French museums rally to protect art collections in Ukraine with truckload of emergency supplies


Far more than 20 museums and institutions from throughout France such as the Louvre, the Musée du Quai Branly—Jacques Chirac and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (national library) have donated unexpected emergency materials to Ukrainian museums to help them safeguard their collections versus destruction.

A truck carrying 15 tonnes worth of packing and preservation materials—ranging from crates and bubble wrap to hearth extinguishers and blankets—left Paris earlier this week for Warsaw, where Polish cultural professionals are organising speedy reduction initiatives for their counterparts across the border in Ukraine.

The assist initiative was co-ordinated by the French countrywide committee of the Intercontinental Council of Museums (Icom), which launched an urgent callout for elements to its associates soon after a virtual meeting on 8 March between French and Ukrainian museum specialists. Juliette Raoul-Duval, the chair of the Icom France committee, suggests the “most important” request from Ukrainian museums was for conservation materials to aid team on the ground who are shifting collections into basements or other storage destinations for safety.

The Paris warehouse of the art transportation company Chenue, which gathered donations from museums across France and sent them totally free of cost to Poland previously this week Image: courtesy of Icom France

The artwork transportation firm Chenue volunteered its services free of demand, with its warehouse in Paris serving as a central collection point for donations from museums in the funds but also from the locations, which include Lille, Rouen, Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux and Strasbourg. The outpouring of guidance demonstrates that French museums large and compact stand in solidarity with besieged colleagues in Ukraine, Raoul-Duval suggests. “It’s a massive emotion for us—it’s a way to comprehend how robust our network is.”

Raoul-Duval says there is nevertheless “enough product in the warehouse to fill one more truck”, which could journey to Poland as quickly as future 7 days. The first shipping and delivery was unloaded yesterday at the Countrywide Institute of Cultural Heritage in Warsaw, which is in direct get hold of with Ukrainian museums and distributing methods according to their desires.

In the more time term, the French Icom committee is discovering avenues to support museum pros from Ukraine wishing to begin a new life in France, Raoul-Duval suggests. Many French museums are “ready to welcome” refugees, she claims. “Everybody desires to shift quickly and to help.”

Previously this thirty day period, the French society ministry introduced a new €1m fund supporting get the job done and examine placements for refugee Ukrainian artists and arts gurus, as very well as “dissident Russian artists”.

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