Chagall's day

Marc Zaharovich Chagall marks his one hundred and twenty-sixth birthday in July.  I observed denigration and belittlement of this artist by Soviet officials, which continued even in early post-Soviet times.  Based on two prejudices -- against his Modernism (meaning non-Socialist-Realism) and Jewishness -- this behavior toward him was more apparent in Vitebsk, Belarus, his birthplace, than Moscow, Russia.  Some changes have been allowed by the Belarusian government -- there is a Chagall Museum in Vitebsk today -- but until that government becomes representative, democratic and the country it governs -- free, the artist will not be duly recognized where he always yearned for recognition.

Dmitry Borshch