These are some of the most famous Ukrainian artworks looted by Russia

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Russian forces have stolen thousands of Ukrainian art and damaged hundreds of cultural sites since the start of the Kremlin invasion nearly 11 months ago – from ancient gold to paintings and bones – in one of the largest episodes of mass looting since the Nazis sacked Europe. during World War II.

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In May, local officials in Mariupol said that Russian forces had done so Looting More than 2,000 pieces of art from three museums and taken to Russian-occupied Donetsk, after troops captured the city, include paintings by Ukrainian artist Arkhip Kuindzhi and Russian romantic painter Ivan Aivazovsky.

Three Kuindzhi paintings – “Elbrus”, “Autumn, Crimea” and a sketch for the painting “Red Sunset on the Dnieper” – were removed from the Kuindzhi Museum of Art in Mariupol before the building was hit by an air raid in March, though they were later handed over to russian forces, to me Petro Andryushenko, Assistant Mayor of Mariupol.

Ukrainian officials said Russian forces in April guarded a mysterious man in a white lab coat who they said stole a fourth-century BC golden helmet worn in the Scythian Empire from the Melitopol Local History Museum in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said. ucreinform reported, with Melitopol’s mayor Ivan Fedorov saying, “Our Scythian gold has been captured by the orcs.”

The stolen artwork also includes an estimated 10,000 artifacts from the Kherson Art Museum’s collection of about 13,500, according to an employee who said she encountered people who claimed to work in Russian museums and cornered her inside while taking the pieces, the report said. Wall Street Journal mentioned.

The art also included paintings such as “Pique on the Bank of the River”. sunset” by Ivan Pukhitonov, which reportedly later appeared in a museum in Crimea The New York Times mentioned.

Museum director Olena Yeremenko reports that other pieces, including ancient Greek artifacts and documents, as well as 90% of the weapons collection, were seized from the Kherson Regional Museum by a group of men who loaded them into trucks. magazineAccusing the retreating forces of plotting to “destroy our history”.

Russian forces also seized the bones of Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin, lover of the former Russian Empress Catherine the Great, who founded the city in 1778, from a cellar in Kherson on specific orders from the Kremlin. times reported in April.

The paintings were also taken from the Oleksii Shovkunenko Art Museum in Kherson, including “Autumn Time” by Georgy Kornakov, Moscow Times mentioned.

A statue of Russian general Alexander Suvorov from the 18th century was also taken from the city. PBS NewsHour mentioned.

Huge number

235. That’s how many cultural sites there are Consists Since the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine last February, it has included 18 museums, 19 monuments, 11 libraries and 104 religious sites, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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Many art historians compare stolen Ukrainian art to the Nazis’ looting of European artwork (often owned by Jews) in World War II. In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin announce Martial law in four Russian-occupied cities in eastern and southern Ukraine, allowing Russian forces to legally loot works of art in order to ‘preserve’ them, The Art Journal mentioned. Some of the pieces from Crimea have been moved to the Crimean city of Simferopol for “protection,” Andrei Malguin, director of the Kherson Art Museum, told Spanish outlets. Country. But according to the The New York TimesThefts [considered] A massive attack on Ukrainians’ pride, culture and identity” in line with Putin, who does not consider Ukraine a separate country from Russia.

Further reading

As the Russians steal Ukrainian art, they also attack its identity (The New York Times)

Police thwarted theft of a Banksy mural in Ukraine (Forbes)

Russians are systematically looting art and ancient monuments from Ukrainian cultural sites (Wall Street Journal)

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