How culture lives during the war: Foreign diplomats together with Oleksandr Tkachenko visited the Khanenko Museum

On April 25, foreign diplomats visited the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts together with Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, as well as his deputies Galyna Grygorenko and Kateryna Chueva. Among the guests were diplomats from the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Moldova, Portugal, Croatia, India, South Korea, Georgia, Hungary, Turkey, representatives of the British Council in Ukraine, the UNESCO Representation in Ukraine , the Czech Center in Kyiv, and the Yunus Emre Institute in Kyiv, the Polish Institute in Kyiv.

During the meeting organized by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, foreign guests were able to make sure that despite the war, art in Ukraine continues to live. Within the panel discussion at the event, representatives of the cultural sphere presented their projects, demonstrating that Ukrainian culture is alive and develops during the war, and therefore requires support from foreign partners.

Due to real threats of bombing, the collection of the Khanenko Museum was evacuated. However, the walls of the museum do not remain empty – the temporary exhibitions are held inside. In particular, currently on display there  are works by artists who assisted the museum with its current tasks during the war.

“Fortunately, most of the museum exhibits were preserved. But, above all, this exhibition shows that Ukrainian culture continues to function, and artists continue to create. We had over 50 premieres in our theaters last year. Museum expositions are open, despite the war. They continue to function. People continue to work. That is why our cultural sphere requires international support within the country,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

The Minister emphasized that the interest of museum visitors and consumers of cultural services has only increased compared to 2021. In addition, he spoke to the guests of the event about the importance of supporting Ukrainian artists who, despite the war, have remained working in Ukraine and supporting their people.

“Ukrainians continue to lead normal lives. And a normal life also includes cultural life. After all, we are fighting for our cultural identity,” added Oleksandr Tkachenko.

It should be noted that the Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts is the key world art museum, which presents the most significant collections of European, Asian and Ancient art in Ukraine. The museum was established in 1919 in accordance with the will of art collector Bohdan Khanenko (1917) and the deed of gift to the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences signed by his wife Varvara (1918).

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