Ukraine has a long and very powerful tradition of mosaic art. Therein lies the reason that St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv is considered the most complete collection of original 11th century mosaics in the world, made in the Byzantine tradition. In 1960-1980, this type of decorative art gained unprecedented popularity in city planning. Very few administrative or public institutions did without a mosaic panel with allegorical images. The youngest city in Ukraine, Pripyat, was generously decorated with multi-colored compositions of smalt.
Practically all of them was made by one master, Ivan Litovchenko (1921-1996). He also worked on mosaics at the Chernobyl NPP itself. Remarkably, not only familiar buildings – cinemas, clubs, or restaurants – were decorated in this spirit. This fashion was so rampant that even the grocery store “Meat. Fish. Vegetables” on Lenin Street boasts a monumental mosaic bas-relief in the style of Siqueiros. The theme of this bas-relief had nothing to do with fish or meat, and certainly not with vegetables.
This article was published in the book Interesting Chernobyl.
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© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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