History of the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide
In January of 2006, a joint decision of Kyiv City State Administration, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine and the Ministry of Construction, Architecture and Housing was published. The idea was to conduct a nationwide open competition for the design of the memorial complex to the victims of famines.
On November 28, 2006, the Law of Ukraine “On the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine” was adopted, which officially recognized the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide of Ukrainian people and provided the construction of the Holodomors’ victims Memorial in Ukraine.
The National painter of Ukraine Anatolii Haydamaka was an author of the idea of memorial complex. Yurii Kovaliov was the chief architect of the project, Mykola Obeziuk and Petro Drozdovskyi were the sculptors. Quotes on the Black Boards alley were chosen by the National painter of Ukraine Mykola Siadristyi.
The act of readiness to exploitation of the building of the Memorial was signed on December 24, 2009. The Memorial was officially commissioned on July 12, 2010.
The memorial is the first part of the memorial complex and and consists of several parts: two sculptures of angels, which are a symbolic entrance to the Memorial area, square “Millstones of destiny”, surrounded bythe millstones. In the center of the square, there is a sculpture of a girl which is called “Bitter Memory of Childhood”. A monument “Candle of Memory” is surrounded by a complex of art objects (storks, iron crosses, boulders, slabs engraved with the years of crime against the Ukrainian people). The Hall of memory is the central part of the Memorial and serves as the museum at the moment. “Blackboards alley” includes granite plates with a list of localities which were under a special regime that exterminated population during the famine.
Since 2009, a new tradition in the Ukrainian society has been developed — every fourth Saturday in November people honor the memory of the Holodomor victims. On this day, Kyiv city residents and visitors, together with the leaders of the Ukrainian state, come to the memorial and light candles to commemorate the victims of genocide.
By the Decree of the President of Ukraine on February 3, 2010 №98, the Memorial was incorporated in the State Protocol and Ceremonial of Ukraine. Heads of goverments and other senior officials arriving in Ukraine attend Holodomor victims Memorial.
On July 31, 2015 on the basis of the laws “On the Holodomor of 1932–1933 in Ukraine”, “On conferment of legal entities and property of the names of individuals, anniversary and holiday dates, names and dates of historical events”, “On culture”, “On museums and museum affairs” and due to the support of the public, the museum was renamed as the National Museum “Holodomor Victims Memorial”.
On August 8, 2019, according to the Decision of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, the museum changed it name to the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide in order to stress the gencoidal nature of the events the museum tells about.
Today National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide exists as the memorial form (in the “Candle of Memory”), whereas the complete museum with proper infrastructure is still not built.