Photo 16:30 10 Nov 2023

Zelenska opens Ukrainian bookshelf in UNESCO library in Paris

Фото: president.gov.ua

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska donated Ukrainian contemporary books to the UNESCO Library as part of her Ukrainian Bookshelf project.

What is the problem?

Olena Zelenska says that sending books abroad helps prevent Ukrainians from their defeat .on the battlefield.

"The project not only preserves our language, but also amplifies it, so that Ukrainians are known about not only from the news, but also from in-depth, high-quality texts, research, and works. Perhaps culture cannot stop missiles physically. But as long as the people has its language, its literature, its true history reflected in this literature, its art and customs, this people will survive. We are already doing it," the First Lady emphasized.

The Ukrainian Bookshelf project aims to distribute literature in original and translated versions in the world's leading libraries.

What is the solution?

A Ukrainian bookshelf was opened in Paris in the library of the international organization for science and culture UNESCO.

How does it work?

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay attended the event. The 180 Ukrainian shelves opened in 42 countries include 45 thousand books.

Olena Zelenska and Audrey Azoulay met with French street artist Christian Guémy and saw a fresco dedicated to Ukraine that the artist created during the day. The fresco, painted in yellow and blue, depicts a Ukrainian girl.

Christian Guémy is a Parisian street artist better known as C215. In April and May 2022, he visited Lviv, Kyiv, Hostomel, and Bucha and created a series of graffiti on buildings destroyed due to the Russian invasion.

Photo: Olena Zelenska, Facebook

Photo: Olena Zelenska, Facebook

"I am grateful to Ms. Audrey for the efforts she and her organization are making to protect Ukrainian heritage from Russian barbarism. For inscribing World Heritage sites in Odesa, Kyiv and Lviv on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger and for providing enhanced protection to 20 more sites. For assistance in the field of education: here, UNESCO is engaged in the implementation of psychological support, and this is an important contribution to our National Mental Health Program, the very Ukrainian resilience that has already become a legend," Zelenska emphasized.

Photo: Olena Zelenska, Facebook

She expressed hope that cooperation in the return of children abducted by Russia would be forthcoming.

"As the artist Christian Hemi aptly noted, 'Ukraine wants victory and justice. We are grateful to all the people and organizations who understand this and help to realize it," Zelenska emphasized.

The Ukrainian Bookshelf project is being implemented by the MFA, Culture Ministry and Book Institute to develop cultural ties between the countries and popularize Ukrainian literature worldwide. Ukrainian publishers from all regions have joined the project.

First shelves are already available in Greece, Moldova, France, Austria, South Africa, Namibia, Qatar, and more.


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