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3 October 2014

Belarus-Lithuania-Latvia virtual museum presented in Grodno

GRODNO, 3 October (BelTA) - A cross-border virtual museum was presented in Grodno on 2 October, BelTA has learned.

The Belarus-Lithuania-Latvia virtual museum has been created in accordance with the international project The Virtual Past is a Keystone for the Future of Museums implemented in line with the cross-border cooperation program Lithuania-Latvia-Belarus 2007-2013. Grodno hosted a presentation of the results of the project and an education seminar. Partaking in the seminar were representatives of the partner institutions of the project: the Rezekne Higher Education Institution (the main partner), Kedainiai Museum (Lithuania), Grodno History and Archaeology Museum (its branch Maxim Bogdanovich Literary Museum), and Latgale Culture and History Museum (Latvia).

The virtual museum can be found at www.futureofmuseums.eu representing the three museums of the Belarus-Lithuania-Latvia cross-border project and the Rezekne Higher Education Institution. The pages of these institutions feature photo galleries and provide descriptions of different notions, events, characters, and artifacts - all in all, over 1,600 items. The website is a multi-language platform. The information is available in English, Lithuanian, Latvian, Belarusian, and Latgalian. Besides, the site features four interactive games for children and youth.

The project The Virtual Past is a Keystone for the Future of Museums was launched in December 2012 and is expected to be finished by 30 November 2014. It provides for the creation of an international innovative culture and tourism project available to a wide range of people and for the modernization of museum expositions by means of the creation of virtual galleries. Besides, the project is designed to promote cultural heritage among young people using modern interactive forms of representation of historical information. It is also expected to raise people's interest in the real-life museums and the development of research, education, and communication cooperation.

The total budget of the project stands at ?374,800. The participants of the project not only created the virtual museum, but also renovated the buildings of the partner institutions, installed new equipment, and organized education tours, seminars, cultural events, and festivals.

Svetlana Rapetskaya, coordinator of the project from the Belarusian side and staff member of the Grodno History and Archaeology Museum, explained that Grodno received ?90,000 including the obligatory 10% of co-financing that were provided from the budget of Grodno Oblast. The money was spent on the renovation of the Maxim Bogdanovich Literary Museum (today it is a literary branch of the Grodno History and Archaeology Museum). The renewed exposition Literary Grodno Oblast was opened on 2 October. Apart from the exposition dedicated to the Belarusian poet Maxim Bogdanovich, visitors to the museum will see books, manuscripts, photos, and personal possessions of the famous Grodno poets and writers Vasil Bykov, Larisa Geniyush, Mikhas Vasilyok, and Danuta Bitchel-Zagnetova. On 3 October the Grodno Culture Center will host the Seven Stars music and poetry event. Partaking in the concert will be poets and writers from Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Latvian monitor of the project Ilga Shuplinskaya added that the city of Rezekne will host the final conference of the project and an international Latgalian studies conference on 21-23 November. Partaking in the events will be scientists, museum workers, and local history experts from the partner countries of the project.