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News

At the Havana Book Fair

25.02.2010

The State M.A. Sholokhov Museum-Reserve presented the exhibition “Mikhail Sholokhov. In the Land of the Quiet Don” in Cuba, where on February, 11-12, in an ancient fortress San-Carlos-de-la-Caba?a the XIX International Havana Book Fair took place.

On the first days already the fair pavilions were crowded: all the preliminary booking had been done long before the fair beginning, and every morning all the booking-offices were crowded by those desiring to join in the main event of the cultural life of Cuba.

The opening ceremony held in the fortress square San-Francisco was joined by the Chairman of the State Council and the Cuban Council of Ministers Raul Castro, the Russian Federation Minister of Foreign Affairs Serghey Lavrov, who headed the Russian delegation, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodrigues, the Russian ambassador in Cuba Mikhail Kamynin, the Minister of Culture of Cuba Abel Prieto, the members of the Russian delegation, representatives of different Cuban offices.

In his greeting speech Serghey Lavrov emphasized, that the Russian exposition “was composed so that it should enable the visitors of better understanding the life of the modern Russia, the way of development of our culture, art, education and science”. Finally he said about the significance of the book for the society and of its great importance for people, especially for youth, to remain “a source of knowledge and moral health”.

The fair was participated by 40 countries. Russia, invited as an honoured guest, housed its exposition in the three pavilions occupying 430 sqm. There was presented an exhibition of the Soviet poster “The Joint of Times”, devoted to the Russian-Cuban friendship, exhibitions about the life and creative work of A.P. Chekhov and L.N. Tolstoy, an exhibition of the Russian miniature edition of a book, displaying books by A.P. Chekhov, L.N. Tolstoy, M.A. Sholokhov. In all, there were displayed 3.5 thousand book editions of different genres and subjects. A special place was occupied by the section devoted to the Great Patriotic war.

The exhibition “Mikhail Sholokhov. In the Land of the Quiet Don” which was introduced by the director of the State M.A. Sholokhov Museum-Reserve and the chief of the scientific-exposition department E.M. Tolstopyatenko, aroused a great interest in the visitors of the book fair. There were exhibited 78 colourful photo pictures designed by the photo artist K.G. Pashiniyan. They enabled Cuban people to learn about the life and work of M.A. Sholokhov, about the beauty of the Don land and its residents, about the museum structures. There were also displayed more than 50 books, including Sholokhov’s books, the works of the well-known researchers in Sholokhov’s literary activity, books about the Museum-Reserve, booklets.

Within the frames of the Russian national stand A.M. Sholokhov held a round-table talk participated by the teachers and students of the Havana University, interpreters, the workers of the E. Hemingway Museum. Alexander Mikhailovich presented the Museum projects joined in the conception of “The Open Air Novel”.

The visitors got interested in the exhibition. The Cuban people appreciate the Russian culture and know the creative work of M.A. Sholokhov, the great Russian writer of the XX century. A lot of questions were asked by Slavist teachers, translators, students and schoolchildren. Our stand was also attended by the Cubans who had got university education in Russia and kept warm feelings of it, Russian women who had got married the Cuban men and now have become grandmothers, who took their children and grandchildren to the exhibition.

The Book Fair program was supposed to run the actualities and feature films, and the Cuban people got an opportunity to see the film “The Quiet Don” by the film director Serghey Gherasimov in the cinemas of Havana.

After the Book Fair was over the Russian books were presented to the National Library of Cuba, and the exhibition “Mikhail Sholokhov. In the Land of the Quiet Don” was given to the representatives of the Russian Embassy for further exhibiting in Cuba and in the countries of Latin America.

Elena Tolstopyatenko