Cultural Emergency Response: Protection of Heritage in Times of War
It has been over a year since the escalation of the war in Ukraine. Ever since, at least 1,271 museums, monuments, and other cultural and religious institutions have been—often deliberately—damaged or looted during the Russian invasion. In response to this war on culture, the world has come together to support local cultural experts to save Ukraine’s cultural heritage in crisis.
Sunday, May 14
In this conversation, Sanne Letschert, director of Cultural Emergency Response (CER), and Oleksandra Kovalchuk, director of the Odessa Museum of Fine Arts and founder of the Museum for Change initiative, share the exceptional stories of cultural first aiders on the frontline to protect their collections and sites, and discuss the absolute urgency to save the country’s history, collective memory, and identity.
Cultural Emergency Response coordinates and supports “first aid” to cultural heritage under threat. In the past year, CER has supported the protection of over 100 Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions. TEFAF has been a loyal partner of CER to protect culture in crisis since 2008.
To learn more about the work of CER or to support culture in crisis, please visit their website: www.culturalemergency.org
TEFAF Talks are interactive panel discussions exploring today’s most fascinating topics in the worlds of art, antiques, and design. Paired with leading content partners, these talks showcase the knowledge of leading experts in the broader TEFAF community. This talk is presented in partnership with CER and moderated by Sanne Letschert, Director, Cultural Emergency Response.
Moderator: Sanne Letschert, Director, Cultural Emergency Response
Sanne Letschert is director of Cultural Emergency Response (CER). Combining art history, cultural diplomacy and memory studies, her interest in the relationship between heritage and communities drives her in protecting culture in crisis situations. Her main motivation is to promote heritage protection as humanitarian issue and inspire an inclusive approach to cultural- and humanitarian relief.
Oleksandra Kovalchuk, Director, NGO Museum for change, Deputy director, The Odesa Fine Arts Museum
Deputy director of the Odesa fine arts museum, NGO Museum for Change leader, a volunteer. MFC partners with UNESCO, ALIPH, and the CER to help Ukrainian museums in preserving of art. After February 24th, Oleksandra arrived in Massachusetts with her husband and son. Since that Oleksandra is raising awareness about Ukrainian culture and the efforts of Ukrainian museums to protect heritage.
Photo: The Maidan Museum archive in Kyiv, Ukraine. Pictured is the Church of the Intercession Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (Church of the Intercession) built in 1862 and located in the village of Vyazivka, Zhytomyr Region.