One of Ukraine’s oldest community centers needs restoration after Russian occupation

30 September, 01:51 PM
One of the oldest cultural centers in Ukraine needs more than 200 million hryvnias for reconstruction (

One of the oldest cultural centers in Ukraine needs more than 200 million hryvnias for reconstruction (

In the first days of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the town of Irpin became a shield for the Ukrainian capital and experienced the horrors of war under occupation. Its community center, which has been uniting the residents of Irpin for almost 70 years, was also affected.

The Central House of Culture of the town of Irpin was one of the first such institutions to be built in Ukraine after World War II. The initiator of the construction was the local community itself: people wanted to take care of the town's cultural development.

The House of Culture was opened in the fall of 1954: an auditorium for 484 seats, a foyer, a dressing room, as well as choreographic, vocal, and theatrical classes. 15 children and adult’s creative groups operated out of the House of Culture during the first year of its existence. Over time, the richness of cultural and social life within its walls only increased. Until February 2022, various creative studios and classes, language clubs, concerts and performances, and public events were held in the House of Culture.

Video of day

During the invasion and occupation Irpin, invading Russian troops damaged the facades, interiors, and ceilings of the building.

After the town’s liberation, numerous representatives of the international community visited Irpin as a sign of support and solidarity: presidents, ministers and speakers of foreign parliaments, heads and representatives of international organizations, religious leaders, world-famous artists, including the band U2 and U.S. filmmaker Cary Fukunaga.

The House of Culture was not ignored. Its shelled sky-blue facade and destroyed walls became key images in a music video by famous English singer Ed Sheeran in collaboration with Ukrainian band Antytila. The outstanding Lithuanian pianist Darius Mažintas held an open-air performance near the House of Culture.

The building, which for decades was the heart of the cultural life of the town and cherished memories of generations, could become a memory itself.

Nearly 205 million hryvnias ($5.6 million) are needed for the site’s restoration – a sum that some supporters of the House of Culture believe is possible to raise, if enough attention is paid to it.

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