Site History and Significance
An Ornate Gothic Revival Library
Prior to the Russian Revolution, the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv possessed the only museum devoted to Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire. Its rich collection of artifacts, amassed by Vasyl Tarnovsky, was housed in a striking Gothic Revival building dating to the end of the nineteenth century. Though the collection was moved when the building was converted into a regional library in 1978, the site retained both its splendid ornamentation and its reputation for historic richness.
Winterizing a Damaged Structure
In March of 2022, Russian shelling resulted in the collapse of part of the building’s roof and walls. Following the bombing, World Monuments Fund (WMF) and Cultural Emergency Response (CER) partnered on a two-phase project that first sought to winterize the site to shield the partly ruined building from further damage due to precipitation and extreme temperatures. With the building’s condition stabilized and the site cleared and documented, a temporary structure was put in place to provide further cover, preventing any potential collapse due to climatic conditions. Phase two, which is currently ongoing, is focused on the emergency stabilization of the site and in advance of the planned reconstruction of the roof and perimeter walls. The WMF team is working with local stakeholders and a scientific comity to define future steps towards the full recovery of the site.
World Monuments Fund safeguards cultural heritage around the globe, ensuring our treasured places are preserved for present and future generations.
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