Kyiv, January 21, 2016. Institute of National Memory together with civic society creates Maidan Museum. First steps have been made: the museum has been registered as a legal entity, the director has been appointed however there are still no premises for the exposition, said Volodymyr Viatrovych, Head of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. “Maidan and Maidan Museum have to remind us of the extremely high price that we paid to get the possibility of change. And now when we are implementing these changes it is the memory about Maidan that has to inspire and move us. We shall not waste this opportunity,” noted Viatrovych.
Ihor Poshyvaylo is the newly appointed director of the Heaven’s Hundred Memorial Complex – the Museum of the Revolution of Dignity and head of board at the NGO “Maidan Museum”. He said activists have been using each and every opportunity to save original things from Maidan since January 2014. Temporary premises to store all these items are now needed. “It should be the space to duly store the collection itself that numbers over two thousand exhibits including unique pieces and artifacts from Maidan,” said Poshyvaylo. He said almost all artifacts are now stored in two places. Ninety nine percent of the collection is at the National Center for Folk Culture – the Ivan Honchar Museum. While, for example, the carcass of “yolka”, Christmas tree, is stored at the National Museum of Ukraine’s History in World War II as the construction is big. The Maidan Museum director also noted that there are no due conditions for correct storage of the collection, and it is of concern. Poshyvaylo said that over the past two years these artifacts demonstrated at various exhibitions both in Ukraine and abroad. Initiative participants realize that many unique pieces from the Revolution of Dignity are in private collections including in other countries.
Initiators of Maidan Museum say their task for this year is to find the premises at least for temporary exposition. They count on state support in this matter. “We think that one of the best options for this is the premises of the state-owned Ukrainian House that is directly linked to the Maidan history,” stated Viatrovych. He said the necessary next step is construction of new premises. Best option for that would be a land plot on the Heaven’s Hundred Alley. He rejected the earlier considered options of the Trade Unions House and the International Center for Culture and Arts (former October Palace), as no permission from the Trade Unions Federation of Ukraine has been obtained, said Viatrovych.
According to Oleksandra Baklanova, partner at pro.mova analytical company, one of the most important tasks for the future is to make the Museum not only about the past but also about the future. “So that Ukrainians learn to rethink their past in a way that it helps them to build their future, not only to suffer,” she is convinced. According to Baklanova the museum needs to become a platform that will help us realize everything that happened. Moreover the Maidan Museum is not only a collection of artifacts but also cultural and educational program as well as a chance to reach far beyond the walls of the building. “It is a unique process when the museum was born not from top down but in a bottom-up way and was actually supported by the state,” said Vasyl Rozhko, Head of Museum Department at the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.
In addition to the premises for the museum initiative organizers expect financial support from the state. Changes to the budget need to foresee the money for museum operation. The organizers also expect that the Museum will get the status of the national one, it will make it possible to count on financing from the state budget, added Head of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory. Next year Director of the Maidan Museum Ihor Poshyvaylo plans to hold an open competition for the post of director, choose the management and finalize recruitment of the Museum staff.