AMBASSADOR'S BLOG - A SUBTLE STORY OF THE HORRORS OF WAR

19.06.12


This post is also available in: Ukrainian

The table is set for a banquet. Dozens of glasses are lined up, interspersed with samovars and accordions. Around, in the darkness, thousands of faces look on. But no one will ever eat or drink.

I’m in the Remembrance Hall at the Museum of the “Great Patriotic War” in Kyiv. The Museum, located under the figure of the “Rodina Mat’” (Motherland) statue south of the city centre, is moving and impressive. Following a thorough overhaul of its Soviet-era content in the 1990s,  it seeks to portray a measured view of the horrors of war.

The displays begin not in 1941 with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union but in 1939 with the signature of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Stalin and Hitler. The exhibits conclude with the symbolic funeral feast table of the Remembrance Hall, with places set for the dead.

The Embassy recently undertook a project to help the Museum provide English-language information sheets for foreign visitors. When I visited the Museum on 17 June I was pleased to see the information sheets in huge demand from English, Swedish and German-speaking visitors – indeed, people were queuing up to get hold of them.

I shall be delighted if this initiative results in more visitors to what is one of Kyiv’s most important sights.

Tags: Great Patriotic War, kyiv, museum, Rodina Mat', ukraine

Leigh Turner



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