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Revival of legend: development and uniting

Project implementation period – April 2016 to March 2017.

The project realized complex approach to the creation of cultural landscape and conditions for revitalization of objects of historical, cultural, architectural heritage, which are located in rural areas of Kherson oblast. Start point was the collection and revival of legends related to these objects and involving of local communities to this process (researchers, local activists, and habitants).

In 2016 seminar-workshop for local researchers was organized on the base of Odessa municipal museum of private collection of Bleshunov.

List of 13 objects of historical-cultural heritage of Kherson region of Ukraine, which need urgent attention for preservation, was formed. Legends connected to these objects collected with the help of local historians. List includes locations and descriptions of the objects, official information and known legends, and information about local activists involved to the studding and preservation of these objects. As the result, 3 objects of historical/cultural heritage were selected for project activities:

  1. Lighthouse on island of Djarylgach (near town of Skadovsk). Lighthouse was built in 1902 (details were made in France) and connected to the personalities of world-well-known futurist David Burlyuk, who lived here and wrote “Sea novel” about this palce.

  2. House of Polyna Rayko – unique painter (town of Tsyurupinsk). Old woman, who had no education, create a lot of painting in her house, but after she died in 2003 the house was by private persons. They promised to create of museum but do nothing for this house that.

  3. “Lithuanian Tower” or “Tower of Vytautas the Great” (near town of Khakhovka). This tower is dated by XIV-XV centuries. It was built as watch tower in times of Great Lithuanian kingdom. It could be destroyed because of plan to build new part of hydro-electro-station in this place.


During the project modern artists helped to create an atmosphere of attractiveness for every object. 27 artists and creative activists developed and realised 12 art-projects for the Watchtower; art-works presented during open-air event «Terra Futura – 2017» near the Watchtower. 24 artists created art-works for Lighthouse on island of Djarylgach; art-works presented in the form of art-book and exhibition. 12 artists created art-works in Polina Rayko’s house; art-works were made during 1-night staying in the house as start-poit of future art-residence and presented in the form of exhibition. Total number of beneficiaries is over 1500.


3 new tourist routes were developed, among them 2 bicycle tours – to the Watchtower and Polina Rayko’s house, and 1 sea tour to the Lighthouse on island of Djarylgach. Bicycle tours were developed with the help of NGO “Bicycle Forum of Kherson” and involved nearly 50 bicycle tourists during presentations and up to 250 during the project. 


The project got support of mass-media (16 publications in local newspapers, 3 publications in all-Ukrainian newspaper, 8 TV-reports) and strong support in social networks that allowed uniting activists and experts to discuss all aspects of problems connected with preservation of selected objects and reaching of positive results.


New initiatives of revitalization of 3 selected objects were developed. Due to the project activities and wide campaign in mass-media regional authorities of Kherson oblast supported creation of museum on the base of Polina Rayko’s house in 2017 with financial resources of regional budget. Local authorities and community of town of Scadovsk supported preservation, renovation and wide popularization of Lighthouse on island of Djarylgach. Project for saving Watchtower was developed as long-term strategy with participation of local business, partner NGOs, community, Ministry of culture, Embassy of Lithuania, activists from Ukraine and Lithuania. 5 culture activists from different areas of Kherson oblast developed their own initiatives using experience of the project also.


Project of the CCD “Totem” is realized in border of the “CHOICE – Cultural Heritage:Opportunity for Improving Civic Engagement” project and supported by European Union.

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