To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Ukraine regarding the protection of collections in museums in Ukraine to protect them from possible looting during the current conflict; and what support they are providing to the government of that country.
19 May 2022
The Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has written to, and met virtually, the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, offering whatever practical support is feasible, and has since been keeping in regular contact, discussing, among other issues, the protection of cultural property in Ukraine. I also met the Deputy Minister, Kateryna Chuyeva, at the Venice Biennale this year where I reinforced this offer.
As of 9 May, UNESCO had verified damage to 127 cultural sites in Ukraine since Russia’s illegal invasion. We are continuously working with UNESCO, Blue Shield International, the British Council, and other allies to ensure Russia meets its obligations under the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
Through the Cultural Protection Fund – a partnership between DCMS and the British Council – Her Majesty’s Government is also directly supporting the Cultural Emergency Response for Ukraine, an international effort co-ordinated by the Prince Claus Fund. The Cultural Emergency Response has provided urgent assistance to Ukrainian museums and collections at risk from looting, damage, and destruction. This includes providing materials and technical assistance to safely package and secure collections.