The territory of the National Reserve "Sofia Kievskaya" hosted the opening of a large-scale museum project "Milky Way" ("Chumatsky Shliakh"), dedicated to the mutual influence of two cultures - Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar. The name speaks for itself: From time immemorial Crimea was connected with the mainland Ukraine by the Milky Way, trade route guided by stars, the economic and cultural ties between peoples have always been strong.

Authors and initiators of the idea were the Crimean Tatar ceramist Rustem Skibin and the founder of the Internet publication “In Art” Georgy Brailovsky.

According to project curator Georgy Brailovsky, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people took an active part in its promotion.

"Such exhibitions help politicians and citizens of the country organize and stop repeating and believing in those mythologems that have been hammered into the minds of Ukrainians for many decades, because they show that the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians are peoples that can not be separated from each other," the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, People's Deputy Refat Chubarov said at the opening of the first exhibition in the gallery "Khlebnya".

He noted that the opened exhibition will leave a part of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar cultures in the hearts of the guests of the capital, who would visit Ukraine during Eurovision.

Georgy Brailovsky stressed that the authors of the project tried not to make it politicized, because for them the cultural unity of the two peoples was the main thing.

"In this project we show that in fact our cultures overlap in many respects, but that the main thing is that each one has retained its identity," he said.

The project is divided into sections - militaria, everyday life, decoration, music and toponyms.

Objects from the collections of the museums of Aleksander Feldman and Aleksei Sheremetyev are exhibited in the gallery "Khlebnya". They reveal the influence of the Crimean Tatar culture and art on Ukrainian culture, which can be traced in ornament, decoration, stylistics of weapons, ammunition, costume elements and everyday life of the Ukrainian Cossacks.

"The finials on the flags presented here are very rare exhibits. One even with traces of chipping, which is evidence that it was used in combat as a weapon of war,” visitor of the exhibition, Crimean Tatar activist Erfan Kudusov said.

In another room, visitors can see the works of modern Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar masters Rustem Skibin, Marina Kurukchi and Pavel Sakhno.

Perfumers created a special flavor for each room of the gallery which adds realism. The smell of leather and tar, that accompanied Cossacks, Chumaks and Crimean Tatars during military or trade campaigns, are felt in the military hall. In the opposite hall, dedicated to everyday objects, there is a spicy aroma of Bakhchysarai.

The Milky Way project will be implemented at five museum sites: the Sophia Kievskaya Preserve, the Ivan Gonchar Museum, the National Museum of Ukrainian Folk Decorative Arts, the Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora and the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

On May 3, the Ivan Hanchar Museum will host the opening of the second stage of the project - the exhibition "Symbols of the boundless steppe" on the basis of exhibits from the private museum of Aleksandr Feldman and works of contemporary Ukrainian artists.

On May 5, the third stage of the project - the exhibition "Hyperonims" - will open at the National Museum of Ukrainian Folk Decorative Arts. The exposition was prepared on the basis of the museum's collection, the installations of Zinaida Likhacheva and Anton Logov, works of modern Crimean Tatar artists.

The fourth stage - the exhibition "The Destroyed Tale", dedicated to the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people in 1944, will begin its work in the Museum of the Ukrainian Diaspora on the anniversary of the tragedy, on May 18. The exposition is based on illustrations for Crimean Tatar folk tales by Irina Zaruba, photo documents, family archives on the history of deportation, works of modern Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar artists.

Finally, within the framework of the project, a scientific and practical seminar and lecture is to be held at the National Art Museum of Ukraine, where the issue of mutual influence between Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar cultures will be discussed.