Cultural Heritage Initiatives
The British Ukrainian Society supports and promotes Ukrainian cultural heritage by facilitating access to professional opportunities and collaborative projects for museum professionals.
Such projects aim to promote international standards in the field of heritage conservation by stimulating dialogue and relationships between Ukrainian heritage professionals and colleagues from international centres of excellence, such as The British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers (BAPCR) – the oldest dedicated professional organisation for conservator‐restorers of paintings in the United Kingdom.
The British Ukrainian Society (BUS) supports collaborative projects between British and Ukrainian art restorers, art historians, heritage scientists and other museum professionals.
In September 2016, BAPCR were pleased to host two Ukrainian painting restoration specialists as part of the British Council in Ukraine ‘UA-UK Collaboration Development Award’ to promote Ukrainian cultural heritage and the exchange of skill and knowledge.
The visits included some of the most renowned conservation departments in the UK: The Courtauld Institute of Art, The National Gallery (London), Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Tate.
In May 2017 a delegation of BAPCR visited Kyiv as part of the UA-UK Cultural Heritage Initiative. The delegation included heads of conservation of The National Trust and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
BAPCR were hosted by the second largest conservation and restoration department in Kyiv: The National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural centre, The National Art Museum of Ukraine, The National Scientific Restoration and Conservation Centre of Ukraine and The Kyiv Academy of Art and Architecture.
Museum professionals of both countries were keen to facilitate access to professional opportunities and to stimulate peer learning and the advocacy of international standards in the field of heritage conservation. Collaboration in this field is vital for the safeguarding and sustainable preservation of cultural history by supporting and developing local skills and competences in the field of research, cultural preservation and management.
The UA-UK Collaboration Development project aims to promote the cultural wealth of the participating countries and will lead to collaborative projects and further reciprocal visits.
In June 2018 Katya Belaia of the National Trust, UK participated in the scientific and practical conference “Museums and restoration in the context of preserving cultural heritage: modern challenges of today” which was organised in Kyiv. The British expert presented a talk entitled “Housekeeping, preventive conservation and historic collection management”. The conference was organised with support from the National Kyiv Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve.
In November 2018 the Cambridge Hamilton Kerr Institute hosted a conference entitled “Migrants: art, artists, materials and ideas crossing borders”.
Conservation experts Valeriya Kravchenko of the Ukrainian Art Museum (Dnipro, Ukraine) and Katya Belaia of the National Trust (UK) presented a talk entitled “Migration of ideas and approaches: tracing conservation practices in Ukraine from the Soviet to contemporary history”. The talk focused on the historical conditions under which Ukrainian culture functioned within this time period.
In the framework of her working visit Valeriya also studied approaches to training British restorers applied at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
In 2019 the project activities aimed at preserving cultural heritage are expected to continue.