Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Yalta Historical and Literary Museum. Lesya Ukrainka Museum.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka


The perpetuation of the memory of the outstanding classic of Ukrainian literature Lesya Ukrainka in the 1920s was absorbed by the Ukrainian scientist and public figure Valentyn Otamanovsky, who was actively involved in monument protection. In particular, in the autumn of 1925, as director of the Vinnytsia branch of the National Library of Ukraine (VBU) at the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, he specially went to Yalta to see how the memory of Lesya Ukrainka and another prominent Ukrainian artist buried here is preserved. words by Stepan Rudansky.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Lesya Ukrainka in the Crimea, 1897

Pavlo Horyansky, the former head of the Yalta community of Ukrainians and the Small Council of Ukrainians of Crimea, assisted Otamanovsky in this mission; at that time he was preparing to move to Kyiv and work at the VBU, because he wanted “at least the rest of his age to work at someone else’s job and give Ukrainian education to his sons, because there will be no Ukrainians in the Crimea.”

Goryansky showed Otamanovsky the house № 8 on Litkensa Street (now Katerynynska), where Lesya Ukrainka lived in 1897-1898. In the winter of 1926, Otamanovsky disturbed all possible authorities in Kyiv with a request to initiate petitions to the relevant Crimean institutions to promote the protection of monuments in Yalta: in particular, it was proposed to “arrange the tomb of Stepan Rudansky in Yalta and its proper protection, in recent years Rudansky, his arrangement and equipment in such a way that all this is reminiscent of the writer, his life and works; do the same for Lesya Ukrainka’s apartment; to nail on the houses where Stepan Rudansky and Lesya Ukrainka lived, tables indicating who and when lived in them; to include these sights in the excursion program “. Already in March of that year in the Crimea answered:all this is possible, but only if the appropriate funds are provided.

Otamanovsky’s efforts were not without concrete consequences. While in Yalta in 1907-1908 with her husband Kliment Kvitka, who worked for some time in the Simferopol court, Lesya Ukrainka lived in the outbuilding of the private house of Lishchynska, built in 1889. It is here that the memorial museum of the writer was erected, the initiative group for the development of which arose in the early 1970s. Mykola Okhrimenko, a scientist-winemaker who was a student of Lesya Ukrainka, Oleksiy Nyrko and Ostap Kindrachuk, Crimean “educators” and devotees of the kobza art, as well as Oleksandr Yanush, Tetyana Tsymbal and others joined the case. As a result of activists’ efforts to commemorate the centenary of Lesya Ukrainka’s birth in 1972, a monument to her was erected in front of the future museum, a memorial plaque was erected on the house where she lived in 1897, and a collection of exhibits for the museum was launched.Due to the persecution of the Ukrainian national intelligentsia at that time, work on the museum’s development was stopped, and a department of the Yalta Museum of Local Lore called the Museum of Pre-Revolutionary Progressive Russian and Ukrainian Culture was opened in a building vacated in 1976 from communal apartments.

In 1991, on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of Lesya Ukrainka’s birth, the exposition “Lesya Ukrainka and the Crimea” was opened in the museum. On September 10, 1993, under the influence of the Yalta branches of VUT Prosvita and the Union of Ukrainian Women, the City Executive Committee decided to grant the Lesya Ukrainka and Crimea exhibition the status of Lesya Ukrainka Museum as a department of the Yalta State Historical and Literary Museum. By the 10th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence in 2001, a new museum exposition was opened – “Lomykamin”, created with the help of the International Renaissance Foundation. This unusual name was invented by Lesya Ukrainka herself when she first saw mountain edelweiss; during her lifetime, critics called her a “crusher of Ukrainian culture and literature.”

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Olena Pchilka and Lesya Ukrainka in Yalta, end of 189

The first Ukrainian school of the city was formed on the basis of the museum; museum premises became additional auditoriums for students of the Crimean State Humanitarian Institute. Activists of Prosvita and the Union of Ukrainian Women, as well as the club of Ukrainian creative intelligentsia of Yalta “Crimean Kutia” gathered here, the folk amateur exclusive theater “Seven Muses” was founded; the museum of Ukrainian studies also grew at the museum. The museum hosted the traditional festival “Lesina Autumn” and the competition “Crimean Pleiades”, and the Union of Theater Actors of Ukraine traditionally held a competition of young Ukrainian actors for the best reading of works by Lesya Ukrainka.

