Odesa’s unique museum damaged on its 124th birthday due to Russian attack

November 6,2023 765
Odesa’s unique museum damaged on its 124th birthday due to Russian attack

On November 6, during the night, Russia initiated a major assault in southern Ukraine. The attackers employed drones and a variety of missile systems, with a specific focus on Odesa. This offensive resulted in extensive damage to the city’s infrastructure and left eight individuals injured. Notably, the Odesa Fine Arts Museum, situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suffered significant damage during the attack.

“On November 6, Odesa Fine Art Museum marks its 124th anniversary. It was on the night of November 6 that Russian nonentities ‘greeted’ our architectural monument with a missile that hit nearby,” Oleh Kiper, Head of Odesa Oblast Military Administration, said.

The missile hit the road right in front of the museum. The walls of the building were damaged, and the windows were broken. Currently, employees are recording the damage and mitigating the aftermath of the Russian attack.

“Seven exhibitions with works of modern artists were damaged. The walls of the architectural monument were damaged, and some windows and glass were broken. Currently, all events in the museum have been canceled,” the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine reported.

The museum could lose world-famous exhibits, Hennadii Trukhanov, the mayor of Odesa, said. “A few centimeters here, a few there, and we could have lost many of our pieces and exhibits, which are very famous to the whole world. Fortunately, this did not happen,” Trukhanov said.

The institution is closed for a week, and all holiday events, as well as Free Entrance Day on the occasion of a birthday, are canceled.

“We are very glad that there are no victims and such community cohesion, and there is no need to come to the museum tomorrow because the process of assessing the damage, fixing the consequences of the damage and investigative actions is ongoing; everything should remain intact,” the museum staff said.

This is not the first time that Russia has attacked the Odesa Fine Arts Museum. The institution suffered from the consequences of a missile attack by the Russians last year in July. Then the staff repaired all the damage and installed protective structures. A year later, the occupiers damaged the museum for the second time. The blast wave broke windows in the building, broke the сlerestory windows and caused cracks in the walls. The damage to the Odesa Fine Arts Museum in July was recorded by UNESCO representatives in the updated list of cultural monuments destroyed by the Russians in Ukraine.