Museum in Mahilyow raises enough money to buy 16th-century statute of Grand Duchy of Litva

The Mahilyow History Museum has raised the $45,000 necessary to acquire a copy of the 1588 Statute of the Grand Duchy of Litva from a private collector in Moscow.

On May 14, the museum launched a fundraising campaign to purchase the unique document in the old Belarusian language that had been put up for sale on an auction website.

Online trading company Alpari donated $30,000 for buying the document and 100,000 rubles ($3,000) was provided by Pavel Berahovich, a Belarusian living in Russia, Alyaksey Batsyukow, director of the Mahilyow History Museum, told BelaPAN.

A deposit amounting to 10 percent of the price asked by the collector was paid by a businessman in Mahilyow who wished not to be named, Mr. Batsyukow said, adding that 76 million rubels ($9,000) had come from other individuals.

The Mahilyow History Museum will hold a special ceremony to unveil the new exhibit, he said.

The statute, printed with money from prominent statesman Lew Sapieha (1557-1633) in 1588, was reprinted twice in the old Belarusian language in the late 1590s and came out in the Polish language in the early 1600s. "It is the Belarusian-language book that we are interested in," Mr. Batsyukow said earlier. "Belarus does not have any copies."