Look for your muse

The retention of Kyiv Ukrainians historical memory is at threat

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  • 24 листопада 2017

They found a street of Kyivan Rus – the ancient Ukrainian State – at a depth of 100 meters underground and many artifacts of the Middle Ages in Kyiv three years ago. However, the authorities do not comprihend the extraordinary value of the findings and the historical uniqueness of this place. Indeed, they want to install a concrete slab at the level where the cultural layers lie. Archaeologists lay the blame on the governors for such narrow-minded decision.

The construction works that are under way here are the result of an investment contest by the Kyiv City State Administration, the investor of which is the Hansford-Ukraine LLC (created month before the tender was announced in 2013). By the way, the project of reconstruction was approved a year earlier, in 2012. Subsequently, the ambitious “reconstruction project” was renamed into a “reconstruction of a transport interchange.” At the same time, the updated document added the possibility of constructing a multifunctional object. Then the investor was attracted to the game.

“So-called investment competition was held very quickly, the investor was determined, and it looked like the city administration is building everything concerns the road, and then it appears that one of the components of this project is a shopping and entertainment complex,” explains Serhiy Gusovsky, deputy of the Kyiv city council.

Separate articles of the investment agreement indicate that after the commissioning of the investment object into operation, the investor issues the ownership of it. In turn, city receives only 5% from the estimated cost of construction in the amount of 2,6 million USD. It seems that 130 thousand USD is the cost of the cultural heritage of this place.

But society says like cultural heritage is invaluable. Therefore, for many residents of Kyiv, “history” can still be preserved for the next generations, at least in the form of the Underground Museum on Poshtova Square.

On the one hand, there is an investor who gives money and wants to build a shopping and entertainment center here, on the other hand, archaeologists who must finish the work here, can preserve the museum artifacts they find. Third party, here is a city that needs to find a balance, because investor would be deprived of his project without legal grounds.

The installation of a concrete slab will not only damage a part of the cultural layer, but also make further work impossible. Archaeologists are convinced, there is no technology, allows to work in such conditions. Architects in turn argue that it is possible to continue the research. However, the problem is not in whether it will be possible to continue excavating under this stove. The main question: what will its installation lead to at this level? State Enterprise “State Research Institute of Building Structures” noted that it is possible to theoretically develop other options for strengthening the structure, but it is necessary to put such a task to the institute. So far, there have been no such offers from the investor of the construction of the shopping center.

But it is strange that even after the order of the Ministry of Culture about assigning the status of a monument of local significance to the object, the customer did not correct the project documentation for the reconstruction of the traffic intersection on Poshtova Ploshcha and did not change the investment agreement. In addition, the adoption of the status of the monument meant an unambiguous ban on construction work before the excavation was completed. Archaeologists say that these requirements were not met. Excavators were removed only after the last charges that took place in October on Poshtova, where all parties to the conflict were present. However, the consensus was not reached.

110 square meters out of 8697 square meters (the total area of the object) are allocated for the museum of the ancient streets of Kyiv.

Obviously, it is necessary to make changes in the investment contract, taking into account the granting of the status of the monument to the local significance. The Ministry of Culture insists on this.

“In any investment transaction, one of the parties can compensate for the costs of the other one in order to take over the rights of this party to itself. That is, in this case it is obvious that the investor can get compensation for his expenses, and it is possible to acquire the property that was built by the investor according to the terms of this agreement. Then city would become an owner of everything that exists there and would be full owner of the process. It could decide the fate,” resumes Tamara Mazur, Deputy Minister of Culture Ukraine.

That is, city must also decide on the fate of the future of the Underground Museum. Localauthorities should become a full-fledged investor of this project, then they can transform the underground space into a museum.

Excavation of excavation with artifacts became a point of no return for the investor, buth for the city, and for the people of Kyiv.