A monument to prominent statesman Lew Sapieha (1557-1633) will be unveiled in Lepel, Vitsyebsk region, on September 11, BelaPAN reports.
In 1586, Sapieha founded a city called Bely (White) Lepel two mile away from Stary (Old) Lepel, which was first mentioned in historical records in 1439. The cities later merged and became known as Lepel.
The unveiling ceremony, to be held as one of City Day festivities, will be attended by prominent Lepel-born people who live in Belarus and abroad, and by guests from Vitsyebsk and Minsk and Russia’s Moscow, Ulyanovsk province and Kaliningrad exclave.
The nearly 3.5-meter (11.5-foot) monument was made by Minsk sculptor Lew Ahanaw after an idea of Andrey Aniskevich, a Catholic priest in Lepel.
The monument consists of a granite platform and a statue of Sapieha in his formal costume with the hetman’s mace and a saber in his hands, Mr. Aniskevich told BelaPAN. The monument will be put up at the main entrance into the city park, he said.
“Every Belarusian should remember Lew Sapieha as a man who kept our country independent and our native language alive in very difficult conditions,” Aleh Trusaw, chairman of the Francisak Skaryna Belarusian Language Society, told BelaPAN.
It was through the efforts of Sapieha that the Third Statute of the Grand Duchy of Litva (GDP) was adopted, granting the GDP broad autonomy within the Polish-Litvanian commonwealth of Rzeczpospolita and proclaiming Belarusian the state language, Mr. Trusaw said.
Hetman Sapieha, who was grand chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Litva between 1589 and 1623, is considered one of the greatest leaders of the Grand Duchy at its golden age. A rich and powerful magnate, he was known for his wisdom as a statesman, lawyer and military commander.