The future museum of early 20th century avant-garde art in Vitebsk will considerably enhance the city's status, Head of the Belarus President Administration Alexander Kosinets said during his working visit to Vitebsk Oblast on 19 March, BelTA has learned.
The building of the People's Art School in Vitebsk set up by Marc Chagall in early 20th century is currently under renovation. Alexander Kosinets believes that a whole museum complex should be created in the old part of the city. "This will considerably boost the city's status. All the more so since next year we will be celebrating the 130th anniversary of birth of Marc Chagall, and in 2019 the 140th birthday of Kazimir Malevich. Besides, in 2019 we will mark the 100th anniversary of founding of the People's Art School, and the 165th birthday of Yehuda Pen. Vitebsk will welcome many tourists," Alexander Kosinets stressed.
More than Br10 billion has already been spent on the renovation of the People's Art School. Vitebsk City Hall has earmarked another Br8 billion. Additional Br15 billion will be needed to complete the project.
BelTA reported earlier about the plans to renovate the historic building in Pravdy Street back to its 1923 design, with stairs, workshops and rooms. The museum that the building will house will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment.
The People's Art School in Vitebsk operated from 1919 till 1941. The idea to create such an educational institution for the proletariat was suggested by Marc Chagall, then the Commissar of Arts for Vitebsk. The artist invited Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, and Mstislav Dobuzhinsky to teach there. It was at the People's Art School that the UNOVIS, a group of artists representing suprematism, was formed. The school was set up in the former house of banker Israel Vishnyak nationalized after the October Revolution.