VOLYN OBLAST – The last time the relatives of the famous politician and statesman, who was called the knight of Ukrainian statehood and theoretician of Ukrainian conservatism, had been to Volhynia, was two and a half years ago. It was the same Jan Lipinski (all of Viacheslav’s relatives who reside in Poland now, insist their last name should be spelled in this way, though their famous ancestor always used the Ukrainian transcription). Jan, Viacheslav’s nephew, will turn 91 in June, and his wife Maria will celebrate her 92nd birthday in half a year. And even their venerable age did not stop them from coming to their native village of Zaturtsi to see their family home fully restored. Last year, after a 10-year-long restoration, the Lypynsky family home (the famous house with pillars) was opened. Today it houses a unique Viacheslav Lypynsky Memorial Museum. Although it would be more correct to say that it is rather a museum of the family, which gave the world not only a politician, but also many renowned agronomists and doctors.
Jan himself lived for 18 years in Zaturtsi, a village in the vicinity of a small town of Lokachi not far from the ancient Volodymyr-Volynsky. But in September, 1939, his father Stanislav (Viacheslav’s brother) decided to move to the other side of the River Buh with his five children, and humble bag and baggage that fit in two carts, and a package of seeds. He was a renowned agriculturist and selectionist; later he bred a new variety of wheat from his Volyn seeds, and called it “Vyhnanka” (“The Exiled”). On the way they were to suffer a lot: they were fired at, then their horses were taken away, and they left behind their home and property. Thus the first trip to Zaturtsi after the exile at the beginning of the 1990s was hard for Jan. But later, he visited his home village quite often, and the family have donated a lot of items to the museum. And not even the distance, failing health, or age could prevent Jan from seeing his family home after it rose from ashes. Jan’s son Andrzej and his wife Maria came along too. Vitalii Kushnir, director of the Memorial Museum, says that this was a private visit with no mass media involved. Just as before, they have attended the memorial service at the local Catholic church that bears a plate on one of its walls saying that the Lypynsky family prayed here and supported it financially. Stanislav Lypynsky headed the committee which restored the church during the 1920s, after it was ruined in the World War I. The guests from Poland found it interesting to compare the photos of the restored mansion, which were sent to them by Kushnir, with the original which they could now see for themselves. The Lipinski family does not claim the mansion back. As Jan once said, it pleased them that their house would prove useful to Ukrainian culture. The house was restored after the old photographs Jan Lipinski sent from Krakow. The Lipinskis could see that the things they had sent over were not hidden or lost, but added to the museum’s exposition. However, the park near the mansion, which was a fine example of the late19th – early 20th century gentry culture, is still to be restored, since it was almost completely destroyed by the modern development in the neighborhood.
Jerzy Lipinski, Stanislav’s youngest son, who is 81 years old now and dwells in Gdansk, is planning to come to Zaturtsi in summer. And on April 17-18 an international academic conference “Viacheslav Lypynsky’s Social and Political Heritage and Modernity” is going to take place in Volyn oblast on the occasion of Viacheslav Lypynsky’s 130th birthday anniversary.