The main exposition of the museum included: lifetime editions of the writer’s works, household items of her family, photos of her relatives and friends, drawings of the late XIX – early XX centuries, Ukrainian national clothing. The fate of many of these items is currently unknown. Prior to the Russian occupation of Crimea, the Lesya Ukrainka Museum was positioned as a bridge to the world of Ukrainian culture for residents and guests of Crimea, and its website stated: “The museum’s cultural work to itself healthy nation-building forces on the Southern coast of Crimea”. By the way, during the years of the Russian annexation of Crimea, a new museum site was never created: any moments of its life can be learned only from museum workers.

In March 2012, Oleksandra Visych, then head of the Lesia Ukrainka Museum in Yalta, complained to the Ukrainian media that going on the balconies of the museum building was now life-threatening; especially the situation worsened after long February storms and unprecedented frosts for Yalta, which covered the walls with a layer of ice, after which inside the museum halls moisture fell on the ceiling and walls, which were covered with cracks. Despite the fact that on October 21, 2010 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, in preparation for the celebration of the 140th anniversary of Lesya Ukrainka, recommended the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to take measures to ensure the renovation of the museum in Yalta by February 1, 2011, the case did not move. The last time the building was repaired selectively was in the mid-1980s; since then, according to Ms. Visych, the floors have become unusable,the building was declared an emergency, and some museum premises had to be closed altogether, removing the exhibits. At various times, the museum staff sent hundreds of requests to preserve the building from destruction to various funds and government agencies of Ukraine, but no one responded.

Паралельно, «на заздрість Лесі», російські бізнесмени вкладали величезні кошти у відновлення ялтинської «Білої дачі», де колись мешкав письменник Антон Чехов.

In early April 2014, the fate of the Lesya Ukrainka Museum in Yalta was called into question given the Russian occupation of Crimea. Some of the museum staff suggested that the work of the institution could be suspended until conservation due to the circumstances, and all activities carried out on its basis will be moved to mainland Ukraine, to other places related to the life and work of Lesya Ukrainka. Museum staff did not risk giving lengthy comments and asked to wait a while until the situation became more or less clear. “We do not yet know what is happening and what will happen to us tomorrow. Now there is a certain transition period. We are not told anything about the future, “they admitted” not on camera. ” Meanwhile, the lenses of the occupying state’s television companies filmed all the shortcomings of the building, accompanying the footage with comments on how Ukraine “cared” about its cultural values.Olga Tkachuk, the museum’s director, soon denied the information about the possible closure of the institution, calling it “unreliable and unfounded” and adding that there were no preconditions for closing or re-profiling the museum.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Lesya Ukrainka Museum in Yalta

On February 25, 2016, the Yalta Historical and Literary Museum dedicated to the 145th anniversary of Lesya Ukrainka’s birth and the 25th anniversary of the opening of the first exhibition “Lesya Ukrainka and Crimea” hosted the traditional event “Seven Strings”; within its framework, the Crimean State University for the Humanities (after the Russian occupation of Crimea was renamed the “Humanitarian and Pedagogical Academy (GPA) – a branch of the Crimean Federal University named after VI Vernadsky”) held a readers’ contest “Crimean Collage”, which was written in Crimea poetry of Lesya Ukrainka. The event was attended by teachers and students of “GPA” and “Yalta Medical College”, teachers and students of Yalta schools № 9 and № 15, employees of the Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky Museum of Simeiz and the bandura band named after Stepan Rudansky.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
The occupiers closed the museum for unknown technical reasons

In a few days, the media of Russia and the occupied Crimea reported that the Lesya Ukrainka Memorial Museum in Yalta needs major repairs and restoration, as it has been closed for more than a year due to a collapsed ceiling. It was noted that the restoration of the museum is not planned in the near future. Employees of the institution refused to give an interview in this regard, citing the fact that the management is on vacation until April, but said that the building is planned for a long renovation, and the museum itself may remain closed until the end of 2017: this is the deadline. city ​​”power”.

