As Ukraine resists and fights back against the Russian takeover of its country, the Smithsonian is working to protect cultural and historical items from being destroyed.
The institution announced it is working with experts, museums, NGOs and government agencies in Ukraine to protect artifacts and architecture from the war happening right now.
In a statement, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, Lonnie G. Bunch III said, “the beauty of Ukraine’s art, architecture, literature, and music has flourished for decades; its museums are some of the most revered in Europe.”
"If we are to attain a time when people of all cultures, faiths, and nationalities can peacefully coexist, we must first understand ourselves and each other."
The Smithsonian’s Cultural Rescue Initiative has previously worked in other places, including Iraq, Haiti and Puerto Rico during natural disasters and military occupations to preserve cultural heritage.
The announcement comes days after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said that about 25 works of Ukrainian artist Mariia Pryimachenko were burned as a result of Russia’s invasion.
MFA of Ukraine tweeted, “The paintings were stored in Ivankiv Museum, Kyiv region.”