On December 4-8, Penn Cultural Heritage Center (Penn Cultural Heritage Center) organized a conference “Cultural Rights, Heritage Destruction, and the Future of Ukraine”, in Philadelphia, USA.

A group of Cultural Heritage experts from Ukraine spoke about the damage to Ukrainian museums, libraries and other cultural monuments. Also, the response mechanisms of Ukrainian cultural workers during the crisis and the role of museums’ involvement were discussed.

The chairman of the Georgian National Committee of the Blue Shield, Manana Tevzadze, took part in the conference, and presented about the damages to cultural heritage on the occupied territories of Georgia and its current and future threats.

Together with the directors and curators of Ukrainian museums, and US colleagues, she participated in panel discussions on various topics, such as:

  • Heritage Targeting in Recent Conflicts: Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine;
  • Decolonizing the Post-Soviet Cultural Sector and Russian Museum Collections;
  • New Projects

During the panel discussion, participants discussed cultural rights, heritage destruction, and what effective steps should be taken to save Ukraine’s future, both by the Penn Museum and other US institutions.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian cultural heritage has become the target of attack. Across the country, museums, theaters, and other cultural institutions that were key determinants of Ukraine’s history and identity were vandalized and destroyed.

During this period, Ukrainian cultural heritage professionals continuously tried to map the losses through forensic analysis and create a response team with the aim of preserving Ukrainian culture for the future.

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