Venice’s Civic Museums are sending protective fabrics, foam panels and data loggers for tracking changes in humidity and temperature to the Lviv National Art Gallery in Ukraine. The donation is part of a delivery by Save Ukraine Art 22—a network of private companies, public institutions and museums—which aims to establish a supply chain for delivering essential materials for saving art from bombs, fire and damp.
While the most intense fighting has been concentrated in Ukraine’s east, the Lviv National Gallery—a network of 18 museums with a collection of 67,000 works—has hidden its works in case fighting flares up there. Many have been temporarily stored in an undisclosed building where they are exposed to damp and risk being bombed or burned.
The Save Ukraine Art network was launched by the businessman Lucio Gomiero after Taras Voznyak, the director of the Lviv National Gallery, made a plea at the end of March for materials and equipment. The network has enlisted dozens of partners and donors, including the civic museums, the municipality of Venice, suppliers working with events such as the Venice Biennale and Ceccarelli Group, a logistics company, Gomiero says.
Other European museums, including in Finland and Poland, have delivered materials to museums in Lviv. According to the civic museums’ director, Gabriela Belli, such efforts boost morale. “Art becomes essential to identity in times of war,” she says.