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Opinions & Interviews

27 Aug 2019

Facsimile of Brest Bible of 1563 named Belarus most unusual edition

Facsimile of Brest Bible of 1563 named Belarus most unusual edition
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MINSK, 27 August (BelTA) – The facsimile edition of the Brest Bible of 1563 became the most unusual edition in the history of Belarus’ book printing, Aleksandr Susha, Deputy Director of the National Library of Belarus and the Brest Bible project manager, said at the book presentation in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

“I am convinced that the facsimile will go down in history of today’s Belarusian book printing in the same way as the first edition of the Brest Bible did in 1563. This book is unique in itself. The Brest Bible became a legend. It is believed to be the most beautiful, expensive, large and probably the most mysterious edition in the history of Belarus’ book culture. The contemporary facsimile of the bible can be to a certain degree called the most unusual in the history of Belarusian book printing. This is the only book of its kind in Belarus in terms of its size, weight and volume,” Aleksandr Susha said.

The facsimile edition is a 1,500-page folio weighing 15kg. It has two title pages and is adorned by incredibly beautiful engravings. It precisely re-creates all the features of the original edition, including size, print type, paper, and manuscript notes on the pages. Its binding was made manually using old technology.

This original edition of this facsimile was once kept in the library of Boguslaw Radziwill. “To our greatest regret, the majority of the Brest Bible editions are not complete. There are many fragments of the book or simply individual pages. There are very few complete editions and this is one of the best-preserved. It has the authentic binding and the inner book” Aleksandr Susha said. Today this original edition is kept in Poland. 

Art Director of Segment Publishing House Kira Slizhikova noted that the facsimile became a true artistic challenge. The project involved a dozen specialists of the publishing house. They teamed up with the National Library to conduct a special research in order to find out how such editions were made in that period. All the technical standards of that period were observed while making the book.

The project was implemented due to public-private partnership with financial support of the Belneftestrakh insurance company. “The project is a success. We are ready to provide further assistance to any ambitious cultural, historical and religious projects,” Belneftestrakh Director General Anatoly Chaichits said.

“This book can be made to order for public and private customers,” Aleksandr Susha said.

As of today, 11 editions have been printed. A survey into the history of this book was also published. The first presentation of the book took place in Minsk on 27 August. The  presentation for the general public will take place during the celebrations of Brest’s 1,000th anniversary and Belarusian Written Language Day.

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