The restoration of Viktor Tsymbal’s iconic painting “1933” completed

6 July 2023

The Staff of the National Research Restoration Centre of Ukraine completed the restoration of Viktor Tsymbal’s painting “1933” — one of the most iconic works of art dedicated to the Holodomor. The canvas has already been returned to the funds of the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide.

Viktor Tsymbal (1901–1968), a Ukrainian artist known in America, a veteran of the UNR army, painted this picture in 1936. It is considered his highest artistic achievement, and according to some art critics, it is the first large-scale depiction of the genocide of the Ukrainian nation in the history of painting.

“I would like to sincerely thank the masters of the National Scientific and Research Restoration Centre of Ukraine for the high-quality and prompt work on the canvas, which, in our opinion, is of national importance. Despite the military operations, our partners managed to return the valuable museum exhibits to an almost perfect condition,” said Maryna Pryn, custodian of the Holodomor Museum’s funds.

The painting “1933” was written and first publicly presented in Argentina. It impressed many viewers, and at one of its shows, supporters of communist ideology even started a fight. After the artist’s family moved to the USA in the 1960s, Viktor Tsymbal donated the canvas to the Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences (UVAN). The painting was repeatedly on display at exhibitions in the USA. In 2020, UVAN President Albert Kipa presented it to the National Museum of the Holodomor-genocide on behalf of the organization. At the end of 2021, the museum handed over the painting for restoration.

We plan that the restored painting by V. Tsymbal will be shown to visitors in the Holodomor Museum as part of events commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor genocide.

In addition to the painting, restorers restored two documents from the beginning of the 20th century from the Museum’s funds.