Opening of the 26th international art festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk

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The international art festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk serves a noble goal. It builds up peace and understanding between nations. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the solemn opening ceremony of the 26th international art festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk on 13 July.

The fact that representatives of many countries participate in the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk testifies not only to the festival’s popularity but also to the growing international respect for Belarus. The head of state said that Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk is a celebration of art and friendship. The festival is as old as the sovereign and independent country of Belarus. Over the years the festival has become a genuine pearl of the international festival movement and a hallmark of the country.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “The ancient city of Vitebsk, which is unofficially recognized as our cultural capital city, has welcomed artistic delegations from 72 countries over the course of 25 years. Today we once again welcome all nations. We gladly welcome participants and fans of the festival from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The fact vividly testifies not only to the festival’s popularity but to the growing respect for Belarus in the community of nations.”

This year the festival’s guests of honor include the president of Moldova, the state secretary of Kazakhstan, heads of diplomatic missions of a number of countries. “Art knows no borders. It brings nations, souls, and hearts closer to each other. Multiple friends from various parts of the globe meet under the summer sky in Vitebsk. It is for this reason that the star of the Slavianski Bazaar was lit and has been shining for over 25 years already. Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk embodies the cordiality, kindness, and supreme hospitality of the Belarusians,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It is a truly momentous event in the life of our country, our Slavonic nations. Contemporary history events are reflected in this festival. We recall the times when century-old ways of life came crushing down in the post-Soviet space and people had no time for art. Back then we tried to bring all the creative forces together for a common cause — spiritual revival and continuation of the best traditions. Our festival has undertaken this high mission. It has become the true symbol of unity of millions of people of good will because it serves a noble goal — stronger peace and understanding between nations, preservation of cultural diversity, and support for talents.”

The president pointed out that the consolidating power of the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk grew stronger as the forum became known far and wide. “It fully contributes to a constructive interstate dialogue. Any foreign guest, who visits the festival, returns to his or her country as a messenger of peace,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state stressed that the high international status of the festival requires a lot from Belarus. “It serves as a mirror of our country’s policy in social and humanitarian affairs. This is why such a diversity of forms and genres of art is represented here. The standards of the concerts, exhibitions, performances, and creative meetings have always been high,” stated the Belarusian leader. “The atmosphere of freedom of creation and benevolence reigns here. Objective and unbiased judgment is guaranteed. Every contestant is granted an opportunity to show their talent, to demonstrate peculiarities of culture of their native land, their people.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced that this year’s festival will grant many revelations. It will see many young performers begin their excellent careers. Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk is famous for kind traditions. One of them is honoring the artists, whose art and public activities contribute to stronger friendship and cooperation between nations, noted the president.

This year’s special prize Through Art to Peace and Understanding went to the remarkable singer, people’s artist of Georgia and Russia Tamara Gverdtsiteli. And the grand prix of the international children music contest, which results were summed up today, will be awarded to the winner for the first time as part of the opening ceremony. “I sincerely congratulate the laureates. When celebrated idols and young talents meet on this stage, it is very touching, it is very symbolical. We witness the continuity of bright traditions of scenic mastery,” stated the head of state. “May this festival always remain a paragon of genuine culture, a life-giving source of joy and inspiration!”