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Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer

Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer is crowdfunding

raised of £10,000 target by 31 supporters

Weʼre raising £10,000 to to Protect Ukraine's Cultural Heritage

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Update May 2023:

Dear Donors,

We are extremely pleased to let you know what we have achieved with your very generous donation.

-Sending vital conservation material & equipment to Ukraine

Thanks to you, the National Centre for Restoration and Research in Kyiv now has a vacuum lining table! The vacuum table is a vital piece of equipment necessary to carry out structural treatments of paintings and textiles. There has not been such a table in Ukraine till now. Here’s how we used the funds:

A) We paid for the purchase of a new motor for a Willard vacuum table, which was donated by Willard Conservation Equipment Engineers – the leading experts in conservation equipment design and manufacturing. The table itself, worth £50,000, was donated and fully refurbished by Paul Willard to the highest specification and will serve the Ukrainian conservators for many years to come in their challenge of post-war recovery.

B) We paid for two Ukrainian painting conservators, who are currently in London, to travel to Willard workshop in Chichester and receive table operating instructions.

C) The transportation of the vacuum table was made possible thanks to a grant from the ALIPH Foundation.

We are very happy to report that the vacuum lining table arrived safely at its destination and is being installed in its new purpose build conservation studio.

-Supporting a group of UA conservators- refugees in the UK

Since the start of the russian invasion, we helped around 20 Ukrainian conservator refugees, including students, come to the UK. We found them sponsors and employment. With your donations, we have been able to offer them continued professional development and networking opportunities. The conservators had the privilege to visit the following conservation departments:

• British Museum

• Tate Britain

• National Gallery of London

• Hamilton Kerr Institute

• Victoria & Albert Museum

• The Royal Collection & Windsor Castle

We organised a Nano Gels cleaning workshop for the refugees, which was generously led by Rachel Barker - Tate Britain’s ex-senior paintings conservator and leading expert in contemporary art conservation.

Your donation helped to pay for the Ukrainian conservators’ travel.

From all our Ukrainian colleagues and friends: A huge thank you. All this would not have been possible without you.

Slava Ukraine!!

Donatella and Katya


The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian armies has brought destruction of both human lives and infrastructure and is thus having appalling humanitarian and economic implications with ripple effects across the world. Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, the war has costed also irreparable damage to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage. Our colleagues in the museum sector across Ukraine are working tirelessly to protect works of art from the Russian shelling and looting. Heritage professionals in the UK have joined forces to respond to the crisis.

Together with amazing volunteers and the UA-UK Cultural Heritage Initiative, we have partnered up with Blue Shield International, ICON (Institute of Conservation), ICOMOS UK (International Council on Monuments and Sites), ICOM UK (International Committee of Museums) and BAPCR (British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers) to streamline efforts. We have identified three areas where aid is required: material aid, professional guidelines and supporting refugees. We have an online networking group with representatives of major UK museums, institutions and accredited private practices.

We are liaising with international heritage Trusts, organisations and museums, including the Committee for Ukrainian Museums in Warsaw, to coordinate the purchase, transport and distribution of the necessary materials and equipment to Ukrainian museums and conservation departments.

We are receiving a large volume of requests for conservation materials and equipment. The latest list of items has been requested by the National Research and Restoration Centre of Ukraine, with affiliated centres across Ukraine. We are currently fundraising to purchase and send materials on the list which are needed to protect artworks in immediate danger and to replace those materials and pieces of technical equipment which have been destroyed in the war. We will keep this page going and updated with the latest on what we are fundraising for.

Our other achievements to date are:

Guidance: compiling, translating and sharing written guidance to Ukrainian museum professionals for the protection of cultural heritage at times of conflict; online guidance workshops with Ukrainian counterparts.

Supporting Refugee: helping find work and training for the Ukrainian conservators who are in the UK through the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme. To date, 15 conservators, including students, are in the UK and are being matched with conservation related work, training and networking opportunities.

There is still lots of work to do and your donations will make a significant change to our work.

Thank you very much,

Dona and Katya


UPDATE August 2022

We would like to express our deepest gratitude for all the very generous contributions so far. The donations will make it possible for us to procure some important pieces of equipment for the National Centre of Restoration and Research in Kyiv. One of the things we will be able to purchase is a new motor and pay for the repair and servicing of a vacuum lining table, which has been kindly donated to us by Willard Conservation. The vacuum table is an important piece of equipment for any serious conservation department which is used in the treatment of paintings and textiles. There is currently only one vacuum table in the whole of Ukraine, which is in Lviv.

The National Centre of Restoration and Research has affiliated conservation departments around the country, including Odesa and Kharkiv, and is responsible for looking after a significant part of the national collections. Thanks to your donation the National Centre will now have its own table which will be an invaluable tool when it comes to post-war recovery of artworks.

Securing the lining table will also open up potential training opportunities for the Ukrainian conservators who are currently in the UK and to whom we are providing support with both job and career development opportunities. We will be able to offer them up-to-date training in using this equipment so that they will then be able to disseminate this knowledge amongst colleagues upon their return to Ukraine.

We are currently liaising with international partners to arrange transportation to Ukraine for this and other material.

Such projects continue to establish and deepen the links between UK and Ukrainian cultural heritage institutions and professionals, facilitate dialogue and exchange of knowledge, and boost training in cultural heritage conservation. The UA-UK Cultural Heritage Initiative is committed to developing training and exchange opportunities for students and conservation professionals.

There is still much work to do, and we will continue with our work as long as it takes.

Thank you again for your support!

Dona and Katya

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  • Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer1 month ago
    Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer

    Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer

    1 month ago

    Dear Donors, We are extremely pleased to let you know that with your very generous donation we have been able to achieve important targets, and we would like to share details. In particular, we have been able to: -Send vital conservation material & equipment to Ukraine -Support a group of UA conservators- refugees in the UK For space reasons we are not able to add details here, please read the full update in the main text on our JustGiving page. Thanks again for your kind help. Slava Ukraine!! Donatella and Katya

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1 year ago

Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 5/1/2023 08.20



  • Anonymous


    Aug 22, 2022

  • Patricia and David

    Patricia and David

    Aug 20, 2022

    With all our best wishes for your continuing success.


  • Anonymous


    Aug 20, 2022


  • Anonymous


    Aug 10, 2022

    You will preserve who you are.


  • Kristina


    Aug 9, 2022

    Thank you!


  • David Leigh

    David Leigh

    Aug 9, 2022


  • DR


    Aug 8, 2022

    For good causes


Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer

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Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer

Donatella Banti and Katya Belaia-Selzer

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