Tetiana Yelisieieva, the director of this unique, Ukraine’s only, museum that represents a regional school of icon painting, says that even the record-breaking sizzling summer has not reduced interest in their collection of about 2,000 objects of sacral art. The star of the collection is the original miracle-working Kholm Icon of the Mother of God (11th century), the icon that has no analogues either in Athos or in Sinai. The people who saved this icon (The Day has more than once written about it) willed it to Lutsk. It cannot leave the premises of the Volhynia Icon Museum, where it is closely guarded and kept under an optimal temperature.
Ms. Yelisieieva says that small groups of visitors – composed of three to eight people – prevail. They always commission a guided tour. Dnipro, Odesa, Sumy, Cherkasy, Kyiv, Belarus, Poland, the UK… There was even an excursion for one Polish lady who also bought a book-album, The Volhynia Icon Museum, for 1,700 hryvnias. A gentleman from Kropyvnytskyi brought his two adult children to take part in the Lutsk-based Banderstadt festival. Last year he brought a group of pupils to the Volhynia Icon Festival and concluded that his own children should also see the exposition. During the weekend, the museum was visited by many participants in the Banderstadt festival of patriotic spirit, who were coming in groups and individually. It is particularly gratifying that youth show interest in art. What also gladdens the museum team is that, at last, repairs have begun in the small building the regional council handed over to the museum as a repository. But the building of the museum proper, one of the most frequented ones, a Lutsk hallmark of sorts, also badly needs to be renovated. For it has been housing the museum for 16 years.