Ukrainian art convoy defies Russian bombs for display in Madrid

A secret two-truck convoy containing 51 rare works of art escaped from Kyiv early last Tuesday, hours before waves of Russian missiles began raining down on the capital and other cities in Ukraine.

A mission to transport the works west to Lviv, across the border with Poland, then 3,000 km across Europe to Madrid was surprisingly dangerous, even in times of war. . Much of the country was plunged into darkness as energy infrastructure came under fire. Lviv was targeted as the trucks passed.

As the trucks approached the Ukraine-Poland border, a stray missile fell in the nearby Polish village of Przewodów, threatening a major escalation in the war.

Museum staff transport a work of art which will be transported by convoy from Kyiv to Madrid

After five days on the road, the works have reached their destination, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in the Spanish capital, where next week they will be exhibited in a major exhibition of avant-garde Ukrainian art.

In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930 is supported by Museums for Ukraine, an initiative supported by European museums and galleries to protect and celebrate Ukrainian cultural objects and collections.

The exhibition claims to be the most comprehensive survey of modern Ukrainian art to date, featuring previously unseen works on loan from the National Art Museum of Ukraine and private collections, among others.

The 70 works on display include oil paintings, sketches, collages and theatrical designs, and feature works by Ukrainian modernists Oleksander Bohomazov, Vasyl Yermilov, Viktor Palmov and Anatol Petrytskyi. It also features works by artists who were born and started their careers in Ukraine but became famous abroad, including Alexandra Exter, Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine and Sonia Delaunay.

Ukrainian modernism developed in the context of World War I, the collapse of empires, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Ukrainian War of Independence, and the eventual establishment of the Socialist Republic. Ukrainian Soviet.

During Stalin’s repression of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, artists, writers and theater directors were imprisoned in gulags and executed.

Art collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, who founded Museums for Ukraine in March, said the trucks containing the works of art were “packaged in secret to safeguard the visual reference of the most important export and the most important Ukrainian cultural heritage to have left the country since the beginning of the war”.

The exhibition is supported by Museums of Ukraine, an initiative supported by European museums and galleries to protect and celebrate Ukrainian cultural objects and collections

She added: “Getting this work to safety was not without risk, but the priority of doing so remained largely because the Russian military has consistently shown a lack of respect for the covenants of the The Hague. They caused massive looting in all the occupied territories and more than 500 cultural heritage buildings were destroyed.

Russia’s war in Ukraine was “not just about stealing territory, but about controlling the nation’s narrative and cultural heritage”, she said. “As we watch history repeat itself, this exhibit is a powerful reminder of how close we are to another catastrophe.”

The exhibition will open with a video message from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. A symposium of European cultural personalities will discuss the role of cultural solidarity in times of crisis.

The exhibition will take place in Madrid until next April, then will move to Cologne and possibly other European locations.

. convoy dart ukrainian challenge the russian bombs for be exposed Madrid Ukraine

. Ukrainian art convoy defies Russian bombs display Madrid

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