At Ukraine’s Largest Art Museum, A Race to Protect a National Treasure
There has been a rapid development in order to protect the art of the country’s largest museum.
While it does not know how much time is left, restoration specialists are working quickly to save everything they can from the ravages of damage and neglect.
Lviv National Art Museum, in western Ukraine, is taking precautions to protect its valuable collection from Russian troops. The museum’s staff are hurriedly packing up and moving the items to a safe location in case of Russian forces attack again.
The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery, Founded in the 12th Century, is home to a treasure trove of art and artifacts. The Lavra is also the largest cultural and historical site in Ukraine. Today it’s threatened by a regime that denies the country’s history.
In 1998, The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of only four such sites in Ukraine. Its design embodies the unity of three different architectural styles: Byzantine-style church buildings; Romanesque-style cloister buildings; and Ukrainian Baroque-style bell towers and gateways.
The monastery contains museums and galleries that preserve thousands of priceless works of art from different periods and cultures. In 2008, during an interview with Anna Vinogradova for the Ukrainian publication Kyiv Weekly, Meteli said that the monastery was among the most important cultural and historical sites in Ukraine.
Mitel believes that the religious symbols of the monastery, which are on display to tourists, should be removed from public view and replaced with new ones. In his opinion, it is necessary to re-establish order in what he describes as an “artificial work of art “. According to Meteli, the monastery is not a religious site but rather a cultural monument.
According to an article in the Ukrainian newspaper Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, Meteli has been engaged in renovating some of the monastery’s churches and has extensive experience handling funds for this kind of work. He also stated that he plans on cleaning up the roads surrounding the monastery and on improving the water supply.