SHARE
COPY LINK

UKRAINE

‘More to offer’ than war: Ukrainian art on display at museum in Spain

Dozens of modern artworks removed from Kyiv to protect them from Russian strikes that have already done huge damage to Ukraine's cultural heritage will go on display at a Madrid 's Thyssen-Bornemisza museum on Tuesday.

'More to offer' than war: Ukrainian art on display at museum in Spain
The exhibition follows a chronological order, starting with the 1910s when Ukraine was part of the Russian empire. Photos: Oscar del Pozo/AFP

The works on show at the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum of Art as part of the “In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930” exhibition include oil paintings, sketches and collages.

Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza founded “Museums for Ukraine” which is seeking to showcase Ukrainian art, using the museum which houses her late father’s collection for the exhibition.

The Madrid exhibition is one of a number of showings of Ukraine’s cultural heritage across Europe, as well as an effort to raise awareness of the threat posed to the war-torn country’s artistic legacy as fighting grinds on.

Curators say it is one of the most comprehensive surveys of Ukrainian modern art in the period between 1900 to 1930.

Many of the works have hardly been seen outside of Ukraine. The exhibition will run at the museum until April 30, and then go on show in Cologne in Germany from September 2023.

‘Vision’ of Russia’s destruction

President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video shown at a preview Monday that “this is a vision of what Russia is trying to destroy”.

After weeks of intense preparation, the pieces were loaded into two trucks in mid-November just before the Ukrainian capital came under intense missile fire.

As it headed to the Polish border the convoy avoided passing infrastructure likely to be attacked, Thyssen-Bornemisza said.

When the convoy reached the border, they found it shut because a missile had just landed in a Polish village killing two people.

Thyssen-Bornemisza said she then asked Ukraine’s ambassador to Spain for help, who in turn contacted “every politician he knew between Poland and Ukraine”.

“It took them 12 hours that night — they managed to get through,” she said.

UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, says over 200 cultural sites in Ukraine, including museums, have been damaged since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Krista Pikkat, UNESCO’s cultural and emergencies director, said in October that “cultural heritage is very often collateral damage during wars — but sometimes it’s specifically targeted”.

The Madrid exhibition is one of a number of showings of Ukraine’s cultural heritage across Europe. Photo: Oscar del Pozo

‘Talk about the war’

The exhibition follows a chronological order.

It starts with the 1910s when Ukraine was part of the Russian empire and ends in the 1930s when several artists died during purges carried out by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, said one of the show’s curators Katia Denysova.

Most of the works come from the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

Among the works on display is “Composition”, a Cubist-inspired painting by Vadym Meller and a realistic portrait of a soldier by Kostiantyn Yeleva.

“It is important for us to continue to talk about the war,” Denysova said.

“But we also want to show with this project that Ukraine has so much more to offer.”

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

UKRAINE

Spain ‘ready’ to send German tanks to Ukraine: minister

Spain said Wednesday it was ready to send some of its German-made Leopard tanks to bolster Ukraine's fight against Russia after Berlin granted approval for their European transfers.

Spain 'ready' to send German tanks to Ukraine: minister

“Spain is ready… to deal with our allies in any way necessary, whether that means sending Leopards, training in the use of Leopards or help in their maintenance and upkeep,” Defence Minister Margarita Robles said.

She did not say how many tanks could be sent, nor when they could be delivered.

Her remarks came shortly after Berlin said it would send some of its own Leopards to Kyiv and cleared other European nations to send their own stocks to Ukraine.

Russia denounced Berlin’s decision to approve deliveries of Leopard tanks to Ukraine as “extremely dangerous”, warning it would take the conflict “to a new level of confrontation”.

Germany’s announcement comes after weeks of pressure from Ukraine and many
of the countries supporting it.

READ ALSO: Spain detains suspect over letter bombs sent to PM, Ukraine embassy 

Kyiv had been seeking the tanks, which it sees as crucial for punching through enemy lines in the nearly year-long war, for months.

A recent analysis by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) concluded that if Kyiv was to receive about 100 such tanks, the effect could be “significant”.

SHOW COMMENTS