Painters Hold Painting Session against Destruction of Historical Center of Hrodna
On 10 June a group of artists took part in an open-air painting session in Hrodna to protest a project for redevelopment of the city center. At least 16 painters, including Ales Pushkin, Aliaksei Marachkin, Ales Shaternik, Mikhail Anempadystau and Dzmitry Ivanouski, participated in the session to depict Hrodna’s Old Town and the buildings that the authorities plan to demolish.
As an organizer of the event Pavel Mazheika told BelaPAN, the painting session was attended by former presidential candidate Aliaksandr Milinkevich. ‘What is taking place in Hrodna cannot but concern us’, the opposition politician said. ‘If you take a look at photographs of Hrodna during World War II, you’ll see that the city was bombed, but two Catholic churches remained intact, even shells spared them. What is happening today is barbarianism, lack of culture and Bolshevism in its typical form.’
The 20 pictures painted at the session are to be sold at an auction and the proceeds will be provided for the campaign on saving the buildings.
The group plans to collect signatures to initiate a local referendum on the protection of the city’s historic part. At least 20 000 people, 10 percent of all voters in the city, are required to sign the petition for the referendum to take place.
Meanwhile, workers have already pulled down a 19th-century steam mill in the city’s historic part.