Khanenko Museum art collection in danger because heating not turned on
Ukraine's Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Art remains unheated and its collections are in danger, deputy general director of the museum Yelena Zhyvkova has said.
Zhyvkova has said on her Facebook page that the temperature in the museum on Thursday dropped to 8.5 degrees Celsius (plus or minus 2 degrees) with humidity exceeding 56%.
"According to world standards the temperature should be between 18 and 19 degrees Celsius (plus or minus two degrees) and humidity at 50%, plus or minus two degrees," she said.
According to the deputy director, the temperature where collections are stored over the past 35 years has never fallen so low. She said the fluctuation endangers the collections.
"Kyiv has decided not to heat its communal buildings … But the paintings (from the 14th to the 19th centuries!) and multicolored sculptures! What can we do with icons and the other parts of the collection? … They will be lost. I can predict what will happen. Maybe not tomorrow, but closer to December, they'll turn on the heating and then the old wood and canvas will begin to dry up. Icons and paintings will simply split apart, and the paint will break up, bubble up and curl … and fall off," she said.
"If someone had stolen something from the museum, the phones would be ringing off the hook. Unfortunately, our collections of spectacular works are dying unseen, slowly and quietly. We have installed radiators, written letters, called and made pleas. No one answers," Zhyvkova said.