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More than 250 thousand prominent figures of Ukrainian history were burried outside of Ukraine. Even among those whose portraits are depicted on Ukrainian currency, two are burried abroad. After the incident with the grave of the poet Olexander Oles in Prague we decided to tell you, where are the famous Ukrainians buried and what is the likelihood of their remains return to their homeland.
Yaroslav the Wise - United States
For a long time it was thought that the prince Yaroslav the Wise is based in St. Sophia Cathedral, but in 2009 scientists opened a tomb for research. Inside they discovered skeletons of two women, but did not find the remains of the knyaz. Since then, employees of "Sophia" started to search for the remains and found them in New York. During the occupation of Kyiv by the Nazis remains of the knyaz were brought by a German officer, and now the dust is kept, presumably, in the church of the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn.
The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine intends to send a special commission in the United States to check the authenticity of the remains of Yaroslav the Wise. If the examination confirms the authenticity, Ukraine would negotiate with the US for the reburial of them in Kyiv.
Ivan Mazepa - Romania
The location of the grave of Ivan Mazepa (1639-1709) is not known. Representatives of the historic communities of Ukraine and Romania, put forward the assumption that it may be in the area of the city of Galati. It is known that Mazepa first was buried in Varnitsa near Bender and later reburied in a crypt near the Church of St. George in Galati, which was destroyed by the communists in 1950-1960’s. Now there is only a grassy hill. Visual inspection of the hill, carried out in 1999 by the Ukrainian journalists, accompanied by a local museum workers and teachers, showed that the crypt with remains of the hetman, might be reserved, or it could remain in ruins. In order to find the burial, it is necessary to conduct archaeological and architectural study of the ruins of the Church of St. Yuri.
Stepan Bandera - Munich
In Munich, one of the ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, OUN leader Stepan Bandera is burried on the cemetery of Waldfriedhof. This is one of the most famous burial grounds, which is often subjected to attacks by vandals. Rent for a place in the cemetery are payed by Bandera’s relatives. In 2010, they extended the lease for another 10 years, paying thousands of euro.
The issue of reburial of Bandera in Ukraine has been topical for a long time: in 2010 it this operation costed about 10 thousand euros. However, due to the ambiguous attitude to the leader of Ukraine’s nationalist and today’s far-rights, the procedure has not been carried out.
Pavlo Skoropadsky - Oberstdorf
The grave of the last Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky is located in the German village of Oberstdorf, 180 km from Munich. In 1951, his wife Alexandra Skoropadsky was buried in Oberstdorf, and their children: Peter, Mary, and Elizabeth. Skoropadsky was a Russian general, participant of the Russian-Japanese War and World Wars, by 1917 he commanded an army corps, and was one of the adjutants general of the emperor. After the abdication of Nicholas II, Skoropadsky, a staunch monarchist, became Ukrainian military and political leader, and in the spring of 1918 he became Hetman of Ukraine, and stayed in power until the end of December. In Germany, Skoropadsky lived as a private citizen, and at the end of April 1945, died from injuries sustained in the bombardment of the Anglo-American air Bavarian city of Regensburg.
Among other famous Ukrainians buried in a foreign land are Volodymyr Vynnychenko (Mougins, France), Eugene Konovalets (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Symon Petlyura (Paris, France), Mykhailo Drahomanov (Sofia, Bulgaria), Olexander Dovzhenko (Moscow, Russia)k Marco Vovchok (Dolinsk, Russia), Ivan Bagryanyi (Neu-Ulm, Germany), Petro Doroshenko (Yaropolets, Russia), Serge Lifar (Lausanne, Switzerland).
Member of Institute of National Memory Pavlo Podobed explains that the average rental price in the cemetery of the European countries is about 50 euros per year for a single burial. The legal owner of the burial site is a complete manager of the grave, he has concluded an agreement with a public service or cemetery administration. Without his consent, it is impossible to take any action with the burial place of the ashes. Conversely, the grave owner has the discretion to exhume the grave or to bury someone in it. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry allocates about $ 1,500 for the care and maintenance of graves of prominent Ukrainians abroad.
Ukrainian pantheon: A lot of words without deeds
January 13, 2015 the Verkhovna Rada approved the establishment of the Pantheon of heroes in Kyiv. The document provides support for public initiatives to establish a national center of Kyiv pantheon, and in other cities - memory alleys of Heroes of Ukraine. Cabinet was recommended considering the establishment in the capital of a special memorial complex.
Similar structures exist in a number of countries. In the UK this is Westminster Abbey, where kings and their family members are buried, and prominent writers and scholars. In Paris, this pantheon is the Church of St. Genevieve, which is the final resting place of Victor Hugo, Pierre and Marie Curie, Emile Zola, Louis Braille. Georgian Pantheon is located on the slopes of Mount Mtatsminda: here are buried a classic of Russian literature Alexander Griboyedov and his wife - princess Nino Chavchavadze, as well as actors, journalists, historians and writers. Poland has two pantheons, in Krakow and Warsaw, as well as the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Since 2015, the National Remembrance Institute holds a public debate on the establishment of a national pantheon. According to Pavlo Padabed, this is not an alley of honorable burial and cemetery, a place that should unite everyone. Of course, gathering all the remains of prominent Ukrainians in one place is impossible, because there are about a dozen of graves.
"This should be a structure containing monuments and graves, and the epicenter of it should be the tomb of the unknown soldier of the present war for the independence of Ukraine. In addition, there should be reburied Ukrainians from all over the world," Volodymyr Vyatrovich, head of Institute of National Memory notes.
After the incident with the grave of the poet Olexander Oles in Prague, the issue of creating a pantheon got an edge again. "We discussed with the Institute of National Remembrance to establish a Pantheon of national heroes on Lukyanivka... There is a parallel discussion at the Kyiv city administration ... As an option, this place should be allocated in Lukyanivka near Oranzhereina street," the Minister of Culture Eugene Nyshchuk said. He also expressed hope that the Kyiv city council will decide on the allocation of land for the construction of the pantheon.
While the reburial of Ukrainians are discussed, the ashes of Olexander Oles will return to Ukraine. Canadian great-grandchildren of the poet have given their consent for the transportation and reburial of their grandpa in Kyiv. President Poroshenko has instructed the Foreign Ministry to address this issue.