The Kiev Regional Archaeological Museum actually started working in May 2002, but its story began over 80 years ago. On the way to creation, the museum overcame many obstacles and was revived from the ruins of the Glory of Komsomol museum.
Back in 1933 was sent a report from Konstantin Antipovich, the Kyiv Regional Inspector of Cultural Monuments Preservation, to the Regional Committee of Lenin’s Communist Society of Youth of Ukraine with the idea of organizing Historical and Revolutionary Reserve dedicated to the events of 1919i n Trypillia. In 1919 Trypillia became the capital of the self-proclaimed Trypillya Republic headed by otaman Zelenyi (Danilo Terpylo). He was a native Trypillian, whom Soviet system declared as a gangster. Also they tried to show his action in countrymen rebellion the worst as possible that covered the Kyiv region.
On July 2, 1919, the Soviet regime sent a retaliatory platoon to Trypillia, including the Komsomol members. In order not to cause even greater danger to the common population, the army of Zelenyi retreated, but by evening of the next day they had already retook the town capturing the Komsomol members. Who penitenced were released, but about 100 Komsomols were executed publicly on the market square, before being forced to jump from the high Dnieper cliff…
Of course, the Komsomols were presented as the victims of Zeleny’s violence. The reserve was to play the role of cultural and political influence and the communist education of the workfolk and the masses. In 1934 a memorial plaque with the inscription was erected in honor of the killed Komsomol members at the house where they were held:
"1919 Here in Trypillia was murdered platoon of Komsomol-revolutionists by skinflints bandits May the memory of revolution's fighters live forever"
The small museum, which should to become the center of the reserve at the site of the main events, was never built, but in 1938 a 26-meter black granite obelisk was installed, which could also be seen from Kiev.
The creator of the first museum became a local teacher of history, local historian enthusiast – Semen Omelchenko. Although he was not a native Trypillian, he became interested in studying the history of his native land. Therefore, in 1958 he created an exhibition dedicated to the history of the Komsomol of Kyiv region. On this basis, in 1959, the first museum in Trypillia was opened. It was a of the Kiev State Museum of History. The old school building became a museum, which, despite its small size, had 4 halls that represented the history of the Civil and World War II, the history of rebuilding Trypillia in the postwar years and the Komsomol of Kyiv region. Each year, the museum received almost 20,000 visitors, and more and more materials for it that simply did not fit. They decided to expand the museum and build a new building.
GLORY OF KOMSOMOL
Opening of a large two-storey building of the Museum Komsomol’s Glory in Tripillia took place in April 1978, although only a small article appeared in the district newspaper “Zorya Zhovtnya”.
The first hall told about the events of 1905-1920’s; the second is about the first five years and the lives of Soviet writer Mykola Ostrovsky; the third – the events of the Second World War; the fourth one is about post-war reconstruction.
On the third year the museum has received its 100,000th visitor. There were buses in the queue and sometimes steamboats.
BATTLE FOR MUSEUM
However, the story of the Komsomol was not needed by the authorities. In 1992 the museum was renamed as the Museum of Dnieper History. However, the funds for its maintenance were not allocated, the institution declined and needed repair. Therefore, on December 29, 1995, the Kyiv Regional Directorate of Culture adopted an order to re-profile the museum and create a regional archaeological museum on the basis of the former Museum of Komsomol’s Glory.
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
The Regional Archeological Museum was commissioned to establish by center for the preservation of history, archeology and art. The work rested on the shoulders of Paul Pokas, director of the center. In a few months he developed a plan for the first hall, purchased archaeological sites for it, placed the exhibits, and in May 1996 could already welcome visitors to it. He even developed a “Guide of the archeology of the Kiev region”. Unfortunately, his untimely death suspended his work and again everybody forgot about the museum.
REVIVAL OF STORY
The changes began in 2000, when the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma signed a decree commemorating Khvoyka’s memory and erecting a bust near the building of the Kiev Regional Archaeological Museum in Trypillia. There was the 150th anniversary of the birth of the eminent scientist-archaeologist Vikentiy Khvoika.
The Kyiv Regional State Administration has allocated the necessary funds. Since October 26, 2001 repair and construction works have started in the museum.
To the left of the museum there is a bronze bust of Vikentiy Khvoyka, the first in Ukraine monument to this archeologist. The monument perfectly complemented the design of the museum territory, that was made by the chief architect of the project – Anatoly Ignashchenko.
“Table of Harmony” was built in front of the monument, in the center of which a metal cylinder – the axis of the earth with the inscription “Dialogue of Cultures” in Ukrainian and English. It emblematizes the intertwining of cultures on this earth, the transition from one to another. Around the “Table of Harmony” were placed historical exhibits of handcrafted ancient stones. Before the facade of the museum are set large blocks of sandstone, whose age is more than 70 million years old – a gift of the National Historical and Ethnographic Reserve of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky.
The appearance of the museum has also changed. According to Anatoly Ignashchenko’s design, the shape of the building is reminded a “chest” or an earthen block, in which the treasures of the past are hidden. Before the entrance to the museum is a metal lamp in the form of a trinocular as an element of Trypillian culture at a height of 2.5 m. The museum building is decorated with ceramic replicas of anthropomorphic Trypillian statuettes and a Scythian kurgan stelae. They were made by the Kolo-Ra Society. One and a half-meter female figures emblematize motherhood and woman as the guardian of the hearth. Also boxwood alley was planted in the museum territory.
However, the exterior changes of the museum are only the top of the iceberg. After all, at the same time the museum began active scientific work. With the support of the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (UNC ICC), the museum staff conducted archaeological explorations and excavations in the villages of Shcherbanivka, Dolyna and Trypillya. In early 2003, the Committee provided a collection of popular science and historical literature to the Museum Library. The museum actively hosts conferences, exhibitions and explorations. Museum staff work on studying and covering the history of the Kyiv region.
GROW AND SPREAD
At present, the museum consists 7 branches located in the Kiev region: Museum of Fighting Glory (secondary school in Trypillia); Museum of Vikentiy Khvoyka and Museum of Ivan Franko (Halepya); Museum of Cossacks and Art Gallery (Germanivka); Museum of Anatoliy Solovyanenko and Museum of Local History (Kozyn); Museum of Archaeological and Local History (Kopachiv); Museum of Local History (Sosnova).
Every day, museum life becomes more and more active, attracting more and more visitors.