The objective of the group Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online is to digitally preserve and protect Ukraine’s cultural assets by making replicas of vulnerable locations.
For the fourth week running, Russian bombs are landing on Ukraine. Numerous lives have been lost, along with homes and medical facilities.
The Russian army has also taken damaged the nation’s cultural heritage. The Donetsk Regional Drama Theatre in Mariupol was destroyed by bombs, while the Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery, the nation’s oldest monastery dating back to 1526, was severely damaged by Russian bombardment. Other significant cultural institutions have also been destroyed.
While locals in Ukraine seek to preserve their cultural assets by hiding them under sandbags or stowing them away in bunkers, the nonprofit group Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) works to preserve the nation’s cultural assets from afar. Sebastian Majstorovic, a digital historian based in Vienna, is one of its founders.
Loss of centuries-old art
“I am conscious about this fragility of culture,” Majstorovic told DW. You could argue that I have grown antennas for that because of my history.
In 2009, Majstorovic was a student in Cologne and saw the collapse of the city’s archives. Innumerable documents were destroyed, including valuable records, writings from the Middle Ages, and historical photographs.