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Who and why revives monuments of history and architecture in Belarus?

When coming to Belarus foreigners are interested not only in food, not only in cleanliness and order, but also in monuments of history and architecture. Thank God sometimes people revive from the ashes famous palaces and castles, estates of great ancestors. The revival of history is the work not only of the state, but also businessmen and private enthusiasts. Our correspondent Alena Syrova has the report.

For its century-long history, Soveiki repeatedly changed owners. Among them were Count Czapski, Rybaltovsky and Teofil Novitsky.

Vladimir Dezhurnyi, the caretaker of the manor and park complex Soveiki:
It is believed that the permission to build this estate was given to Teofil Novitsky. There are his initials here.

The magnificent manor and the unique park during the Soviet era were a health resort for tuberculosis patients. And after that the estate fell into oblivion. In 2010, a private Belarusian company bought the manor for $200,000. It is believed that this manor has historical and cultural value.

Vladimir Dezhurnyi:
We have no right to conduct any works here at all. Literally today I received a call from the executive committee and they said that the Ministry of Culture had given approval. We are waiting for the answer from the Ministry of Nature Protection. And then we'll start work. We have to remove 460 trees.

The lengthy period of agreement is justified by the detailed discussion of each step at the historical site. It will be exactly restoration - no construction from scratch. By law, all objects must return to their former appearance.

Vladimir Dezhurnyi:
The estate itself will have hotel rooms, but also there will be places for permanent residents, that is, it will not change functionally.

Today the list of immovable historical and cultural values ​​of Belarus includes 49 objects. For eight years, only 11 got new owners. The Ministry of Culture says: this is really a small number but this is because of the law.

Natalia Khvir, Head of the Department for the Protection of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus:
Part of this project documentation is scientifically grounded. That is, experts determine, historically, what color it was and what the original appearance was.

Dmitry Yankov, owner of the village "Red October":
We were looking for a suitable place for a country house. It so happened that my village, where my grandfather and great-grandfather come from, has already been demolished.

Together with friends, Dmitry bought all the houses in a dying village and himself changed the city registration to a rural one.

Dmitry Yankov:
Of course, it's not easy, I'm not an oligarch. Therefore, everything basically has to be done by yourself. Do I regret? These houses are in fact mine. It's a pity that one has to spend so much time on red tape.

Andrei Zapolsky spent his entire childhood on the banks of the Sula River, where at one time the border of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was located. It was the site where the Lensky family estate was located.

Andrei Zapolsky, entrepreneur:
It was insulting to come here every year and see the building falling apart.

To maintain and continue to develop these lands, he has to spend about $40,000 a month.

Andrei Zapolsky:
For the money invested here I could probably restore a giant palace near the ring road. But these lands are connected with me. Once I rode bike here.

Vera together with her husband Alexander moved to Raytsy 7 years ago.

Vera Soldatova, owner of the Rayetsky family manor:
The first mention is 1511, in the Lithuanian metrics. In 1527, the Dunins acquire it and this place becomes Raytsy. Some of the Rayetskys defended Moscow. Others participated in the uprising against the tsar in 1863. Others were priests. Some of them hid gold with Napoleon.

Restoration of the house is not as fast as they would like.

Vera Soldatova:
The house is plastered with lime and that lime is hard to get these days. We tried our solutions.

The Soldatov family opens the doors of the Rayetsky house to everyone who asks for and treats to tea on the terrace overlooking the garden, like the previous owners a few centuries ago. However, they are not going to give the house their name.

Alexander Soldatov, owner of the Rayetsky family manor:
The house lives longer than the person. You cannot completely call it yours. It was someone's and it will be someone else's.

Vera Soldatova:
This house belongs to such famous names!. Dunin-Rayetsky family. Secondly, Yuzef Vereshchaka was married to Rayetskaya. This are the families that are connected with the entire Europe. And we want to save this history.

Who and why revives monuments of history and architecture in Belarus?