This year marks the 204th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko. The famous Ukrainian poet, artist, political and public figure was well known to the people of Kazakhstan. Shevchenko had been in exile for ten years in western Kazakhstan. Therefore, the Fort Shevchenko in the Mangyshlak peninsula town was named in his honor. Kazakhstan has become a place of annual international Shevchenko readings. This year, Astana hosted the 7th Shevchenko readings where scholars spoke about the life and work of the poet and discussed his contribution to the Kazakh-Ukrainian cultural dialogue.  

YURY TIMOSCHENKO, MEMBER OF MAZHILIS, LOWER HOUSE OF KAZAKH PARLIAMENT:

 - Today, Astana has become a center of the Eurasian moment and a new direction of Shevchenko scholars. Ethno-journalists are experts in our country and here is the new specialist, the Shevchenko scholars. Both Ukrainian and Kazakh scientists are very interested in the work of Taras Shevchenko.

Taras Shevchenko reflected the years spent on the Kazakh land in his paintings. He often portrayed the steppe and described the lifestyle of nomads. In return, the Kazakh people treated the Ukrainian kobzar with warmth. He was remembered as akyn Tarazi. To date, a lot of visitors visited to his memorial museum in the Fort Shevchenko. The monument of Taras Shevchenko in Aktau is one of the important sights of the city.

PETR TOKAR, UKRAINIAN PROFESSOR:

 - As a Ukrainian, I was engrossed into it.  I am pleased. I did not expect that people in Kazakhstan can relate so deeply to Shevchenko's creativity. Now I saw it firsthand.

The Shevchenko readings in Astana became an opportunity to summarize the work done by scientists from different countries. Within the previous years, a lot of historical materials have been studied. Five research collections and more than 200 reports about the creativity and life of Taras Shevchenko have been published.

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