Ukraine and Norway Strengthen Cultural Ties

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The Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tkachenko, and his deputies, Anastasia Bondar and Taras Shevchenko, recently met with the Minister of Culture and Equality of the Kingdom of Norway, Anetta Trettebergstuen, to discuss cooperation in the fields of culture, cultural heritage, and media. The meeting took place online on March 20.

During the meeting, the Ukrainian officials expressed gratitude for the support that Norway has shown towards Ukrainian culture. Minister Tkachenko stated that his ministry is ready to facilitate cooperation between cultural institutions in the two countries. He also expressed appreciation for Norway’s attention to the Holodomor, a famine that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933 and is considered to have been a genocide against the Ukrainian people. Minister Tkachenko hopes for a positive resolution on the issue in the near future.

Priority areas of cooperation

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine is interested in cooperation with Norway in several areas, including digitalization of culture, protection, preservation, and restoration of cultural heritage, support for Ukrainian cultural institutions, artists, creative industries and  media support. The Ukrainian side is also interested in cultural exchanges and promoting Ukrainian culture in Norway and around the world.

Minister Tkachenko emphasized the importance of supporting Ukrainian artists. He mentioned the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and the Ukrainian Institute of Books as two organizations that could benefit from assistance. Grants are another tool that could be used to support artists.

The Ukrainian officials also highlighted several projects aimed at promoting Ukrainian literature and culture in Norway and other countries. One project, called the “Ukrainian Bookshelf,” aims to replenish library collections in Norway with modern Ukrainian literature and to transfer Ukrainian-language and translated literature to libraries around the world. Another project involves introducing Ukrainian-language audio guides in Norwegian museums.

Historical ties

The meeting between the Ukrainian and Norwegian officials comes after the Norwegian Museum of History opened exhibitions last November that showcased the historical ties between Kyivan Rus and the ancient Kingdom of Norway. The events marked the 30th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Norway, and were attended by Norwegian politicians, experts, and diplomats.

The online meeting between the Ukrainian and Norwegian officials highlights the importance of cultural cooperation between the two countries. By working together, they can promote their cultures, protect cultural heritage, support artists and creative industries.