The Day has more than once written about Vasyl Slipak, Hero of Ukraine, soloist at the Paris National Opera, volunteer, participant in the hostilities in eastern Ukraine (nom de guerre “Myth”), who was killed in action near Luhanske.
A year ago Ukrainian volunteer musicians, members of the NGO “Music Battalion,” suggested laying out Vasyl Slipak Culture and Art Park in Kyiv. This park is to be a place of cultural and artistic recreation for Kyivites and numerous guests of our capital, where Ukrainian musicians will perform their best numbers.
Everybody, including the Kyiv authorities, seemed to favor this idea. But now, a few months on, the initiators begin to come across obstacles, which clearly reflects the commercial interest of some unknown builders, – the small area on Andriivskyi Uzviz proved to be a very tasty morsel. And although the Kyiv City Council’s land commission has supported the initiative to assign land for laying out the park, its ecological commission has shelved the idea.
Serhii VASYLIUK, front man of the band “Tin’ Sontsia”:
“Vasyl Slipak showed by his example an incredible will of Ukrainians to defend their native land. As a volunteer fighter, he demonstrated an example of patriotism and self-sacrifice to many, particularly our young people. The Vasyl Slipak Art Park in Kyiv can become a rallying center for Ukrainian artists.”
Viktor KRYVENKO, member of the Ukrainian Parliament:
“It is not a political initiative. So it was easy for me to collect signatures of 123 MPs from different factions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in its support. Still more were ready to sign, but it is more than enough to show mass-scale support from the parliamentary corps. Some are asking: why did they decide to lay out Vasyl Slipak Park in precisely this place? Because the art community made this decision! It is by far the best and most colorful place the personality of a prominent opera singer deserves. Moreover, Ukrainian songs and music will sound more harmoniously in the cozy atmosphere of Andriivskyi Uzviz. This is the function the art park is supposed to perform.”
Yurii SYROTIUK, member of the Kyiv City Council:
“Unfortunately, land questions are too much associated with corruption. Yet as far back as last October, leaders of all the Kyiv Council factions promised to support this initiative. It was decided that the public utility organization Kyivzelenbud would draw up and submit a decision for a discussion. But it drew up no documents at all about Vasyl Slipak Park. As a councilor, I had to move a draft decision by myself and put it through all the commissions.
“The ecological commission did not approve this project because the Land Resources Department had raised some objections. Accordingly, the ecological commission shelved the draft decision – it was not discussed. But when I went to the land commission, it unanimously supported the project, albeit tentatively, under pressure. For I said that Slipak Park was sure to be set up, and any attempts to resist will only tarnish the reputation of those who will be doing so.
“The key complaint about the project is that we want to lay out a park on the plot of land that is supposed to be built over. So, the city authorities must change the purpose of a few hundred square meters of land and write down that it is a recreational ground. I think it will be to the benefit of Kyiv if at least a small plot of land on Andriivskyi Uzviz becomes a park, rather than another highrise.”
Dmytro PAVLYCHKO, writer, Hero of Ukraine:
“I am a conscientious member of the community that initiated laying out Vasyl Slipak Park in this place of Kyiv. We must struggle for this sacred cause – struggle all together: the public, artists, MPs and councilors, politicians, writers, and journalists.”
An electronic petition has been registered on the Kyiv City Council website in support of laying out Vasyl Slipak Culture and Art Park in downtown Kyiv. As we were going to press, over 900 people had signed it. A total 10,000 signatures are needed. The collection of signatures began on February 6 and will continue for 70 days more.