Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Only survived sword (saber) of Hetman Ivan Mezepa is preserving in the Russian State Hermitage (St.Petersburg)

Since the end of February 2009, the Ukrainian printed source «Blik» and Ukrainian USA Diaspora sources published the information about an Ukrainian relic, the only survived sword (saber) of Hetman Ivan Mazepa, «being kept in negligence in the cellars of the State Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg». The story beginning was several years ago, when some Ukrainian collector of antiques stated that the sabre of Mazepa, must be kept in Canada. It is known that it was presented by Count Perovsky to Emperor Nicholas I in 1849 and kept in the Imperial Armoury in Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar Village). American «Cossacks» started to study the archives, but only discovered that later it was preserved in one of the Polish museums up till 1945, and then vanished. The new research took one year more. It was discovered that the sword was taken from Poland by the Soviet secret services after the end of WW II. The Hermitage associates confirmed the fact that the Hetman’s sword is kept in their museum. It is in excellent condition and was thoroughly restored. The last time, when the relic was exhibited was at an exposition in Poland in 1990s. According to the reporters there is no hurry in returning the relic to Poland. Both the Hermitage and the Ukrainians decided that though the item will not be passed to the Ukraine, nevertheless, it will be exhibited in a temporal exposition in one of the country’s museums.