On April 26, King Charles III, together with Queen Consort Camilla, visited the Liverpool Central Library to mark its twinning with the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Odesa Scientific Library. First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska joined the ceremony via video call from Kyiv along with the Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko.
The President’s wife reminded that the Odesa library had already had to be rebuilt after its destruction. During World War II, most of the institution was destroyed by Nazi bombing. Now the library helps Ukrainians survive the fight against another attacker.
“Ukraine is now fighting to ensure that libraries are not destroyed, books are not burned, people are not killed anywhere in the world. We want wars to remain only in historical works, and we want every person in the world to be able to read and develop in peace, without the threat of attack and struggle for survival,” said Olena Zelenska.
The Mykhailo Hrushevsky Odesa Scientific Library is one of the largest and oldest libraries in Odesa and the south of Ukraine. The starting point of its history is 1875, when the library was established under the Odesa society for mutual aid of Jewish clerks. The library’s collection includes more than 1.5 million copies, including 50,000 foreign-language publications and 30,000 rare and valuable publications of the XVIII-XIX centuries.
“Libraries suffer from russian aggression almost every day. russia destroys buildings and exports Ukrainian books from libraries of occupied territories. Since the beginning of the full-scale aggression in Ukraine, more than 300 libraries have been destroyed. The Odesa Library was destroyed during World War II. Today, during this war, this library holds the cultural front. Such twinning will provide an opportunity to exchange experience, provide support in post-war reconstruction and restoration of Ukrainian library services,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.