Statement on the Conflict in Ukraine
World Monuments Fund (WMF) expresses deep concern as the conflict in Ukraine worsens. The recent escalation of attacks by Russian forces in Ukraine, including rocket strikes on population centers, presents a new level of threat to civilian lives. These attacks also pose an immediate and urgent threat to Ukraine’s cultural heritage. Ukraine is home to an extraordinary wealth of cultural heritage sites, all of which are put in danger by this conflict. Already the Ivankiv Museum north of Kyiv has been destroyed in an attack, among the works lost are dozens of paintings by the artist Maria Primachenko. The rocket attack on Kyiv’s radio tower that struck just next to the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial further demonstrates the immense risks for heritage as fighting escalates.
WMF calls for the respect of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. We urge that all precautions be taken to protect lives and avoid irreparable harm to cultural heritage in the region. Our experience with post-crisis recovery around the world continues to reveal the lasting consequences of destruction on communities.