28 Feb 2022

Icon stands in solidarity with Ukraine

Updated 8 March 2022

The trustees, staff and members of Icon are devastated by the events unfolding in Ukraine and by the terrible suffering of the people and the sad loss of civilian lives. An an organisation Icon strongly condemns the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, a fellow country within the Council of Europe. We call for an immediate end to the aggression and entreat all international political leaders to do everything in their power to broker an immediate ceasefire and to establish lasting peace in the region.

We are deeply concerned about the safety of those who work in the cultural sector in Ukraine and who are currently risking their lives to safeguard treasured cultural assets. Their bravery and commitment to protecting their heritage is exceptional and inspirational. We stand in solidarity with them and offer our strong moral support.

Although our primary care is for the safety and wellbeing of the people of Ukraine, we remain concerned about the continuing threat to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine and we lament the significant losses of art, collections and buildings over the last few days. The 1954 Hague Convention sets out legal obligations to protect culture and heritage in the event of armed conflict and we call on everyone to abide by and uphold this international agreement.

Lastly, our thoughts are also with our members and colleagues who have family and friends caught up in this dreadful and unnecessary conflict.

If you would like to support heritage colleagues in Ukraine and others working to protect Ukraine's cultural heritage visit our Support for Ukraine page.

Useful sources of information

Ukraine and its culture

  • The British Library has a number of Ukrainian collections - three key items are highlighted in this recent blog post

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