Januskievic gets Leo Sapega prize in Warsaw

Jazep Januskievic, a Belarusian translator, a literature researcher and a member of the Union of Belarusian Writers, on Wednesday was awarded with the Leo Sapega prize in Warsaw.

The prize is awarded annually on April 4, the birthday of Leo Sapega, the Belarus-born Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, whose 450th anniversary is being marked this year.

The prize, founded by five Polish universities and sponsored by the Polish Presidency, targets outstanding Belarusian scientists and is awarded for a great contribution to the development of civil society and promotion of Belarusian independence and democracy.

Jazep Januskievic received a diploma, printed in accordance with the historic traditions of the Belarusian first printer, Francisak Skaryna, using manual imprinting techniques. Now, a prestigious award’s winner, he will be invited to do research and lecture at Poland’s best universities.

The award came just in time for Mr. Januskievic who was recently expelled from the Academy of Sciences in Minsk for his “disloyal” interpretation of the Belarusian history and literature. Now he is able to continue his scientific work.

The University of Warsaw, the host of the award ceremony, was visited by the Polish and Belarusian elites, including Polish Foreign Minister Pawel Kowal and Belarusian writer Ales Barsceuski and historian Valiancin Holubeu (the last year’s prize winner). The congratulatory letter from the Polish president was also read out.

“In a way, I would always dream about having my work recognized. But, that was mainly in the time of youth when my first work came out. Afterwards, professional and responsible work is put at the forefront,” Jazep Januskievic told the European Radio for Belarus after receiving the prize.