An exhibition “Unknown Belarusian People’s Republic” was opened in the premises of the National Library in Prague.
The small room of the Slavic library could not accommodate all the visitors of the exhibition’s opening. Around a hundred people came and some of them had to listen to the opening speeches in the lobby, Radio Svaboda reports.
The first speech was made by the director of the Slavic library, which is a part of the National Library of Dzech Republic. After his speech Lukash Babka gave the floor to a EHU representative Yury Bachishcha.
Bachishcha told about the historic connections between Czech Republic and Bealrus, starting with St. Hieronymus of Prague, who carried the word of God to the Belarusian lands, and later about the help of the knights in the fight of the Czech people against the crusaders. As Bachishcha said, it was “the fight for religious freedom, which was the foundation of any freedom”. Later these connections continued with the activities of Francysk Skaryna, who published the first Belarusian translation of the Bible in Prague. The connections went through centuries to the times of the BPR, which was supported by young Czechoslovak Republic. And they proceed till nowadays, when the government of Czech Republic supports the fight of Belarusian people for freedom and democracy.
Among the exhibits there are pictures of formerly unknown documents of Ivan and Anton Lutskevich. Also there is a letter of Iosif Drazdovich to the Vilnia Belarusian museum of Ivan Lutskevich with the offer to buy his creations. The letter dates back to 22 April 1932. The exhibition has the materials of the Belarusian School Society and also the documents about the Belarusian military affairs of 1918-1920. The exhibition is created by a BPR Council’s member Yury Yurkevich.
The organizers of the exhibition tried to bring it to Minsk as well. And according to them, a part of the exhibits – the copies of historic documents on posters – was detained at the Lithuanian-Belarusian border and these exhibits were not let in Belarus with the explanation that they were not properly registered.
The first secretary of Belarus’ embassy in Prague Valiantsin Shpak was present at the exhibition’s opening. Answering the question of whether the exhibition had chances of making it to Minsk, he said that there are always chances. But to the question why the exhibits were not let in Belarus he said that that was apparently a purely technical problem and the organizers did not fill in the documents correctly.