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For reference: as of 01.01.2014, 14 thousand cultural monuments of Ukraine, 54 museums, 300 thousand museum exhibits, 6 historical and cultural reserves are concentrated on the peninsula.
Since the beginning of the illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Russian Federation has been purposefully implementing a policy aimed at capturing and destroying cultural heritage on the territory of the peninsula. In a short period of time, the Russian Federation has prepared a legal framework that has made it possible to legalize the Crimean cultural heritage in the legal field of the Russian Federation.
Thus, on August 8, 2014, the State Council of the Republic of Crimea adopted the Law “On Cultural Heritage Objects in the Republic of Crimea”. By this normative act the Crimean authorities gave their consent to the appropriation of the cultural heritage by the occupying state. The document states that “objects of cultural heritage (historical and cultural monuments) in the Republic of Crimea are an integral part of the national wealth and property of the peoples of the Russian Federation.”
Most of the specialized scientific and museum institutions on the territory of the Crimean Peninsula were re-registered in accordance with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation by the end of 2014. In particular, in the period from December 24 to 30, 2014, Russian registration certificates were received by Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve, Naples Scythian Historical and Archaeological Reserve, East Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve, Yalta Historical and Literary Museum, Chersonese Historical and Archaeological Museum. -reserve. Thus, by the end of 2014, the Russian Federation at the legislative level created the conditions for the “legal” operation of institutions and establishments in the field of cultural heritage.
Situation with preservation and restoration of
cultural heritage sites on the territory of the Crimean peninsula
Despite all the measures declared by the occupation authorities to preserve cultural heritage sites, in particular restoration work, cases of destruction of such sites are regularly recorded on the territory of the Crimean peninsula. Thus, in 2015, the arched vault of one of the spans of the Mithridates stairs was partially destroyed, and as a temporary measure, the stairwells were reinforced with iron beams. Restoration work by the occupation authorities began two years after the destruction, and on 01.04.19 has not yet been completed.
In January 2018, the occupation administration confirmed the collapse of part of the vault of the southern gate of the fortress of Yeni-Kale. From 30.01.19 the fortress is closed for visits, restoration works have not started.
On January 28, 19, during the excavations of Pantikapaion (Mithridates), the columns bent down – the entrance to the settlement was closed and guarded. On February 13, 19, the columns of the ancient city of Pantikapaion (Kerch) fell and were transported to the East Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve. On March 7, 19, the historical monument is located in the East Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve, restoration works are not carried out.
In addition, under the guise of restoration work, the Russian Federation is destroying cultural heritage sites. Thus, restoration works on the objects of Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve on the basis of the order of the “Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea” dated 29.12.2015 № 1311-r were carried out by LLC “Corporation Atta Group” (project documentation developed by LLC “KIRAMET”). The contractor who performed the work had no experience in the restoration of historical and cultural sites. In fact, instead of restoration work on the site, repair work was carried out (original oak beams were replaced, handmade tiles were replaced), as a result – irreparable damage was done to the cultural heritage site – the only surviving example of Crimean Tatar palace architecture.
However, restoration work, which has disastrous consequences for the historical monument, continues. 15.10-22.10.18 employees of the Bakhchisaray Museum-Reserve reported on the construction of supporting structures of the building of the estate “Chal-Boryu”, part of the external masonry of which collapsed in September 2018. The design proposal of supporting structures was developed by KIRAMET LLC. The museum addressed the “State Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Crimea” with the issue of developing research and design documentation for priority anti-accident works, issuing tasks for the preservation of cultural heritage sites.
Illegal removal of cultural heritage monuments from the Crimean peninsula
In the first year of the occupation, the Russian Federation began the practice of removing movable cultural heritage from the peninsula, in violation of, in particular, Art. 11 of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, of 14 November 1970, which states that the export or transfer of rights to cultural property resulting from occupation is illegal.
March 26, 2014 Volodymyr Aryev, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, stated that cultural values are exported from the Crimean museums to the museums of the Russian Federation, in particular, from the Feodosiya Art Gallery named after Aivazovsky. The Russian authorities denied this fact, and the director of the art gallery said that no exhibit would ever be taken out of Feodosia.
01/20/16 The Tretyakov Gallery opens an exhibition of paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky on July 29. The exposition presents about 100 picturesque and 50 graphic works of the master, among which there are exhibits from the Feodosia Art Gallery. The exhibition lasted until November 20, 2016, and then continued its work.
On February 1, 2016, the director of the Feodosia Museum, Tatiana Haiduk, confirmed that the large-scale exposition will feature paintings from several Russian museums, including the Feodosia Art Gallery.
On June 29, 2017, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) hosted the exhibition “ Pantikapaion and Phanagoria. The two capitals of the Bosporus Kingdom . The exhibition featured 450 exhibits that reveal the history of the Bosporus Kingdom from the 7th century. B.C. up to 1 tbsp. not. Among other things, archeological objects from the funds of the East Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve (Kerch) are exhibited. The “findings of recent years” are allocated to a separate group.
The criminal practice of taking exhibits from the Crimean peninsula to the territory of the occupying state for display in Russian museums continues.
On April 5, 19 the exposition “Golden Horde and the Black Sea Coast” opened in the State Historical-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve “Kazan Kremlin”. Lessons of the Genghis Khan Empire “, which presents a unique exhibit – a stone carved frame of a well XIII-XIV centuries. – from the funds of the Yalta Historical and Literary Museum. Head of the Development Department of the Yalta Historical and Literary Museum Kateryna Popova said that the exhibit will be on display until October 2019.
