As Russia Advances Towards West, Ukraine Museums Race to Protect Antiques

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Ukraine museums in the western city of Lviv has been shuttered since Russia’s invasion on Ukraine began on February 24, and historical sites around the nation are under threat as the combat continues, even on its twelfth day

As Russia Advances Towards West, Ukraine  Museums Race to Protect Antiques
Workers shift the antiques in the Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv, Ukraine. AP

As Russia advances towards the west of Ukraine, latter’s largest museum —Andrey Sheptytsky National Museum in Lviv has started to shift its antiques to protect them from the invasion.

The Firstpost quoted Museum General Director Ihor Kozhan as saying, “Sometimes the tears are coming because a lot of labour has been put in here. It takes time, energy. You are doing something good; you feel pleased. Today you see empty walls, so it feels bitter, sad. We didn’t believe it till the last minute that this could happen”.

Ukraine museums in the western city of Lviv has been shuttered since Russia’s invasion on Ukraine began on February 24, and historical sites around the nation are under threat as the combat continues, even on its twelfth day. Kozhan said he receives calls on a regular basis from different European cultural organisations offering to assist him and his employees in their efforts to preserve the museum’s artefacts.


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The director of the rare manuscripts and books department, Anna Naurobska, said she still doesn’t know where to properly keep the collection of over 12,000 pieces that are being wrapped into boxes.

She is disturbed by the relocation operation and is concerned that the collection may be destroyed if the city is attacked.

Naurobska said, “This is our story; this is our life. It is very important to us”.

As Russia Advances Towards West, Ukraine Museums Race to Protect Antiques

Other sites in the city are also rushing to conserve the objects of aesthetic or cultural significance. The Museum of the History of Religion’s exhibit cabinets are mostly empty. Workers are putting together metal containers on the terrace to carefully store the remaining goods before they are placed in basements. The statues of the Latin Cathedral have been covered with cardboard, foam, and plastic to protect them from shrapnel.

Kozhan bemoaned the empty museum, which had survived two world wars, among the stark walls and veiled sculptures.

“Museum has to live. People have to be there, and first of all children. They have to learn the basics of their culture”, Kozhan added.


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