Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments

Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments (Українське товариство охорони пам’яток історії та культури; Ukrainske tovarystvo okhorony pamiatok istorii ta kultury; or УТОПІК; UTOPIK). A republican voluntary organization established in Kyiv on 21 December 1966 with the purpose of involving the Soviet Ukrainian public in the finding and protection of monuments of history, archeology, architecture, art, literature, ethnography, and folk art. The society has been headed by Kuzma Dubyna (1966–7), Petro Tronko (1967–90), Petro Tоlochko (1990–2015), and M. Burianova (since 2015). During Soviet times, t co-operated closely with the Communist Youth League of Ukraine, the Znannia Society, the Ministry of Culture, the Chief Archival Administration at the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, and city planners. In 1986 UTOPIK had nearly 18 million dues-paying individual members, in 75,293 workplaces and schools, who also donated over three million rubles to the society that year. The society’s nearly 4,000 councils, research sections and commissions, and inspectorates functioned within the framework of state, oblast, raion, and city governments and employed more than 37,000 people, over 3,000 of them in administration. During Soviet times, the society devoted particular attention to protecting monuments of the Second World War. In 1981–5 it spent over 20 million rubles on the erection of new architectural monuments and the reconstruction and restoration of old ones. It organized public events using the services of over 20,000 lecturers; operated some 700 ‘people's universities,’ which educated new organizers, lecturers, guides, and inspectors; and published textbooks, guides, photo albums, methodological literature, and a quarterly magazine, Pam’iatnyky Ukraïny (est 1969), renamed Pam’iatky Ukraïny in 1988. It also convened republican congresses (1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986), had columns in more than 200 local newspapers and a regular radio broadcast, prepared television documentaries, and funded and ran Kyiv Museum of Folk Architecture and Folkways and a special restoration workshop. A new chapter in the activities of UTOPIK began after Ukraine’s proclamation of independence in 1991.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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