On February 23, on her first visit to Kyiv, French Minister of Culture Rima Abdul-Malak, together with First Lady Olena Zelenska and Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko visited the Central Library named after T. G. Shevchenko for the children of Kyiv. They also discussed cooperation between Ukraine and France in the field of culture during the war.
Rima Abdul-Malak initiated the donation of books for children and adults to libraries in Ukraine as part of a project to support the Ukrainian book publishing and librarianship in 2023-2024. Books by French authors translated into Ukrainian were selected and purchased by the French Institute in Ukraine. The project envisages the continuation of the purchase of books and the possible creation of audio books in the Ukrainian language.
Olena Zelenska thanked the French minister for the visit and this initiative: “It is a logical mirrored continuation of my initiative to create shelves with Ukrainian literature in libraries around the world. Now your project makes it possible to create shelves with translations of French literature (both classical and contemporary) and, accordingly, to introduce French culture to Ukrainian readers.”
The First Lady emphasized the need to constantly draw the world’s attention to russia’s destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage, to crimes against Ukrainian museums, libraries, monuments and cultural figures. Olena Zelenska also thanked for the creation of the European Solidarity Fund for Ukrainian Films (ESFUF).
“In general, dozens of issues were discussed during the meeting. One of the main ones is the strengthening of efforts to preserve Ukrainian cultural heritage, in particular, in the field of digitalization: digitalization of museum collections and immovable heritage sites. We also emphasized the importance of supporting artists and cultural figures in Ukraine, as well as fashion, support and promotion of Ukrainian designers in France. We will be grateful for France’s political leadership in this process,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
The parties also continued discussing the “Ukraine. Out of Blackout” project, launched during Olena Zelenska’s visit to France last year. The initiative aims to discover Ukraine’s artistic heritage as an important value of the European cultural community. It is planned that the implementation of the project will start from the capital of France.
It should be reminded that this is the first visit to Ukraine by the Minister of Culture of France. The purpose of the visit is to see the consequences of the full-scale russian aggression, to reach agreements on the implementation of specific projects and measures to assist Ukraine and to promote our country abroad.