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Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine

Operation: year round
Location: Lavrska Street 9-12, Kyiv
Included in the following tours:
 
The Museum of Historical Treasures in Kiev is a chronicle of the Ukrainian land imprinted in silver and gold.
It was opened in 1969 as a branch of the National Historical Museum of Ukraine and occupies 17th-18th century building of the former bakery in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Monastery.
The core of the Treasury funds came from the private collection of Kiev Maecenas Khanenko thanks to whom the Historical Museum was opened in 1904. The 20th century exploration and excavation works have enriched the museum collection with the most ancient valuable artifacts.
Among them are original samples of the 9th century BC – 4th century AD of Cimmerian art decorations; Scythian famous golden pectoral, ritual vessels, weaponry; Sarmatian earrings, bracelets, torques, masks and Tauri tribes decorations.
Findings of the 4th-14th centuries gather Huns sword, diadem, belt buckle; Avars belt decorations with colorful incrustation; Khazarians breast and neck adornments, pendants with granulation, buckle decorations, coins and Eastern Slavs plaques.
Kievan Rus of the 9th-13th centuries artifacts are represented by bowls, chains, breast decorations, torques and pendants; Pechenegs decorated bridle; Polovtsians helmet, pendants, censer; Golden Horde scoop and goblet.
Eventful 20th century was quite challenging for the treasure preservation.
In 1922 there came a Decree about withdrawal of ritual objects made of precious metals. Synagogues and Orthodox Christian shrines suffered equally. Golden and silver items were withdrawn to be sold “for the sake of hungry people fund”. Thanks to Scherbakivsky, the museum founder, we can appreciate Ukrainian Goldsmith collection of the 16-20th centuries including gospels, chalices, crosses, tabernacles, censers, icon decorations, wedding crowns, etc. Silver Judaica collection features Torah’s crowns, rymmons, pointers and shields, Chanukah lamps, scrolls of Esther, bsamims and other ritual and home decorations.
Soviet government was always in need of money, and in 1929 it was decided “to withdraw museum exhibits from Ukraine for amount no lesser than 600000 of roubles”. Regardless protests of museums directors and scientists, valuable items were collected and sent to “Antiquariat” State Enterprise for future sale at international auctions.
In 1933 the State Bank has merely collected all the precious metals artifacts from Ukrainian Museums for storing.
During WWII the major museum funds were transferred to Ufa via Moscow and were safely turned back after the war. Less happy fate overtook the funds remaining in Kiev.
The year of 1954 was a fateful one for the Museum. Ukrainian famous Scythologist Terenozhkin, after a 50-year pause in exploration of Scythian tumulus, has discovered findings of immense value, numbering to 196 samples of golden decorations. Ukrainian scientists decided to leave precious atrifacts in Ukraine, Melitopol and Kiev, thus breaking an Empire habit to give all the findings away to Moscow and Leningrad. Having learnt about Terenozhkin’s discovery, the director of Hermitage in Leningrad insisted on transfer of the values to Hermitage. Still not known how and why, the authorities decided to leave the newly found Scythian gold in Ukraine with a note to keep any future Ukrainian findings in Ukraine too. Before long a State Commission would visit the treasury exhibition in the Historical Museum and would make a resolution about creation of the separate Golden Treasury Section. By 1969 this section would grow into the Museum of Historical Treasure of Ukraine and would welcome its first visitors in Lavra.
 
 
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Good morning Miss Lugina.

Hope every thing is good with you always.
Please for give me for robbing some of your precious time, but I would like to express some of my thoughts of my trip to Ukraine.
First I will like to say that I felt in love with your country, I was treated with respect, and I was impressed by the honesty when I was using the public buses and people forward the money to the collector by asking the next person to pass and so on, and even if change is due, it will be delivered back to the person and nobody will take a penny; I have never seen that in any country I have visited ( about 19 in three continents) Also I never was afraid to be robbed or assaulted in the streets of Kharkov or any other I have visited, as I took a train for almost a 2000 Kms. round trip all the way to Uzhgara, unfortunately, I did not expend much time in Kiev which looks a beautiful city, but I am planning to go back next year.
It was not easy for me since I do not speak Ukranian or Russian, although I can read some words, but thank to my extensive travel experience I was able to figure out situations, now I am determined to learn as much as I can of the languages, so next time it will be much easier.
I am planing to visit the south of Ukraine all the way to the Black Sea cities and landscapes, and I will need of your services again.
If you need my feed back of this trip for your agency you have my authorization to publish it.
Your services where of what it got me there and I will recommend it to any one is interested to go to beautiful Ukraine.
Miss Lugina, have a wonderful week.

Cordially.

Jose Ardon Argentina September 2008

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