Unique collection of Ukrainian icons on glass now on display at UCU

Tuesday, 19 February 2013, 10:19
The Ukrainian Catholic University opened an exhibition of ancient Hutsul and Pokuttian icons on glass, which were presented to the university by the famous Ukrainian collector Ivan Hrechko. The first 50 items will be the basis for the future UCU museum. This is the largest collection of Ukrainian icons on glass from the mid-19th to the early 20th century.

The Ukrainian Catholic University opened an exhibition of ancient Hutsul and Pokuttian icons on glass, which were presented to the university by the famous Ukrainian collector Ivan Hrechko. The first 50 items will be the basis for the future UCU museum. This is the largest collection of Ukrainian icons on glass from the mid-19th to the early 20th century.

As said by Ivan Hrechko, his dream was that the icon collection remained intact, and for everyone to be able come and see them, pray before the icons. So after much deliberation the collector decided to give them to UCU. “Today is a wonderful day for me. All my life, I had a spiritual adventure in collecting these objects. This is the happiest moment in my life because now I can pass it to someone,” he said. He is especially pleased by the fact that his collection will be housed and protected by a church institute.

Bishop Borys Gudziak expressed his joy and gratitude to Ivan Hrechko for receiving such a gift: “For me today is also joyful and touching event. For what could have perished has survived, and it will teach many at the University.”

The collection is on display in Room 106 of the Philosophy and Theology Faculty. Later it will be moved to a building on the UCU campus on Stryiska Street. As assured Vice Rector Fr. Dr. Bohdan Prakh, the University will do everything possible to store and expand this exhibition.

“I know how much love you have for each icon, how much you enjoyed finding every one of them. So I understand that these things require proper storage in appropriate conditions. I will make sure that these icons have a proper place in the University,” said Fr. Prakh. “It is important that young scholars will be able to not only look at these pieces, but also research them.”

The event is symbolic because 100 years ago, in 1913, Metropolitan Sheptytsky also donated to the Ukrainian people his private collection, which began with the collection of ancient Ukrainian icons and sacred art, and later became the basis for the current National Museum in Lviv.

UGCC Department of Information

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