Ukraine’s New President Chooses Biennale Venue for Inauguration

Ukraine’s newly elected President, billionaire Petro Poroshenko has chosen Kiev’s Mystetskyi Arsenal as the location for his coming inauguration, The Art Newspaper reports. Home to the 2012 Kiev Biennale, the state-owned Arsenal is run by Nataliia Zabolotna. She has spearheaded a $150 million campaign, which intends to turn the 200 year old fortress into one of Europe’s largest museums.

The Arsenal was scheduled to host the 2014 Kiev Biennale as well before the exhibition was canceled due to political unrest in the capital, which led to the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovych and Poroshenko’s subsequent election.

Rather than some ovation to contemporary art lovers, the move to hold his inauguration is more likely a bow to his grassroots support, which used the Arsenal as their base on election night, bringing Poroshenko to power and electing Vitali Klitschko mayor of Kiev.

Either way, Zabolotna told TAN that Poroshenko was fully behind the transformation of the Mystetskyi Arsenal.

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