At the same time, its founder, Ostroh Academy professor Svitlana Kocherha, called the information about the collapse of the museum’s roof exaggerated, but confirmed that there were problems. “There was, in fact, a big crack and, obviously, stones were falling. But the museum workers will not tell anything, but eyewitnesses who were our volunteers, friends of the museum, said that it really happened. The room really needed renovation. The fate of the Lesya Ukrainka Museum in Yalta is in great question. I am worried about the condition in which he will work and whether he will stay there. They may leave a room or something like that, but the museum itself may not be there. I assume that it will be restored, but with a different concept – for example, a museum of Russian culture with a touch, as they say, of the peoples of Russia. I think that the Lesya Ukrainka Museum, which it was, at least at the branch level, will not be opened. “- Mrs. Kocherga suggested.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
The occupiers inspect the museum after the rain that flooded the museum building

In her subsequent interviews, she blamed the pre-war Ukrainian authorities for the current state of the museum: local and central officials did nothing to repair the museum, so the occupation authorities easily found a reason to close it. “Ukrainian officials only imitated the concern for Ukrainian culture in Crimea. It was absurd: the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada, which regulated the renovation of the museum for the anniversary, was signed after that date. In fact, the museum was based only on our enthusiasm. I still can’t forget how I left the museum, and stones fell on my head. We then wrote appeals to everyone we could, but received no response. It is obvious that the occupiers, if they do not close the museum, will use it to create a myth about their “democratic” policy, “said Ms. Svitlana.In addition, she expressed dissatisfaction with the Ukrainian media, which “ignored this museum when it was sick, and rejoiced when it died.”

At the same time, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine expressed concern over reports of the closure of the Lesya Ukrainka Museum in Yalta for visitors. “According to Yalta activists, no work is being done there. Particularly cynical is the fact that the museum is closed in the year of the 145th anniversary of the birth of the Ukrainian poetess, when her name is revered around the world. It is obvious that the real intentions of the Kremlin are the complete cessation of the museum, which was created by the Ukrainian community of Crimea in the year of Ukraine’s independence and which over the years has become one of the main centers of scientific and educational work aimed at promoting Ukrainian culture and strengthening Ukrainian identity. Crimea.The Ministry of Culture regards the actions of the so-called Crimean authorities as a continuation of the Kremlin’s aggressive policy towards the history and culture of the Ukrainian people and will initiate appeals to relevant international organizations to put pressure on the Russian Federation to immediately restore the Lesya Ukrainka Museum in Yalta and end Kremlin repression against Ukrainians. , Ukrainian culture and history on the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea “, – said in a statement. At the same time, Crimean pro-Ukrainian activists were convinced of the intentions of the Yalta “administration” to close the museum by raiding methods to please representatives of business or government structures of the occupying state. Externally, the building did not look emergency and had no obvious signs of destruction.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Flowers to the monument to Lesya Ukrainka

Just a few days after the statement of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture, the then “head of the Yalta administration” Andriy Rostenko together with specialists from the “Department of Architecture and Urban Planning” paid a working visit to the Lesya Ukrainka Museum. State Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Crimea “prepares the terms of reference and other necessary documents for the development of design and estimate documentation and restoration work in the museum. “The rather long impact of the aggressive natural environment and the deterioration of the building led to the corresponding negative consequences, which resulted in the need for major repairs and restoration work. Today we are intensively dealing with this issue. Considering,that the building is a monument of history and architecture, the process requires a lot of preparatory work. I think we will speed up these procedures as much as possible. After that, we will find the funds and ensure the restoration work as soon as possible to reopen the museum. Priorities in this issue are set clearly and unambiguously, “Rostenko said. At the same time, it was noted that in order to provide visitors, the Lesya Ukrainka Museum was closed to visitors, and the exhibition was transported for storage.

At the same time, Larysa Kovalchuk, the head of the Yalta administration’s culture department, said that in early February 2016, the plaster and plaster on the second floor of the Lesia Ukrainka Museum building were partially destroyed. The exposition was not damaged, but it had to be closed. “We have long raised issues at the highest level, including the state, about the need to repair the museum building, included in the list of objects of the Department of Capital Construction of Yalta, which are subject to overhaul. Of course, in such conditions we cannot allow visitors there. We closed the exhibition only for this reason. Work has been suspended, but no one will close the museum. The main thing is that the city understands the problem and provided funds.At each technical council, the head of the city administration asks about the progress of work on the documentation and keeps this issue under constant personal control. This problem did not start today, so its solution will be long. First, the documentation will be prepared, then it will be necessary to carry out all the necessary legislative procedures, as the museum building is an architectural monument. But I am confident that we will overcome all this and our cultural heritage will continue to be available. Now we have been given 5 million rubles to prepare a repair estimate and start repair work. We believe that in 2016 the museum will reopen its doors to visitors, “she said. For a year and a half, in September 2017, Larisa Kovalchuk told reportersthat the Lesya Ukrainka Museum in Yalta will be repaired for 130 million rubles within the framework of the Russian Federal Target Program (FCP) “Culture of Russia” for 2012-2018; at the same time, she added that the design and estimate documentation for the restoration of the museum is ready and has successfully passed the examination.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Yalta Historical and Literary Museum. Lesya Ukrainka Museum.

