A member of the rural council in Bobr, who broke the Pahonia coat of arms, won't be punished.
The Investigation Committee and the Ministry of Culture do not consider the Pahonia (Chaser) coat of arms, which was drawn by Ales Pushkin, to be an object of historical and cultural value, Radio Svaboda reports.
The Investigation Committee of the Krupki district refused to open a criminal case against acting chairman of the Bobr rural council Uladzimir Zahorski.
Every year on Freedom Day, March 25, local artist Ales Pushkin paints the work “Pahonia” on the central square of the town of Bobr. He did the same this year. Acting chairman of the rural council Uladzimir Zahorski came to the artist and tried to seize the painting. His attempt failed, but he broke the Pahonia coat of arms, which was fixed to the painting. Journalists, who became witnesses of the incident, posted the video on the Internet.
Ales Pushkin and Anton Astapovich, the chairman of the Belarusian Voluntary Society of Historical Heritage Protection, applied to a local prosecutor asking to punish Uladzimir Zahorski.
The prosecutor's office conducted a check, admitted the Pahonia coat of arms was on the list of the historical and cultural heritage of Belarus, but refused to react to the complaint of Pushkin and Astapovich.
Ales Pushkin says he learnt about the prosecutor's decision only when he called the prosecutor's office to express his discontent with the fact that Uladzimir Zahorski had made a speech at the end of the year ceremony at the local school.
“The main document that influenced their decision was the conclusion of the Ministry of Culture saying that the broken Pahonia coat of arms, a copy of Pahonia made by Yauhen Kulik and Uladzimir Krukouski in 1991, is not an object of historical and cultural value,” Ales Pushkin said.
According to the artist, the broken Pahonia coat of arms is in the Ministry of Culture in Minsk. Pushkin says the coat of arms may be changed there, so that he won't be able to prove that his work is the exact copy of what had been the official state symbol from 1991 to 1994.
“You cannot prove anything on the local level. The state doesn't want to impose even administrative sanctions on the official. They didn't want journalists to come and ask uncomfortable questions. Putin's sycophants do not allow protecting our national symbols,” Ales Pushkin said.
The artists waits for the broken Pahonia to be returned. He proposes sending it to Uladzimir Krukouski for an examination to confirm that it is identical to the object that had been the state coat of arms. He then plans to apply to the regional prosecutor's office asking to punish Uladzimir Zahorski for insulting the object of historical and cultural value.