Former Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko, in an interview with the BBC, answered, in particular, the question of what the state wants from the UOC in general.
“If we are talking about the Lavra, then, undoubtedly, this huge territory should be returned to the state administration. This is not just a Lavra – here, on the one hand, the Holodomor Museum, on the other, the Motherland, the Arsenal is located nearby. This is a kind of diadem, decoration for Kiev, for the world,” Tkachenko said.
He added that the museum’s management had developed “the concept of a new vision of the modern Lavra as a cultural, educational, spiritual center, designed for many years to come, because in recent years there was a clear divide: in the Lower Lavra they (monks of the UOC) lived their lives, in The reserve tried to do its job at the Upper Lavra, but it’s all a single territory.”
“The fact is that the Lavra has begun to revive, concerts of sacred music, exhibitions are being organized on its territory, there are plans to complete the construction of the Mazepa Church and create the Mazepa Museum there. Life on this vast territory must breathe, there must be fresh, clean air, including , thanks to many things that are planned to be done during this year and next,” the former minister said.
When asked if the monks should be here, Tkachenko replied that “to a certain extent, yes. But it was the monks, and not the monks’ shops, not an incomprehensible number of people who used these premises simply for living, for some household, not some then dubious illegal constructions.
“I am convinced that there is a chic place on the territory of the Lavra for the Pantheon of Heroes. Therefore, I think that the Lavra has a great and bright future, just like the past,” the former member of the government said.
He also added that, in his opinion, the UOC is a Moscow church “considering their behavior and the fact that they behaved like classic provocateurs in communication with our colleagues from the commission.”