Ukrainian Amber World

Written by  Halyna Symha

The world amber community is a wide-ranging group of people generally interested in amber, and yet it is also a narrow range of specialists who study amber and develop the amber business in their countries and provide for its international development.

The rest of us are interested in the successful development of the industry within each of our countries enterprises. We care about industry issues and the search for solutions brings us together even more. Therefore, the main event in 2012 for the Ukrainian Amber World Association was the commencement of the industrial extraction of amber by one of its members. The Ukrainian Sunny Craft Center company launched industrial mining at the Volodymyrets Skhidnyi amber mine (Rivne region, Ukraine) in June 2012.

This is success. A success of the Association as a professional union of amber specialists and success of Ukraine as an amber country.The success of the amber mining industry has become a good base and a source of inspiration for future cultural development. The Ukrainian Amber World Association is well known for its cultural and art projects and so the first amber treasures from the Volodymyrets Skhidnyi deposit will be on display at an exhibition in a new museum.

At the beginning of the amber extraction season of 2013, with the active participation of the Ukrainian Amber World Association, the grand opening of the new Amber Road Museum took place on April 8, 2013 at the “St Sophia of Kyiv” National Preserve (Kyiv, Ukraine), the 11th century architectural monument that has been a UNESCO World Heritage List site since 1990. That event was highly anticipated and well-received. The opening of the new attraction, another item on the Ukrainian amber route, was announced on the 4th Forum of the Amber Route Cities (Gdańsk, Poland, May 17–18, 2012) and during the Past, Present and Future: Cooperation Along the Historical Amber Route International Conference (Vilnius, Lithuania, June, 25–27, 2012). There is no doubt that such projects deserve to become a basis for international cultural cooperation and will strengthen cooperation in the area of Amber Road tourist routes, bringing together European countries.

The 2013 was rich in cultural achievements for the Association. In April 2013 the Ukrainian Amber World Association launched a unique cultural project: Amber Mosaics in St. Sophia of Kyiv which was announced at the International exhibition ITB 2013 in Berlin, Germany. For the first time in the world, amber mosaics based on Byzantine mosaics and frescoes preserved in St Sophia's Cathedral (the 11th century architectural monument, Kyiv, Ukraine), Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Cyril's Church of Kyiv (12th century architectural monuments, Kyiv, Ukraine) were reproduced. The amber mosaics, presented at the Amber Mosaics in St. Sophia of Kyiv exhibition were created by contemporary Ukrainian and Italian artists using Ukrainian amber and classic mosaic techniques. The project premiere was held on April 8, 2013 and received great media coverage and public acclaim. The guests of honor at the ceremony included Marco Santi, President and Artistic Director of the Group of Ravenna Mosaic Artists [Gruppo Mosaicisti Ravenna, Italy]. The restoration and mosaic studio is located at the Cathedral of San Vitale in Ravenna, famous for its 5th and 6th century Byzantine mosaics.

These are our achievements, what was developed and what is running. But we have very ambitious plans for further development. We have serious plans to cooperate with international collectors on the unique assortment of amber that is legally produced in the mines of Rivne and certified by he Gemological State Service of Ukraine. We aim to develop innovative usage of amber in interior design and in medical and health projects. Finally, I want to say that Ukraine, even though it declared itself as an "amber country" later than others, has great potential and, most importantly, has concrete achievements. At the moment, there are two mines in Ukraine: Klesiv and Volodymyrets Skhidniy, which have started legal amber extraction. Amber museums were opened in Kyiv and Rivne.

We’ve carried out three international scientific and practical conferences on the Amber Route. We continue to open art exhibitions of amber works and develop projects of interior design. We are researching the use of amber in medical and health projects. Therefore, we can only regret that Ukraine has not yet become an integral part of the European Amber Route. But we’ve already paved our own Amber Road in Ukraine. It is time for our paths to merge. The basis for this is there and we will all benefit from it. Create your Amber World with us! is the slogan of the Association and the slogan of Amber Ukraine which deserves to become the slogan of the European Amber Route!

Source: Amber news review 2013, World Amber Council

Image Gallery