Most of artist Mykola Bondarenko’s works were saved in Sumy

2 August 2023

During clearing the rubble of the educational building of Sumy Interregional Higher Vocational School, which was hit by a Russian missile on July 29, it was possible to save part of the graphic artist Volodymyr Bondarenko’s linocuts. This news was shared on August 1 by the Sumy Regional Military Administration.

It was in this destroyed premises that the Centre for Research of the Holodomor Resistance Movement in the Sumy region was located. From the beginning of its opening (almost six years), a unique exhibition of graphic drawings by Mykola Bondarenko “Ukraine – 1933: a cookbook. Human memory.” was on display there. The exhibition included 89 works.

“After the missile attack by the Russians, the unique works of our compatriot, thanks to which almost the whole world learned about the Genocide of Ukrainians, ended up under the rubble,” Sumy OVA reported. “Thanks to the responsible and coordinated work of the units of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the Sumy region, the help of the institution’s staff and volunteers, most of Mykola Bondarenko’s linocuts – 66 engravings – were saved.”

According to Tetiana Sorokina, curator of the Holodomor Resistance Research Centre in the Sumy region, the works were damaged, but they can be restored. The search for linocuts continues.

As a reminder, linorite (or linocut) is a convex engraving created by cutting a pattern on linoleum. The creative heritage of graphic artist Mykola Bondarenko from the Sumy region, who passed away in June of this year, includes more than a hundred works on the Holodomor topic made in this technique.

P.S. As Tetiana Sorokina, curator of the Holodomor Resistance Research Centre in the Sumy region, told the Holodomor Museum on August 2, rescuers and volunteers managed to retrieve 88 works by Mykola Bondarenko from under the rubble. Fortunately, the fire that broke out in part of the destroyed building did not reach them, nor were they damaged by the rains that passed during that time in Sumy.

Photo – Sumy Regional Military Administration