Within the framework of the "Cultural diplomacy between Ukrainian regions" program, launched by the Ukrainian crisis media center, the exhibition "Foreign investment in Ukraine - the late 19th and early 20th centuries" was opened at the museum of local lore. The first part of the exhibition is devoted to Belgium, which has done a lot for Ukraine within the designated time period. The opening ceremony began with a welcome speech by Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Belgium to Ukraine Luc Jacobs.

This project is designed to destroy the well-established myth of the Soviet industrialization of the East and South of Ukraine. This region has a distinct European period of its development, which few people know about. The development of the steel industry began due to attraction of capital into the region from the European countries, including Belgium. Thus, Donetsk and Dnieper regions were even known as Ukrainian Belgium.

The exhibition showcases more than 250 historical documents and photographs of that period. There are portraits of the Belgian founders of Ukrainian enterprises, their shares valid in the south-eastern Ukraine, as well as unique photographs of the Donetsk glass factory.

The famous patron Dmitry Pirklom presented the collection, which has been assembled throughout Europe over the past five years. After the presentation in Mariupol, the exhibition will be moved to Konstantinovka, Slavyansk and Druzhkovka.

Following the exhibition opening Luc Jacobs visited Mariupol art space and spoke with guests on a variety of topics. The Ambassador noted that he enjoys nature and Ukrainian wine in Mariupol. The meeting was held in an informal atmosphere, and the Ambassador was immediately offered to sit in a deckchair directly in an unfinished art space, as it is located in the seaside resort.

Photo: QHA