Illegal archeological excavations on the territory of the Crimean peninsula
The Russian Federation is actively carrying out illegal archeological excavations on the territory of the Crimean peninsula, which defiantly violates the norms of international law.
In particular, Art. 5 of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 14 May 1954 on the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Property in the Occupied Territories; Art. 9 of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 of March 26, 1999, which explicitly prohibits the occupying state from conducting archaeological excavations in the occupied territories, removing cultural heritage sites from the occupied territories, and modifying cultural property. may jeopardize historical, scientific or cultural evidence; Art. 6 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 16 November 1972, in respect of the prevention of damage to the cultural and natural heritage located in the territory of another State; Art. 10 of the Convention for the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage of 02.11.2001,which indicates that permission to carry out any activity aimed at cultural heritage on the continental shelf or in the exclusive economic zone may be granted only by the sovereign State; Art. 32 “Recommendations defining the principles of international regulation of archaeological excavations” of 05.12.1956, which states that in case of armed conflict, UNESCO member states occupying the territory of a state must refrain from conducting archaeological excavations in the occupied territory.
In addition, in accordance with Art. 10 of the Law of Ukraine “On protection of archaeological heritage” and Art. 35 of the Law of Ukraine “On protection of cultural heritage” conducting archaeological explorations, excavations, other earthworks on the territory of the monument, protected archaeological site, in protected areas, in historical areas of settlements, as well as research of human remains contained under the earth’s surface , is carried out with the permission issued by the central body of executive power, which implements the state policy in the field of protection of cultural heritage, which is the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.
In order to organize the excavations, the occupying state promptly resumed academic contacts of Crimean institutions with relevant Russian scientific institutions, which in different periods were engaged in relevant work in the Crimea. According to available information, at least 29 legal entities have been involved in illegal archeological works since the beginning of the occupation, and their representatives received more than 90 permits for archeological excavations from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation in the period from 2014 to 2018. A significant number of archeological excavations were carried out within the framework of infrastructure projects – construction of a transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, construction of an energy bridge to the Crimea, the Krasnodar Krai-Crimea main gas pipeline and the Tavrida route. So,the terms of archeological excavations were limited by the terms of works on projects. At the same time, archaeologists extracted more than 1 million artifacts during the construction of the transport crossing through the Kerch Strait alone. “Over the past two years, more than a million finds have been found during excavations. Of these, more than 100 thousand artifacts of scientific value, “- said on February 13, 18 in the information center” Crimean Bridge “.
Among the scientific institutions of the Russian Federation involved in illegal archeological excavations in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the following should be singled out.
1. Federal State Budgetary Institution of Culture “State Hermitage” (St. Petersburg).
In June 2014, representatives of the institution signed an agreement on scientific and cultural cooperation with the so-called State Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve “Chersonese Tavriya”. On the territory of the Crimean peninsula 7 archeological expeditions of FDBUK “State Hermitage” carry out the work:
– Ancient complex archeological expedition (the head – Solovyov SL). The expedition is excavating the objects “Ancient city of Nymphaeum” (Kerch), “Ancient city of Accra” (water area of the Kerch Strait).
– Golden Horde (Old Crimean) expedition (leader – Kramarovsky MG). The expedition is excavating in the territory of the Old Crimea (Solkhat).
– Mirmeki expedition (leader – Butyagin MG). The expedition is excavating the ancient settlement of Mirmekiy (Kerch).
– Nymphaeum expedition (leader – Sokolova O. Yu.). The expedition is excavating the ancient settlement of Nymphaeum (Kerch).
– Chersonese expedition (leader – Novoselova N. Yu.).
– Southeastern Crimean Expedition (leader – VD Gukin). The expedition is excavating in the vicinity of Sudak Fortress.
2. Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg).
The institution carried out archeological excavations of a number of objects in Sevastopol. The head of the excavations was an employee of the Department of Conservation Archeology IIMK RAS, Candidate of Historical Sciences Solovyov SL
3. Institute of Archeology RAS.
In 2017, the Crimean newly created archeological expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences led by S. Yu. Vnukov carried out archeological works on the territory of the Crimean Peninsula. A separate detachment of the East Crimean Expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, led by IV Rukavishnikova, carried out excavations at the construction sites of the Krasnodar Krai-Crimea main gas pipeline.
The East Bosporus expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the leadership of MI Sudarev is excavating the Kiz-Aul necropolis and the ancient city of Kitei (the village of Yakovenkove, Leninsky District, Kerch).
In the waters of the Kerch Strait, in particular at the previous stage of construction of the transport crossing through the Kerch Strait, archaeological excavations were carried out by an underwater detachment of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, headed by Olkhovsky SV
4. Moscow State University. MV Lomonosov.
On the territory of the Crimean peninsula (Chaika settlement, Zaozerne settlement of the Evpatoria city council) illegal archeological excavations are carried out by the Crimean archeological expedition of the department of archeology of the historical faculty of MSU. MV Lomonosova, Head – Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor Popova OO
5. Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In the waters of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol illegal archeological works in the period 2014-2018 were carried out by an underwater archeological expedition of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, leader – Candidate of Historical Sciences Lebedinsky VV
6. The so-called “Crimean branch” of the Russian Geographical Society in 2018 recruited volunteers to participate in illegal underwater archaeological excavations of the ancient settlement “Accra” (Leninsky district).
The monitoring was carried out by the Ministry of the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons.
Journal of Sights of Ukraine: National Heritage , 2019
Published in the newspaper “Crimean room” №41-42 and №43-44 for 2019