On March 16, the delegation of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia headed by the Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek , met with the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko, as well as his Deputies Galyna Grygorenko, Kateryna Chuyeva, and Anastasia Bondar. The parties discussed the issue of cooperation in the field of culture and preservation of cultural heritage in the conditions of war and media support.
The Minister informed the Croatian guests on the situation in the cultural sphere of Ukraine during the full-scale invasion of the russian federation. He emphasized that currently Ukraine needs immediate protection, and in the future – restoration of cultural objects and infrastructure. After all, russian aggression has already led to the destruction of more than 1,322 cultural objects. He also added that despite the war, Ukrainian theaters continue to work and even prepare premiere performances. All Ukrainian cultural institutions have turned into centers of courage and invincibility of the Ukrainian nation, and all artists and workers in the field of culture have become soldiers of the cultural front, which is also very crucial.
Croatia has extensive experience in wartime preservation, returning of exhibits and restoration of cultural heritage. As Croatian specialists note, all this great work continues to this day. Its focus is on digitalization of all processes. Ukraine also needs this. For this, Croatian specialists will share their experience with Ukrainians.
A tour around the Sofia Kyivska National Reserve was conducted for the Croatian delegation. The Minister of Culture and Media of Croatia, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tkachenko, as well as the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Head of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO, Emine Dzhaparova, spoke with journalists during a joint briefing.
“I am glad that we were able to discuss a number of issues which unite us very much with Croatia. Croatia, unfortunately, has the experience of military operations and did everything to preserve its own historical and cultural heritage. During the conversation, we determined that Croatia has the most experience in preserving cultural heritage and organizing this process both during and after the war. The restoration process in Croatia continues even now. I am very grateful to my counterpart that we could speak openly and honestly about many important things that currently concern Ukraine. We know for sure that Croatians are one of our true friends,” Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, said.
“We once again express our solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Since the beginning of the war, we have been fully involved in helping Ukraine in all segments. This is the defense, humanitarian support, aid to refugees and others. During the meeting now and in online format with Ms. Dzhaparova and Mr. Tkachenko, we shared the experience we had gained during our war. In particular, the protection of cultural heritage, damage due to military actions, evacuation and restoration. I want to emphasize that Croatia was the first country for which the destruction of cultural heritage at the UN International Court of Justice was used to indict one of the officers of the Serbian army. All we see in Ukraine during the war are war crimes against civilians, infrastructure, cultural heritage, your identity. We will continue to support Ukrainian artists and all refugees. We organize many cultural programs for them. We hope and believe that you will win the war soon, and we will very soon talk about reconstruction and return to this beautiful country,” Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Mass Media of the Republic of Croatia, noted.
First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Head of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO Emine Dzhaparova emphasized: “Croatia has become a very important country for us, as it hosted the first ever Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimean Platform. With her visit, Nina Obuljen Koržinek demonstrates not only courage, but also a very high level of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”
According to Dzhaparova, Nina Obuljen Koržinek is also the Head of the Croatian Commission for UNESCO, so the agenda of her visit today also includes the exchange of experience between these relevant agencies of Ukraine and Croatia.
“We want to show the face of war in the 21st century, and as the Minister said, the question of the responsibility of the russian federation must be indispensable,” the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stressed.
Among the members of the Croatian delegation were Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Media of Croatia; Anica Djamić, Ambassador of Croatia to Ukraine; Tomislav Petrinec, Director of the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia; Anja Jelavić, Director of Directorate for International Cultural Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Media of Croatia; representatives of the Embassy of Croatia: Jerko Vukas and Nataša Mykulina.