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The first attempts to create an open-air museum on the historical territory of Belarus were undertaken as far back as 1908 by Ferdinand Ruschits. He wanted to show not only the Belarusian, but also the Polish and Lithuanian villages near modern Vilnius. However, because of the First World War, his plans could not be realized. In 1976, a decree was issued to create a museum dedicated to wooden architecture. Preparations for the opening dragged on for ten years: a special group of leading ethnographic scientists, architects and historians went to the expedition, collected the necessary information about the buildings. It all started with a few monuments, now the museum has three sectors and twenty-seven monuments.

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