Russians in Crimea destroy Ukrainian cultural heritage

April 30,2024 550
Russians in Crimea destroy Ukrainian cultural heritage

The Russian forces in the temporarily occupied Yevpatoriia have demolished a unique mosaic panel that featured Ukrainian ethnic motifs, including an image of the Hutsul Dance, from the facade of the former Dzhereltse resort, according to the Crimean Tatar Resource Center. 

The occupiers are clearing the area to make way for the construction of multi-story residential buildings. “Previously, Crimean residents attempted to appeal to the occupying authorities to preserve the mosaic, including reaching out to “the head of Crimea,” Aksyonov. Activists emphasized the value of the monumental relief mosaic panel and the importance of preserving it for history and future generations,” the organization wrote.

Crimean residents even found mosaic specialists who were willing to dismantle the panel on a volunteer basis and arranged for its storage until it could be relocated. However, the occupiers ignored the locals’ calls.

The panel’s authors are the well-known Crimean artists Yurii Bielkin and Heorhii Bondar. Earlier, activists estimated the panel’s value at the Dzhereltse resort to be over UAH 4 million (USD 100,000).

In July 2022, the Russians also destroyed unique mosaics by the Ukrainian artist and dissident Alla Horska and artist Viktor Zaretskyi. These include the Life Tree and Boryviter (“Kestrel”) compositions, which were located in the former “Ukraina” restaurant in Mariupol.

Created in 1967, the works were experimental, as the authors used non-standard materials such as slag concrete and metal. The mosaics were considered gems of the Mariupol collection of monumental art.

Before the full-scale invasion of Russia, Mariupol was home to one of Ukraine’s largest collections of mosaic monumental art, including 26 significant author works and several dozen smaller-scale works.

Photos: open sources; Yevgen Nikiforov