He was known and respected by museum people throughout the world, not only in Ukraine. And it could not be otherwise, for what is under the belt of Academician Borys Voznytsky, the patriarch of the museum art, is over 60 years of self-denying work which he sacrificed on the alter of national culture. Somebody even tried to count the monuments he has saved – the figure was incredible, about 40,000.
Borys Voznytsky assumed the office of director of the Lviv Gallery of Arts 50 years ago. He said in the penultimate interview with The Day: “I work so much that I even do not go on vacation – I last vacationed in 1964. I work on all Saturdays and Sundays.” There were also the following phrases in the same interview:
“What awfully depresses me is that I want but cannot do something…
“I always remember the dictum of Yosyp Slipyj: ‘The people have not lost the past, it is land that can vanish off the face of Earth.’ I also always quote Hitler’s Mein Kampf: ‘To eliminate a nation, you must get it rid of culture.’
The tragedy occurred last Wednesday at about 9 a.m. The car that Voznytsky was driving hit a taxi minibus. The Day had this information confirmed at the Lviv Gallery of Arts. They also said he had driven out of Lviv early in the morning, having left a note: “I am going to Pomoriany.”
The Day’s team, which has cooperated with Voznytsky for many years, is expressing sincere condolences to his next of kin, friends, and colleagues. May his memory live forever.
The Day’s FACT FILE
Borys Voznytsky (April 18, 1926 – May 23, 2012) was an art researcher, director of the Lviv Gallery of Arts, member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, Hero of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko National Prize winner, Meritorious Figure of Culture in Ukraine and Poland, president of the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). He focused his attention on preserving castles and palaces, including those of Olesko, Zolochiv, Pidhorets, the Friday Tower, and wooden churches. He also cared about Jan Pinzel’s wooden baroque-style sculptures.