Statement on the crisis in Ukraine

Amsterdam/Heerde, 1st March 2022

Museum Geelvinck is appalled by the events in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and condemns the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, which was orchestrated by the Putin regime. We sympathize with the families and friends of the innocent victims of these acts of war and of the struggle, that has been waged in the Donbas region in recent years, as well as of those who have been victims of reprisals against their freedom of expression, or because of their reasonable acts of humanitarian resistance against the local regime in the Russian Federation, Belarus or Ukraine. We sincerely hope, that our friends and colleagues with roots in countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as their families and friends, will weather this crisis safely, that this struggle will end, and that a just, inclusive, socially balanced and democratic society will be established, in which the wounds of this fratricide can heal.

In Europe, we share – in all its local variations – a common cultural history in which also the present countries, that were part of the former Soviet empire, participate with all the cultural diversity of the many peoples, that inhabit these. We would like to emphasize, that the cultural expression from these countries – tangible, intangible and spiritual – are an integral part of our European identity. It should not be such, that in the Netherlands, the artistic expressions of musicians, artists, composers, writers, poets and other creative makers, as well as the academic, museum and heritage activities of our colleagues, from or rooted in Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine, in any way would be limited, or otherwise victimised; to them we want to put our heart. Our museum team is committed to protecting and rebuilding the bridging function of cultural dialogue.
We call for calm and reflection to resume dialogue, to respect each other’s freedom of expression and news-gathering, to spare innocent civilians and cultural heritage, to stop fighting and to observe the international treaties.

On March 2nd, 2022, the General Assembly of the United Nations overwhelmingly voted to reprimand the Russian aggression in Ukraine and demanded the Russian Federation to stop fighting and to withdraw its military forces from Ukraine.

Speech by President Zelensky of Ukraine to the Russian people

The ship bridge, which in November 1813, the Bashkir built across the River IJssel enabling the liberation of the Netherlands from the Napoleonic regime, symbolises the bridge between our cultures, also for today.