Art Collector Victor Pinchuk Speaks Out About Ukraine Protests

Victor Pinchuk / Photo: Max Levin

Kiev-based art collector, businessman, and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk has posted a statement on his foundation’s website, calling for an end to the violence in his home town:

“A peaceful solution must be found, it is imperative to refrain from the use of force and find a compromise. Ukraine since its independence has avoided bloodshed. We must return to this tradition immediately. From this minute, this is the responsibility of everyone – those in power, the opposition, civil society, business. It is time for all sides to take courageous steps towards compromise that they may not yet have been ready to take even this morning. For each of us, love for Ukraine must be immeasurably more important than any other feelings and interests.”

Centered on Independence Square, clashes between protesters and government forces escalated on Tuesday evening. A building that opposition leaders had been using to organize their actions caught fire from a barrier of flame and embers that had been previously set in an attempt to stave off efforts by police loyal to President Viktor Yanukovych to end protests in the square. In video posted by CNN from within the opposition ranks, individuals can be seen loading Molotov cocktails into improvised mortars and wielding pneumatic weapons.  Thirteen people were reportedly killed on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, works in the National Art Museum of Ukraine and the Ukrainsky Dom remain in danger. Sitting near the center of the protests, the museum removed works from the walls to protect them from black smoke emanating from fires lit by protesters to keep warm, according to The Art Newspaper. They go on to report that the condition of the collection inside the Ukrainsky Dom is unknown since government forces retook the building yesterday evening.

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