Russian heavy artillery keeps "denationalizing" Ukrainian land, razing to the ground architectural marvels, historic sites, and museums housing masterpieces of international value, to say nothing about schools, churches, hospitals, and living blocks. According to the recent UNESCO report of June 13th, since February 24th and up to this day, Russia has damaged at least 143 religious sites, museums, historic buildings, libraries, cultural centers, and monuments, while some international experts speak out about Putin's deliberate targeting of iconic Ukrainian landmarks.
Thus, amidst the overwhelming devastation of the Russian plague, Ukraine aims to digitize "every single piece of art or history" it can to save the priceless heritage from extinction. This was announced by Michael Chobanian, the President of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine, at CoinDesk's Consensus 2022 on June 11th.
"Today we are announcing a new project [aimed at] how we can save the DNA of the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian culture, and Ukrainian history," Chobanian said, adding, "Right now, they are bombing museums, churches, and cultural sites. So before they are destroyed...we're going to digitize every single piece of art or history that we have in museums. We're going to NFT it and put it on the blockchain."
NFT and web3 have been, and keep playing a significant role in funding defensive and humanitarian initiatives in Ukraine at war, raising dozens of millions in crypto and fiat from international and local donors. Once entering the blockchain, the tokenized art piece stays there forever. That's why NFT-sizing of Ukraine’s bountiful cultural legacy is not a whim but a necessity.
The nation-scale project on preserving Ukrainian art heritage in NFT format will be brought to life in partnership with a layer-1 blockchain platform NEAR Protocol.
“It is extremely important to bring all the Ukrainian heritage on-chain and offer it to the world and preserve it forever,” NEAR Protocol founder Illia Polosukhin who was also among speakers at the Consensus 2022 conference.
The creative community of Ukraine has already taken up multiple NFT-focused initiatives aimed at spreading the truth about Russian criminal actions against humanity and raising funds to help civilians and the army stand for peace, freedom, and democracy for the whole world.
One of the largest ones is the MetaHistory NFT museum, launched with the support of the Ukrainian government. The NFT pictures showcase every day of war brought by Russians in chronological order and celebrate Ukrainian identity and freedom.
So the recent initiative aims to “provide a digital window into Ukraine’s cultural DNA,” according to CoinDesk and will be freely accessible from any spot on the globe.