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Lukashenko: Yanka Kupala theater is our national asset

MINSK (BelTA) – The Yanka Kupala National Academic Theater is a national asset and it will certainly resume its work, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited the theater on 19 February, BelTA has learned.

“We will certainly reinstate it. It cannot be lost. This is our national asset,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko touched upon the financial side of the theater's work. He noted that the team should participate in the distribution of funds it receives. Naturally, the government will also lend a shoulder, especially now after the theater has welcomed a whole new cast of actors. “This is already an established cast who should remain here. The team should not be too big, just sufficient. This is the right time to do it. All the money that you will get will be your money, your profit. Starting from 2022, you will get as much from the budget as you will earn off-budget,” the president said.

According to him, he once introduced a similar financing scheme for sports clubs and federations: “If they earned $2 million, we gave them another $2 million from the budget. If they earn five million, they will get another five.”

“You must reach this balance. This way you will get an incentive to make money. Your money will remain yours,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

He also suggested putting together a council of 3-5 people in each theatrical team who will be responsible for the distribution of funds, together with the director. “Let them elect this council. And let them distribute the money we will give them. It should be commonplace, in all 29 teams. Think over this idea. It is not a spontaneous suggestion. I am sure that this will have an impact and give creative people an opportunity to earn money. We need to help you become more self-sufficient,” the president said.

“If you earn more, it will be all yours. And I will be proud that creative people make money in our country. We will support such people, not because you stand with me, but because you are law-abiding people. Speak up whenever you need it and whenever it is appropriate (you are people of culture, people listen to you), but do it with dignity. I assure the young actors who have recently joined the team that they will be happy in just a couple of years, while you [the old cast of the theater] will be proud of your decision not to defect,“ the head of state added.