The 111th anniversary of a marvelous historical monument - the “Chocolate House” was marked on October 11, 2012. Igor Iankovskyi Ukrainian Charity Foundation “Initiatives for the Future” was a principal partner and sponsor of the celebration. The “Chocolate House”, now officially known as “Children’s Art Gallery”, is a cultural center in the heart of the old capital, 17/2 Shovkovychna street. The House started its bright and challenging history at the break of centuries – in 1899-1901.
Many conscious people of Ukrainian art and business gathered under its roof to celebrate the anniversary. They made sure that music by Chopin and Vivaldi still sounds, and works of art are still displayed here centuries on.
The great white hall at the second floor looked especially festive on this day. Tetyana Skyrda, director and preserver of the “Chocolate House” thanked everyone who attended the event, and especially the benefactors, who have contributed generously to restoration of this remarkable building.
“It started as a magnificent house in Pechersk, built by a famous architect Volodymyr Nikolayev for a patron of arts Semen Mohylevtsev. The walls of this house barely survived the revolution, stood through the Second World War and the soviet period. Every new owner introduced some changes both to the unique interior design and to the façade. Unfortunately, these changes were not always positive. Our generation could have lost the “Chocolate House” for good – the mere thought of it is unbearable! It is an architectural gem of more than just Kyiv – the whole Europe,” – Tetyana Skyrda said. She thanked heartily to all guests for their efforts to assist the renovation. “We are proud to have most of the design recreated - unique wall and glass painting, molding, stucco. Renovations have been made in all six principal halls - Mauritanian, Byzantine, French, Modern, Rococo, and Renaissance. Musicians, scientists, businessmen and journalists all contributed to this architectural masterpiece when they raised funds for gradual renovation of the “Chocolate House”. Of course, a lot remains to be done for complete restoration of the building and recreation of interiors and furniture. But today’s “Chocolate House” is already an achievement of everyone who is here today!” – Tetyana Skyrda emphasized.
The event was definitely brightened by children’s works, which were put for exhibition in the halls. Watercolors and paper appliques, sculptures and installations created by talented little artists are impressive in their variety. The high point of the evening was a small concert, where several famous Ukrainian violinists, bandurists and opera singers performed. It seemed that the ancient walls of the “Chocolate House” shone with new fresh colors thanks to the live classical music. Kyiv’s architectural gem was filled with the vitalizing energy of art.
“Life is the greatest gift, which is given to men so that they can fill their existence on the earth with meaning, pass knowledge and achievements on to their descendants, and save their names in history by kind doings. To renew and preserve treasures of cultural heritage for future generations is a great mission, and we are honored to share it.
I am confident that the cause of the “Chocolate House” restoration, started by Mrs. Skyrda and her associates, will be completed successfully. We will finally remove restoration platforms from the façade and open beautiful halls of the “palazzo” for visitors. I am delighted that artists and patrons of art are now joining their efforts to continue the restoration. I am sure that nobody who has seen the house and heard its story can remain indifferent to its fate. Ukrainian Charity Fund “Initiative for the Future” supports the good cause of the “Chocolate House” with all their hearts and is ready to give the necessary help. For it is our history, our priceless heritage. I am sure that this charming place will soon become an acting art center for gifted children of Ukraine,” – said Igor Iankovskyi, Head of supervisory council of National Charity Foundation “Initiative for Future”.
They say a house is alive as long as its owner cares about it. This cultural center has kind and caring owners, who gave it a new life, full of bright colors and smiles of children’s art.
Europe will soon have another architectural masterpiece restored – the “Chocolate House” in Kyiv!
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|Igor Iankovskyi Ukrainian Charity Foundation
“Initiative for the Future”
12, Amosova Street, Kyiv, 03680, Ukraine
“Horizon Park” business center, Level 5, office 5C