Some 51 Ukrainian paintings that secretly left Kyiv earlier this month, just hours before a massive Russian missile attack on the capital, will begin an exhibition at a major museum in Spain on Tuesday.
“The exhibition ‘In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930’ presents pioneering art produced in Ukraine in the first decades of the 20th century,” Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum said in a statement. .
A statement issued by the Ukrainian Museums, a group of museums that cooperate to help protect the cultural heritage of Ukraine.
The statement added that the trucks “encountered a treacherous journey while passing areas subject to unexpectedly heavy rocket fire” heading west, bypassing the city of Lviv and finally across the Polish border.
The caravan carrying the art arrived in Madrid on November 20 and headed for the Thyssen Museum, whose board member, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, founded Museums for Ukraine in March, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“It is becoming clearer by the day that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war against Ukraine is not only about land theft, but also about controlling the nation’s narrative and its cultural heritage,” said Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza.
She said, “This exhibition aims to recapture the history of modernity in Ukraine. As we watch history repeat itself, this exhibition is a powerful reminder of how close we are to yet another catastrophe.”
“This exhibition is the most comprehensive survey of Ukrainian avant-garde art in a major European museum to date,” Museums of Ukraine added.
Museum organizers said that in addition to the 51 paintings that left Ukraine in the convoy, the exhibition includes some 18 other Ukrainian works, from drawings and collages to stage designs, including from private collections.
The exhibition will be on display in Madrid until April 30, before heading to the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany. Other locations will be determined after that.