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19:42 07 Dec 2021

The Zaporozhian Cossacks in front of illegal construction: an art project dedicated to the fight against corruption will open in Ukraine

Timed to International Anti-Corruption Day, which is observed on December 9, the Corruptionism project has been created. It will be presented at the National Art Museum of Ukraine from December 8 to 12 as part of a permanent exhibition. The aim of the project is to show how corruption affects the life of every Ukrainian through remakes of classical art masterpieces, as well as to tell visitors how to contribute to the fight against corruption. The project initiator is the EU Anti-Corruption Initiative (EUACI).

"Anti-corruption reform was launched in Ukraine seven years ago, and in the meantime independent anti-corruption bodies were formed, including the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the National Agency on Corruption Prevention," said Allan Pagh Kristensen, Head of EUACI, organizer of the project, "it might seem that corruption is something far from everyday life, which takes place behind closed doors of offices. But in fact, its consequences affect the lives of all Ukrainians: illegal construction or parking, deforestation, which causes environmental disasters, abandoned railways, and so on. The Corruptionism project is a way to draw the attention of thousands of people to the topic of corruption using art as communication."

The Corruptionism project is named by analogy with Impressionism, Realism and other art movements. The concept is that the consequences of corruption suddenly appear in classical works of Ukrainian  artists of the 19th and early 20th century. For example, in Serhiy Vasylkivsky's painting, Cossacks in the steppe, a cumbersome high-rise building is constructed in circumvention of the law. And in Vladimir Orlovsky's painting, In the beech forest, only stumps are left of the leafy trees due to illegal amber mining.

"Art always evokes dialogue: in this case, its goal is to show how corruption changes the lives of each of us. After all, what we no longer notice in real life is eye-catching in works of classical art," commented Yulia Lytvynets, Director General of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, "the five altered paintings in the exhibition depict the top five corruption crimes. There is a plaque next to each work with a description, real cases of corruption in Ukraine and instructions anyone can follow. Since, unlike works of art, such crimes cannot be simply looked at — they must be actively countered." 

You can buy an exhibition ticket at the museum box office. Ticket price – 120 UAH, ticket at reduced rate – 50 UAH.

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