Robinson Patman and Hogan Lovells advise Odesa Fine Arts Museum and other cultural institutions on protecting Ukraine’s heritage and avenues for legal redress for war crimes

Robinson Patman and Hogan Lovells advise Odesa Fine Arts Museum and other cultural institutions on protecting Ukraine’s heritage and avenues for legal redress for war crimes
4 October 2022, 15:00

16 September 2022 - together with the team of partners of Hogan Lovells, we submitted an appeal to the UN Rapporteur on cultural rights. This was done as part of our pro bono work on consulting and financial support of Ukrainian cultural institutions, in particular, the Odesa Art Museum (OFAM).

According to UNESCO, it is known that more than 186 objects of cultural heritage of Ukraine (churches, museums and monuments) have been damaged or destroyed since February 24. Since then, together with Hogan Lovells, we provide free legal advice to museums and galleries in Odesa, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv and other regions of Ukraine regarding the protection of cultural heritage and legal remedies in accordance with international law.

One of the results of our cooperation is the film "Dreams and Hopes: The Battle for the Cultural Heritage of Ukraine", which demonstrates the complexity of the struggle for our cultural heritage within the framework of the Odesa Art Museum fundraising campaign. Currently, only the trailer of the film is available.

Yasmin Waljee, International Pro Bono Partner at Hogan Lovells, commented: “As well as the tragic impact on the people of Ukraine of the war, we are aware of the implications for the cultural identity of the people of Ukraine, which is protected under the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property. This includes threats to historic records, rare art, and manuscripts of Ukrainian authors, which all face threats from the ongoing war with Russia”.

Oleksandra Kovalchuk, Director of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum commented: There are so many artworks that have been stolen, relocated or destroyed. We’re very focussed on protecting what we have to preserve our heritage and it is so important to have international partners such as Hogan Lovells, Robinson Patman helping us. We continue to need funds to support, particularly the Museum workers who selflessly remain in Ukraine to ensure our cultural heritage prevails”.

Nadiia Dmytrenko, Partner of the Pro Bono practice at Robinson Patman, commented: “Ukrainian culture is an integral part of us – Ukrainians. The hardest part of our work with the museums was to face and realize the damage done (destruction of unique ancient buildings and damaged books, paintings, sculptures – anything related to our culture and history). Joining efforts with Hogan Lovells team and OFAM allowed us to assist and help other cultural institutions in Ukraine that were suffered by the shelling”.

The film is being developed by Crux Jinx Productions with Director Dave Moutray and Producer Josh Rickert, with a contribution of funding from Hogan Lovells to support the campaign to raise funds and awareness for OFAM.

Dave Moutray, Director of “Dreams and Hopes: Ukraine’s Fight to Save Their Cultural Heritage commented: Oleksandra, seeing her country’s art and culture as ‘dreams and hopes’, has united museum workers and organised an incredible international endeavour to save all the art she can, all while her country is under siege. The time to help is now. The time to tell their story is now”.

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