Maria Prymachenko⁠ — Folk Pacifist from Ukraine

Prymachenko never accepted money for her paintings, always giving them to friends and neighbors. She died in 1997.

After the Russian Invasion

On February 25th, 2022, the Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum in the town of Ivankiv, north of Kyiv, which housed a collection of Prymachenko, was bombarded by Russian troops who invaded Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. According to local sources, on February 27th the building burned to the ground. Besides the museum, the local music school and the House of Culture were damaged as a result of direct fire from Russian tanks.

Luckily, the museum guard, who lived next to the museum, noticed the fire and ran into the burning building to save anything he was able to carry. Thanks to him, 14 out of 25 works of Maria Prymachenko were saved.

On February 28th, ICOM-US issued a statement condemning the destruction of the museum, which “illuminates a tangible and irreversible impact of this immoral and unprovoked war”.

In March 2022, Ukraine’s culture minister called on UNESCO to revoke Russia’s membership but the plea was unsuccessful.

In September 2022, the National Center for Business and Cultural Cooperation, Ukrainian House hosted an exhibition of saved Prymachenko works. At the exhibition visitors also had a first look at the project of the Museum’s reconstruction and creation of an art residency named after Maria Prymachenko.

For now, the museum remains completely destroyed but the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy already started a fundraiser to rebuild the Museum of History of Ivankiv District. That gives us hope that Prymachenko’s flowers will bloom again in a peaceful Ukraine.

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