2 September 2005

Paintings by Belarusian Children on Exhibit at VIC

VIENNA, 2 September (UN Information Service) -- An exhibition of paintings by Belarusian children is currently on display at the Vienna International Centre (VIC). The exhibition is organized by the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations (Vienna), on the occasion of the Conference "Chernobyl: Looking Back to Go Forwards", to be held by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 6-7 September, in Vienna, Austria.

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986 was a nuclear catastrophe of historic dimensions, stated the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the United Nations (Vienna), Ambassador Alyaksandr Sychov, at the opening ceremony at the VIC on 29 August. Since the accident, the black heritage of Chernobyl had become a reality of day-to-day life, causing severe stress on each and every dweller of Belarus, including children. More than 20,000 hectares of croplands in the fertile southern regions of Belarus were excluded from economic use, due to severe radionuclide contamination. The disease rate of thyroid cancer registered had increased thousandfold. The great majority of people who suffered from this disease were children.

Ambassador Sychov emphasized that, despite the devastation caused by the accident, the affected people continued to work, love, raise their family and make every effort to make their children happy, trying to mitigate the consequences by themselves. The people welcomed any assistance from those concerned over the future life on our planet.

The paintings were a colourful display of  the inner life of the Belarusian people, said Ambassador Sychov, in particular, of the feelings, dreams and expectations of the most frank and open individuals in a nation - children. There were no dark colours in the paintings, as children were optimistic in their perception of the future, and it was important to help this expectation come true.

The exhibition can be viewed until 9 September as part of a guided tour of the VIC, organized by the UNIS Visitors Service.


For information on guided tours, contact:

UNIS Visitors Service
Telephone: +43-1-260 60 3328
E-mail: Tours@unvienna.org
Or visit our website: www.unis.unvienna.org