Kharkiv region

Books damaged during Kharkiv printing house attack to be exhibited in the US and Canada


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Burnt books from Factor-Druk, the printing house targeted by the Russian troops in May, will be exhibited at the Library of Congress and other museums in various countries. Vivat Publishing Director Yulia Orlova spoke to Suspilne Kultura media about the upcoming exhibition.


After missile attacks struck the printing house, Vivat Publishing, which belongs to the same holding company as Factor-Druk, began receiving offers, some to buy the damaged and affected books and others to exhibit them abroad. Orlova said that Vivat chose to exhibit the rescued copies. While the burnt editions will not be sold, they will be made available to interested parties in exchange for donations to the Armed Forces or the contributions to the restoration of the printing house.


“This is a very sensitive issue. We wouldn’t want to sell these books for commercial profit. Sometimes there is shame in making money. I think this is exactly the case,” said the publishing house director.


According to Orlova, the missile strike caused Vivat to lose tens of millions in Ukrainian hryvnia. The publishing house is now taking inventory and waiting for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry to present its conclusions.


Vivat was able to save 200 copies of “Myslyvtsi za Shchastyam” (“Hunters for Happiness”) by Valeriy Puzik, and 1,500 copies of “Izmaragd Knyahyni Nesvytsʹkoyi” (“Emerald of Princess Nesvitska”) by Oleksandr Irvanets. These books were transferred to an unaffected warehouse just before the Russian missile strike destroyed the printing house’s binding shop. These editions were showcased at Vivat Publishing’s stand during the International Book Arsenal Festival earlier this month.


“The most striking thing was not even the sight, but the smell of these books. People could look at them, leaf through the destroyed volumes, and smell the grief and war. It was very apt and resonated with the concept of the festival — “Life on the Edge,” Orlova said.


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Copy editing: Ben Angel, Terra Friedman King