discuss translations of the Bible into national languages, the role of national language in cultural development in the context of globalization, the importance of Francysk Skaryna’s figure, the strengthening of national identity, historical and modern Bible translations.

Francysk Skaryna is a prominent Belarusian book printer, an outstanding enlightener and writer of the Renaissance. He has made an enormous contribution to the Belarusian and Slavic culture. In 1517, he set up a printing house in Prague and published the first printed book in Eastern Europe. In 1517-1519, he translated and published 23 Bible books. Later on, Skaryna issued Little Travel Book and Psalter in Vilna in 1522 and 1525, respectively.

The science conference is organized by the Center for Belarusian Culture, Language and Literature Research of Belarus’ National Academy of Sciences and the CIS Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Fund.


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