Museum North condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

31 March 2022

Like museums and cultural organizations in Norway and the rest of the world, Museum Nord strongly distances itself from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We apologise for the loss of human life and the suffering caused by the war and are deeply concerned about our Ukrainian museum colleagues and the risk that Ukraine’s cultural heritage will be damaged forever. An attack on cultural remains is an attack on the identity and dignity of the population, and loss of cultural heritage will affect the future.

Museum Nord stands behind the Norwegian Museum Association’s declaration of support for Ukrainian museums and calls on the Norwegian government to put pressure on Russian governments to prevent violations of international law and the Hague Convention. The statement points out that: 

War and crisis are a known threat to cultural heritage sites. In unesco’s Convention on the Protection of Cultural Values in the event of armed conflict (1954), the Hague Convention, it is emphasized that the protection of cultural heritage in war is a responsibility of the international community, and not just those states directly involved in a war. 

Museums and cultural remains have in many cases been targets in conflicts. Collections have been looted and sold for financial gain, and artifacts have been stolen or destroyed to rob countries and groups of people of their history. The Norwegian Museum Association emphasises that: 

Loss of cultural remains inflicts far more damage than the sheer material destruction. Such losses also affect citizens’ identity, history and cultural heritage because they say something about who you are as an individual and people. An attack on cultural remains is therefore an attack on the identity and dignity of the population, and loss of cultural heritage will affect the future. 

Ukraine’s cultural heritage is part of humanity’s common cultural heritage and it is this one that is now in danger, in a war that already has taken far too many innocent lifes.

Read the declaration of support from the Norwegian Museum Association in its entirety here. 


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