Cultural resistance at museum gathering over Ukraine's destruction

The ongoing Russian aggression towards Ukraine extends to cultural institutions. Museum professionals meet in Berlin to discuss rebuilding efforts. Encouraging support signals from Germany.

May 27, 2024
2 min read
NewsDestructionPrussian Cultural Heritage FoundationTechnologyCultural policyBerlinGermanyMuseumsConflictsWarGerman Press AgencyRussiaUkraineExhibitionsDonor conferenceConferencesFutureReconstructionCultural institutionEuropeWar of aggressionHermann Parzinger
Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK).
Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK).


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Russian act of hostility - Cultural resistance at museum gathering over Ukraine's destruction

Ahead of the largest gathering of Ukrainian museums since the conflict began, slated in Berlin, the leader of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, still sees support for endangered cultural institutions. From Germany, widespread sympathy and a desire to aid prevail across all cultural spheres, Parzinger, who oversees the biggest cultural body in the country, told the German Press Agency.

Resisting intentional destruction in the cultural realm as well

Certainly, the effects of the conflict in Ukraine can be witnessed in local cultural practices, such as the exorbitant hikes in energy costs. "However, it's crucial to recognize the hostility freely Europe is currently experiencing," he added. "The targeting of a nation and country culturally must also be resisted."

Ukraine will continue to benefit from supplementary programs, expertise, and connections with German cultural establishments. He held fast to unwavering unity and the determination to help. "There are numerous networks that aren't always as publicly recognized."

Parzinger recalled the swift aid rendered since the war's outset. "We acted quickly from the get-go, offering packaging materials, allocating digital storage rooms, and implementing scholarship initiatives. In the face of an ongoing murderous conflict, further efforts from the outside are nearly impossible."

Almost a hundred Ukrainian museums and cultural institutions are convening in Berlin on Tuesday and Wednesday, under the banner "From Crisis to Future: New Roles for Museums in Ukraine." These attendees aim to generate proposals for rebuilding their country and deliberate on how to bolster Ukrainian civilian society in the present conditions.

"It's crucial to contemplate the future at this juncture, even if the war isn't yet over," commented Parzinger. "I'm convinced that cultural institutions will play a significant role in Ukraine's reconstruction." Russia is deliberately decimating Ukrainian culture and identity through targeted assaults on cultural establishments.

Culture to feature at donor summit

Another international donor conference is planned for June 11 and 12 in Berlin. "We aim to emphasize with our Ukrainian peers the value of cultural institutions for the nation's future," stated Parzinger. "For instance, when it pertains to the matter of municipal and regional reconstruction, museums can assume various tasks, covering cultural infrastructure, urban planning principles, and the role museums can play in cultivating a robust democratic civil society - and how Ukrainian culture reinforces Europe's shared cultural heritage."

In Parzinger's opinion, culture should be a conference focus. "Wars intended to annihilate a nation's culture and identity necessitate preserving its future. In the absence of identity and cultural heritage, it's challenging for a community to persist. The role and relevance of museums and cultural institutions in shaping civil society and aiding the nation's reconstruction should be acknowledged. Europe is a testimony to unity through diversity, and Ukraine is undoubtedly integral."

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