The Museum of Local History in the town of Ivankiv, Kyiv region, has burned down during Russia's invasion, Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today on Twitter. A small museum, it held within its collection 25 works by the Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko, all of which have reportedly been destroyed.
The museum, which was established in 1981, was reportedly set on fire by invading Russian forces on Sunday. Videos circulating on Twitter and Telegram show what is claimed to be the museum building burning down. The video has not been verified by The Art Newspaper.
Born to a peasant family, Prymachenko, who died aged 88 in 1987, spent her whole life in a village near Ivankiv. One of the country's best known painters, Prymanchenko's work drew from local mythology and folklore and was notable for depicting fantastical beasts, many of which came to her in dreams.
Several of her works have been featured on Ukraine's postage stamps and, in 1966, she was awarded Ukraine's highest cultural honour, the Shevchenko National Prize. To recognise her contributions to the field of folk art, Unesco declared 2009 the year of Maria Prymachenko.
The largest holdings of Prymachenko's work, around 650 pieces, are in Ukraine's National Museum of Applied Folk Art in Kyiv.
The museum's destruction has been described as "irreparable" by Vlada Liovchenko, director of the Vyshhorod History and Culture Reserve in nearby Toompea.
Ivankiv lies at a strategic point for the Russian incursion, located between Chernobyl—which was seized by Russia on 24 February—and Kyiv. On 25 February, Ukrainian forces destroyed a bridge in the town to halt Russian troops advancing towards the capital. Yesterday, satellite imagery showed a convoy of Russian vehicles heading towards Ivankiv.