Russia-Ukraine: owners take works of art out of a condemned gallery to save them

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In Ukraine’s capital, where the threat of a Russian attack has been reduced but not eliminated, art gallery owners scramble to protect priceless works of art in case the city is at risk. struck again.

In kyiv, many buildings are condemned for fear of another attack, including an art gallery that houses countless paintings and artifacts.

Although the facade is still blocked off, its owners entered the building through a hidden entrance that opens to a closet in the gallery, all in an effort to bring the art to safety.

Inside, a few pieces remain because the gallery owners say they want to keep a semblance of normality.

But the most valuable paintings once displayed on these walls are now stored in vaults to prevent them from being looted by the Russians.

“It’s secret, yes,” a gallery employee told CTV National News national affairs correspondent Omar Sachedina. “We have a lot of rooms to keep the art [in].”

That’s not the only way Ukrainian art is supported at the moment – in a remarkable expression of patriotism, the owners say the value of Ukrainian art has surged, mainly thanks to wealthy domestic collectors.

In February, several works by Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko were destroyed in a museum near where she grew up in an attack by Russian forces.

Prymachenko, who died 25 years ago, painted fantastical and colorful images inspired by Ukrainian folklore and wildlife. Ukraine’s foreign minister tweeted shortly after the Ivankiv museum strike that around 25 of her paintings were burned in the attack.

In recent weeks, his work has again come to the fore as a symbol of peace, with an image of a dove with outstretched wings painted in murals and projected onto buildings at international rallies for Ukraine. .

And tonight, a work of art by the 20th-century master, hailed by Picasso, was auctioned off.

Its value entering the auction was estimated at US$20,000. The winning bid? Half a million.

Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Ukraine’s military, joining the $6.5 billion in humanitarian aid pledged by international donors at a conference in Warsaw on Thursday.

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