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The Ivankiv Historical and Ethnographic Museum

On February 25, on the second day of the offensive on the northern border of the Kyiv region, Russian troops invaded the small city of Ivankiv, in the district of Vychgorod. The Ivankiv Historical and Ethnographic Museum contained an important archeological collection. It also held works by the famous weaver Hanna Veres and especially more than twenty original works of Maria Primachenko, [link to Pimachenko] a world-renowned artist who was from the region. The museum was struck by an explosive and burned on February 25 at 11:30-12:00 in the morning. At first, it was announced that most of Primachenko’s works had been destroyed. But since then, Ukrainian Witness has published an interview with Ivankiv City Hall representative and residents. Thanks to the courage of the guard and the neighbors who intervened as soon as they saw the fire, Primachenko's works were saved.

The museum is one of the first destroyed by the Russian army. Since then, the destruction of Ukraine’s cultural heritage has continued, as the aggressor takes little notice of international agreements such as The Hague Convention of 1954 for the protection of cultural goods in cases of armed conflict. An article of the convention stipulates that if a single object of cultural heritage is destroyed during a war, the loss is not only that of the country where the good is found but also of the world.

The Russian Federation has been a member of UNESCO since 1954 as the successor to the URSS. It is ironic that the next session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, expected to be held in June 2022 in Kazan, Russian Federation, was to be devoted to the Convention for the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage. Committee members have asked that the session be transferred to any other country.

(Notice prepared according to information furnished March 24, 2022, by Vlada Lytovchenko, director of Vychgorod’s historico-cultural reserve.)

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