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21 April 2014

Belarus’ Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater awarded UNESCO Commemorative Medal

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) - The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater of Belarus was awarded the UNESCO Commemorative Medal "five Continents" in recognition of its contribution to international culture and on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Belarus' membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, BelTA learned.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova presented the commemorative medal to the head of the theater Vladimir Gridyushko in a solemn ceremony in Minsk on 19 April.

Presenting the award, Irina Bokova noted that it was a great honor for her to visit the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater of Belarus. Art is a way of seeing the world and being at the same time part of it. The UNESCO Charter says that wars begin in the minds of people. Therefore we need to strengthen the ideas of peace in the minds of people. This is why the Charter calls the artistic and cultural cooperation a sacred obligation. The Bolshoi Theater fully shares this responsibility, said Irina Bokova. She added that the theater became a key center for performing arts bringing people together around common aspirations and values.

For his part, Vladimir Gridyushko said that the award is a great honor and responsibility for the theater. He thanked Irina Bokova, the Belarusian state represented by the Foreign Minsitry and the Culture Ministry for their high evaluation. Vladimir Gridyushko assured that the theater will continue to be a hallmark of the country, will continue giving the audience the pleasure of communicating with the world of art.

Attending the event were also Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to France, Permanent Representative of Belarus to UNESCO Pavel Latushko, Belarus Culture Minister Boris Svetlov, Deputy Culture Minister Vasily Chernik.

The Bolshoi Theater is the only theater in Belarus that received the UNESCO commemorative medal. The honorees include the world famous Igor Moiseyev folk dance company, celebrated French singer Mireille Mathieu, the Gaskarov State Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance of Republic Bashkortostan, and others.

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