UNESCO, Norway Contribute to Open Air Museum Restoration in Ukraine
Kyiv, April 3, 2012. The government of Norway provided USD 541,666 for the UNESCO project supporting Lviv open air Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life Shevchenkivskyi Hai. The project aims at revitalization and collection care at Shevchenkivskyi Hai and will last till March 2014. It will help the museum in western Ukrainian Lviv face challenges of managing its capacities and executing general museographical functions.
The UNESCO project will deal with the deteriorating condition of Shevchenkivskyi Hai’s artifacts via conservation. It will also improve the institution’s capacity for collection management, as well as involve broad public in the restoration of the museum through raising awareness of the issue among the general population. In addition, the project stipulates the development of applicable educational programs.
The museum includes 124 buildings and occupies 58 hectares of land near Lviv. The items in theShevchenkivskyi Hai collection were brought to the site from many western regions of Ukraine. They were restored and put on display in order for the museum’s visitors to educate themselves about the local history and culture in 18, 19, and early 20th centuries.
Shevchenkivskyi Hai was opened in 1971. Its oldest item is a peasant house that dates back to 1749. Besides peasant houses from six regions of western Ukraine, the collection features six churches, a forge, a school, a fulling mill, as well as saw-, water- and windmills.
Developing the Ukraine project, UNESCO drew experience from the similar undertaking in Georgia. In 2006 UNESCO and Norway launched a joint project The Revitalization of the G. Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi. The estimated project end date is June 30, 2012. The initial stage of the project involved restoring and conservation of the buildings, just like the project in Ukraine. The ultimate goal was to turn the museum in Tbilisi into a sustainable and dynamic center of Georgian cultural heritage.
The peculiar part of the project in Georgia was to encourage income generation through crafts. Along the way this helped Georgian youth discover their cultural heritage through learning more about the local crafts.
Folk architecture and rural life museums are not rare in Ukraine. The country boasts four such institutions. Ukraine’s museum of this kind that is most popular with tourists – Pyrohiv – is situated near the country’s capital Kyiv. It features eight expositions – each dedicated to architecture in a certain region of Ukraine (e.g. southern Ukraine or Carpathians), as well as a separate exhibit of windmills. 275 architectural forms have been brought to Pyrohiv from all over Ukraine. The items were created in the period of 16-20 centuries. Each building is decorated with household items that belong to specific time.