Ukraine to mark 80th anniversary of Petlyura’s death

KYIV. May 15 (Interfax) — Ceremonies commemorating the 80th anniversary of the death of Symon Petlyura are to be held in Ukraine at the end of May, Ukrainian Culture and Tourism Minister Ihor Likhovyy told reporters in Kyiv on Monday.”Regrettably, Petlyura’s personality is yet to find its proper place, which would match his contribution to the building of the Ukrainian nation and statehood. A political decision has been made at the highest level in an attempt to reverse the widespread custom of scaring little children with Symon Petlyura,” the minister said «We must break this stereotype,» he added.

An organizing committee, to be headed by Likhovyy, has been set up and an action plan has been worked out in cooperation with the Academy of Sciences to immortalize the memory of outstanding Ukrainian figures, Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Olha Shokalo-Bench said. The anniversary ceremonies will include a film about Petlyura, a photo exhibition called “The Knight of the Ukrainian Revolution” at the National History Museum, a roundtable on the theme “Symon Petlyura – A
Public, Political and Military Figure of Ukraine” and a memorial plaque at a site where a monument to Petlyura is to be unveiled on December 1, 2006.
A number of books devoted to his life and work will also be released.

The city of Poltava will host a series of events dedicated to Petlyura. Petlyura, a Ukrainian Central Rada deputy, chief military commander of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in 1917-1918 and head of the Ukrainian People’s Republic Directorate in 1919-1920, led the Ukrainian government in exile after emigrating in November 1920. In 1923 he moved to Austria, and then to Hungary and Switzerland. In 1924, he settled in Paris where he was assassinated two years later by a Ukrainian-born
Jewish anarchist Sholom Schwartzbard. Petlyura is buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

May 15, 2006

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