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Dissident movement in Ukraine
Glossary

IVAN HONCHAR MUSEUM

17.11.2006

The Ivan Honchar Museum was created in 1957 as a private museum in the home and studio of the sculptor Ivan Makarovych Honchar (14.01.1911 – 18.06.1993) on the Pechersk Hills in Kyiv.  It included a collection of icons, folk pictures, fabrics and clothing, ceramics, wood carvings, musical instruments, items of traditional Ukrainian everyday life, a library on Ukrainian studies, an archive and a collection of the works of the founder. During the 1960s the museum was one of the centres of the Ukrainian national renaissance, a real place of pilgrimage for the nationally aware intelligentsia, students, workers and Ukrainians from abroad.

In 1969 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine suggested that Honchar either hand the collection over to the State Museum or sell it. In November 1970 the KGB, by threatening to get Honchar expelled from the Artists’ Union and the Party, forced him to close access to the museum in order “to put an end to the pernicious use of this private collection”.

The museum reopened in the middle of the 1980s. Since 1999 it has been formally called the Ukrainian Centre of Folk Culture and holds more than 15 thousand exhibits. The Director of the Museum since Ivan Honchar’s death in 1993 has been his son Petro Honchar.

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