Despite the contradictions of the moment, the representatives of the Yalta “authorities” who took part in running the city before the war cannot be denied the rightness when they consider the causes of the emergency condition of the memorial museum building to be more than 20 years of overhaul. From 2010 until the Russian occupation of Crimea, the city authorities of Yalta annually appealed to Simferopol and Kyiv with a request to provide funds from the national and state budgets for repair and restoration work, but these requests were ignored. However, another thing is interesting: the current “helmsmen” of Yalta, traditionally complaining about the “bad Ukraine”, note that the design documentation for this object, produced in the pre-occupation 2013, was taken for correction and analysis!Shortly afterwards, an application was made to provide funds for the preparation of new design and estimate documentation for repairs.

At the end of winter 2018, Ukrainian media, referring to Crimean pro-Ukrainian activists, reported that the Lesia Ukrainka Literary Memorial Complex was left with only two small pedestals with photographs and personal belongings of the poetess huddled among the 19th-century Yalta exhibition on the ground floor. Prior to that, the museum provided one hall to cover each of the three Crimean periods of life and work of Lesya Ukrainka – 1890-1891, 1897-1898 and 1907-1908. documentation. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine stated that they have limited opportunities to protect Ukrainian cultural heritage in the Crimea:the only possible actions are to monitor the situation through open sources and communicate with the people of Crimea and to further inform international specialized organizations and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Monument of cultural heritage of Ukraine

In June 2018, the Crimean media reported that the “authorities” of Yalta won a “lawsuit” against part of the building at 8 Katerynynska Street, which was leased in 2011 as a mini-hotel, and evicted the tenant for with the help of bailiffs. “In 2016, the city administration made a decision in principle to terminate the agreement in order to place museum exhibits and store funds in vacated premises. The city initiated lawsuits, which lasted until recently and ended in favor of the city administration. The tenant did not want to vacate the premises voluntarily, so representatives of the federal bailiff service went there and demanded that the museum territory be returned with a deadline, ”the Yalta occupation leadership said.

Lomykamin in the literal sense: the fate of the Crimean museum of Lesya Ukrainka
Memorial plaque to Lesya Ukrainka in Yalta

On February 27, 2019, on the occasion of the next anniversary of Lesya Ukrainka’s birth, the Seven Strings event was traditionally held, during which Yulia Rudnyk, “director” of the Yalta Historical and Literary Museum, expressed confidence that the restoration of the Ukrainian writer’s museum building would begin this year. The “municipal” budget has been provided with funds for the development of relevant design and estimate documentation, which is being approved in Moscow, where the issue of including these works in the thematic Federal Target Program is being considered. It is interesting, because at least since 2016 and until now, representatives of the Yalta “authorities” talk about the development of design and estimate documentation for the restoration of the museum, providing funds for the same restoration and its inclusion in the Russian Federal Target Program as a fait accompli.

However, in mid-April this year (2019) the draft annual report of the “head of the Yalta administration” Alexei Chelpanov on the results of his own activities and headed by his “authority” for 2018 was published, where among the tasks for 2019 in terms of capital construction The restoration of the Lesya Ukrainka Museum, vaguely planned for 2019-2021, was noted. of cultural heritage “prediction” restoration works of the museum of Lesya Ukrainka. In a word – “we promise to promise”. Yesterday’s Ukrainian officials, who now “faithfully and truly” serve the occupier, are not worried about the preservation of either Ukrainian or “originally their” cultural monuments:the only value for them is funds from any budget, which can be “mastered” for one or another “noble goal”.

Serhiy KONASHEVYCH, Sights of Ukraine magazine, 2019

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Sergii Konashevich

Author of numerous culturological publications, editor of Ukrainian Culture Publishing House LLC

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