Curators of Ukrainian museums are facing a set of heartwrenching logistical issues all too familiar to the directors of cultural institutions in places like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan: How do you protect the treasures of your country in the midst of horrific bombardment by missile strikes? What decisions do you make to save art when your employees and your loved ones are unsafe?
“At our museum, we should now be preparing for the 11th annual Book Arsenal Festival to be held this May,” wrote the director general of Kyiv’s Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex on Friday in an anguished artnet.com editorial. “But instead our team must focus our efforts to ensure the safety of our staff and our families, as well as guard our collection and our museum objects: paintings, graphics, and fine art. “