Ivankiv Museum in Ukraine hit by Russian Forces

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As John Steinbeck aptly put, “All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal”. War is meaningless, but that is what Russia started on the 24th of February. Ukraine was on the receiving end and bearing the brunt of the cruel attack from Russia. Valuable lives were lost and there are people, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of many nationalities stuck in Kyiv trying to escape the country. Another tragedy that happened was the destruction of the beloved Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum.

The museum was apparently burned down by the Russian militia on the 27th of February, during the Battle of Ivankiv. Twenty-five paintings of the world-renowned artist Maria Prymachenko were burned to the ground. The fate of the other collections in the museum, such as natural science specimens and archaeological objects is still unknown. Graphic videos showing the Ivankiv Museum in flames ran rampant throughout social media. This also led to Vlada Litovchenko, director of the Vyshhorod Historical and Cultural Reserve labeling the events as an “irreparable loss” and Oleksandr Tkachenko, who is the Minister of Culture in Ukraine, to urge UNESCO to remove Russia from its UNESCO membership due to the horrific actions done against the Ukrainian culture.

Maria Prymachenko was a peasant woman, born in the quaint village of Bologna in the Ivankiv region. She was a folk painter and a representative of naïve art, which is when art is created by a person without any formal training or education in painting. Her art was filled with colorful strokes of gouache and watercolor and depicted symmetric designs of fantastical beasts and charming scenes of everyday life in the villages of Ukraine. It is also to be noted that her works showcased the battle between good and evil, with good becoming the triumphant winner. Even Pablo Picasso was enthralled by her, saying “I bow down before the artistic miracle of this brilliant Ukrainian”. It is heartbreaking to see the loss of valuable art and hopefully, there’s a chance to save the burned-down legacy of Maria Prymachenko.

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