Support initiative for Ukrainian open-air museums, archaeologists and ancient craft experts

 This image shows an illustration of soldiers fighting against a dragon in the style of a medieval manuscript. The text on the right calls for support for Ukraine.

NEMO member EXARC has launched the Support Ukraine Network (SUN) to facilitate support for museums and their employees in Ukraine. The initiative provides mentorship and resources for open-air museums, experimental archaeologists, live interpreters and ancient craft experts.

SUN was initiated upon a request from one of EXARC’s members who expressed that, next to support for electricity and food, aid to maintain culture activities and operations in Ukraine is of equal importance. The initiative is a joint effort by EXARC, YEAR Centre (York Experimental Archaeological Research, the UK) and Ukraine based ancient craft expert and EXARC member Yarema Ivantsiv.

On its website, EXARC writes that “Because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, heritage sites, including open-air museums, have struggled to maintain visitor numbers; however, in some regions, museums remain open. Museums, where visitors of all ages, engage with their cultural heritage, often through re-enactment and replication of ancient craft practices, have become even more vital in the face of Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukrainian society and way of life. Once Ukraine dispels the Russian army, it is expected that cultural heritage centres will become an even more important focal point for Ukrainians to connect with their history and cultural identity. Similarly, when Ukraine can re-open its borders to tourists, museums that enable visitors to experience a taste of Ukrainian culture, will play an important role in helping boost the economy."

Ways to get involved

EXARC asks for help in sharing information about SUN. Furthermore, people with experience in managing/working in open-air museums or other similar heritage organisations are encouraged to participate in the SUN mentoring scheme.  

EXARC also wishes to provide access to published resources and therefore invites people to share their published work for Ukrainian-based researchers/experts per email. 

People who are fluent in Ukrainian and English are needed to help translate resources, emails and possibly act as a translator in SUN online meetings. Get in touch if you are able to assist.

Contact Roeland Paardekooper for more information and to get involved: