The readiness of foreign partners to provide assistance to Ukraine from the first days of the full-scale invasion was and is invaluable, – Kateryna Chuyeva

Cultural heritage

On March 15, at the Media Center Ukraine-Ukrinform, the international assistance in rescuing museum funds damaged during the war, as well as further plans for cooperation were discussed.

The press conference was attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Kateryna Chuyeva, as well as representatives of the National Research and Restoration Center of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Museum of Writing and Printing (Grębocin, Poland), and the Folkowisko Foundation.

At the beginning of the event, the Deputy Minister called for a moment of silence to honor and remember Yurii Oleksandrovych Kovalenko, the Head of the scientific and research department of the National Reserve “Gluhiv”, whose tragic news of death was received recently.

 “Yurii Kovalenko has done a lot for the preservation of cultural heritage, for archaeological research – for Gluhiv and not only. It is very difficult to talk about this loss – about what price today we preserve our heritage”, Kateryna Chuyeva said.

The war launched by russia against Ukraine, in addition to terrible human losses, brought significant destruction and damage to cultural heritage. Thousands of buildings were damaged by rocket and artillery strikes, including museums, galleries, libraries and archives, hundreds of objects of immovable cultural heritage and unique objects of the museum fund of Ukraine.

“The cultural heritage of Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion is at great risk. Regretfully, there are currently no safe places due to russian missile attacks on the territory of our country. This affects all processes. Therefore, the readiness of foreign partners to provide assistance to Ukraine from the first days of the full-scale invasion was and is invaluable. One of the cases of such assistance, which our colleagues from Ukraine and Poland will talk about later, became possible thanks to the support of the ALIPH foundation,” the Deputy Minister emphasized .

It should be noted that more than 160 Ukrainian museums and other institutions have already received assistance from ALIPH. The total amount is almost $4 million. The results and prospects for further cooperation were discussed on March 6-7 in Abu Dhabi, where the international Forum on Protecting Cultural Heritage Sites in Conflict Areas was held. The event was co-organized by the ALIPH Foundation and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. From 2022, assistance to the cultural heritage of Ukraine is one of the Foundation’s priorities. On behalf of Ukraine, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Kateryna Chuyeva, Director General of the National Research and Restoration Center of Ukraine Svitlana Strelnykova and Director General of the National memorial Complex of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred – Museum of the Revolution of Dignity, co-founder of the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative Ihor Poshyvailo took part in the Forum. The goal of the Ukrainian delegation was not only to acquaint the participants of the Forum with the challenges in the field of protection of Ukraine’s cultural heritage during the war, but also to share experience and enlist the support of partners and discuss further steps to support Ukraine.

One of the most difficult challenges in wartime is the preservation of museum objects. This mission was undertaken by the National Research and Restoration Center of Ukraine, which was supported by the ALIPH Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland), the Museum of Writing and Printing (Grębocin, Poland), and the Temple of Art Foundation (Grębocin, Poland). Thanks to international partners and grant support, much-needed restoration equipment, technical means, tools and restoration materials were purchased, which became a significant help for measures to preserve and restore damaged museum rarities.

The Folkowisko Foundation (Cieszanów, Poland) with the support of the Kosciuszko Foundation (Warsaw, Poland) undertook to resolve organizational issues regarding the transportation of special equipment purchased in Poland for the restoration and research of unique objects. The particular equipment was delivered to Kyiv on March 14 this year and will later be installed in the National Research and Restoration Center of Ukraine in the capital and its regional branches.

“Mechanisms for providing international assistance are very different. They require time and constant communication, advocacy, and organizational efforts from both a government and professional communities and civil society organizations. Aid is also provided and operated by various actors – state bodies or institutions, professional associations, charitable foundations, volunteers. We are grateful to everyone who is currently helping to save Ukrainian cultural heritage,” Kateryna Chuyeva emphasized.

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