Francysk Skaryna's legendary book brought back to Belarus

MINSK, 17 February (BelTA) – Francysk Skaryna's legendary book has returned to Belarus thanks to the effort of Belgazprombank, BelTA learned from the press service of the Bank.

“In the year when Belarus celebrates the 500 years of its book printing, Belgazprombank is proud to announce that it has added Small Travel Guide to its corporate collection. It was printed by Francysk Skaryna in Vilno in 1522. Experts believe that it is the first book published in the Belarusian lands. To date this is the only copy of this book in our country,” the press service said.

Small Travel Guide is a prayer book for the laity, i.e. a collection of small-format church books for travelers. “It is more than just one book. It is actually 18 books collected together in a single copy. They are decorated with unique engravings, miniatures and initials. Nine books have the epilogue by Francysk Skaryna himself,” the Bank said.

No complete copies of Small Travel Guide survived till the present day. More complete examples are kept in the libraries of Moscow, Copenhagen and St Petersburg. The most complete examples can be found in the Russian National Library (20 books) and the Royal Library in Copenhagen (18 books).

In 2017 Belarus is celebrating 500 years of the Belarusian book printing. Francysk Skaryna's Psalter came out in Prague on 6 August 1517.

Since 2011, in close cooperation with the National Commission for UNESCO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture, and the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Belgazprombank has been carrying out a project called Belgazprombank Collection. This is a unique cultural project to return home the works created in Belarus or made by the people who have become world-renowned.

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