Tomorrow might be American Independence Day, but let’s not forget that other countries celebrate their freedoms too. Maybe not with hot dogs and beer and fireworks and loud, drunk people but still…freedom isn’t always annoying-free. Uh…can you tell it is my least favorite holiday?
One country we have not yet visited on this blog, and who just happens to be celebrating their own independence day today (the liberation of Minsk from the Nazis by the Soviets in 1944), is Belarus. So what better way to honor the place than with a visit to a little known museum, once the home and workshop of Zair Azgur, one of the most celebrated Belarusian artists of the Soviet era. His plaster busts of soldiers as well as State and Party leaders (hey, there’s a giant head of Karl Marx at the entrance) are displayed in his home turned museum. With over 400 original sculptures, most found in floor-to-ceiling shelves on the second floor, there is also an area dedicated to Zair’s life with photos, archival documents and information on his family, including artist wife Galina. Before his death in 1995, he was awarded the Order of Lenin twice and received a number of other medals. His work still graces many plinths throughout the former empire.