The Russian invasion of Ukraine causes great human suffering. The invasion also poses a threat to the Ukrainian cultural heritage. Museums and memorials are at risk of being damaged, removed or destroyed. Threats of theft and looting are constantly present where the war is raging. The foundation Nordiska Museet has therefore started a fund to raise financial aid to protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
Destroying cultural heritage is part of warfare
In the war, hundreds of people have so far lost their lives. More than 2 million people are on the run. As Russian troops advance in Ukraine, there are reports of deliberate destruction of parts of Ukraine’s cultural heritage. It is an old war tactic to destroy, plunder and reshape an opponent’s cultural heritage in order to rewrite history to one’s own advantage. By eradicating culture, people are deprived of their physical place as well as their identity and sense of belonging.
Ukrainian museum workers appeal for help
Intensive work to secure and protect cultural heritage and museum collections is currently underway around Ukraine. The country has seven World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO list and UNESCO has expressed great concern about what is happening in connection with the Russian advances. Ukrainian museum workers appeal to the outside world to draw attention to the threat to its cultural heritage and institutions. An appeal heard by Swedish colleagues.
Fundraising for Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage
On March 2, Nordiska Museet, in collaboration with the Swedish National Heritage Board and other Nordic museum colleagues, started a fundraiser in support of endangered cultural heritage in Ukraine. After two weeks, 650,000 sek had been donated by institutions and private individuals, among other things by Nordiska Museet donating all entrance fees from the weekend of 5–6 March to the fund.
The fundraising continues. Through the open fundraiser, we can all participate and contribute.
Uppdate November 2023
Many museums and cultural institutions joined and made valuable contributions to the fundraiser. With the help of several generous private contributors, foundations, associations, and entrepreneurs on Djurgården as well as museums in the Nordics, the collected funds raised were SEK 1.6 million.
Thanks to the financial support, the National Museum of the History of Ukraine is now preparing an exhibition about the pre-Christian era in Ukraine. The equipment and stands for the exhibition are manufactured and paid for with funds from the fundraiser.
Through the fundraising initiative for the Ukrainian cultural heritage, the Nordic Museum contributes to strengthening efforts to protect and secure the world’s cultural heritage. (11.4)