KAZAN, Tatarstan -- Tatarstan's political, scientific, and cultural elite gathered today in Kazan to honor veteran public figure Mansur Khasanov, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.
Khasanov died on March 13 at the age of 80. He was buried in Kazan's Archa cemetery today.
Outgoing Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said "the Tatar nation is burying one of the most prominent representatives of the Tatar intelligentsia." He said Khasanov contributed greatly to the culture, education, and arts of the Tatar nation.
Khasanov served from 1971-91 as a deputy chairman of the republican Council of Ministers with responsibility for education, science, culture, and the arts. He initiated the creation of Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences, which is independent of the federal Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
Khasanov also coordinated the compilation and publication of a national encyclopedia in the Tatar language.