Ukrainian refugees thank city and mayor with traditional, gilded Easter egg: “We want to show our gratitude” (Antwerp)

Ukrainian refugees thank city and mayor with traditional, gilded Easter egg: “We want to show our gratitude” (Antwerp)
Ukrainian refugees thank city and mayor with traditional, gilded Easter egg: “We want to show our gratitude” (Antwerp)
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Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) receives the special, gilded Easter egg. — © Patrick De Roo

Antwerp

An Easter egg, gilded with 24 carat gold leaf, and messages of hope inside. With this self-made work of art, according to an age-old Ukrainian tradition, Ukrainian refugees want to thank the city and mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA).

Over the past two months, 22 Ukrainian students from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp have been working on a special Easter egg: fifty centimeters high, gilded with 24 carat gold leaf and painted with both Latin and Ukrainian texts.

On Wednesday she presented the work of art to Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) in the Antwerp city hall. The Easter egg symbolizes gratitude and hope, because the students are all refugees who were taken care of in their home country in Antwerp after the Russian invasion.

© Patrick De Roo

Pisanka

“We are extremely grateful for the support and your commitment to provide us with security now that our country is at war,” student Diana Didkivkska addressed De Wever and by extension all of Antwerp in Dutch. “Thank you on behalf of all Ukrainians.”

Ukraine has a long tradition of decorating Easter eggs. Pisanka, as it is called, is originally a pagan custom that later found its way into Christianity. Ukrainians only celebrate Easter in May, as Orthodox Christians, but wanted to hand it over now. “All regions of our country are represented on the Easter egg,” says Olexsandra Reshatnyk. “Each region has its own pattern, which also has its own meaning. It is also special that all these different regions are united on one Pisanka. That is something unique even for us.

The students left messages in the egg. “We wrote down all our emotions, letters of hope,” says Olexsandra.

Diana Didkivkska and Olexsandra Reshatnyk.

Diana Didkivkska and Olexsandra Reshatnyk. — © Patrick De Roo

Mayor De Wever was very impressed and promises to give the Easter egg a nice place in the town hall. “But you don’t have to thank me,” says De Wever. “It is a great honor to receive people who are fleeing. We are brothers and sisters and you are welcome in our city.”

© Patrick De Roo

© Patrick De Roo

Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) with the Ukrainian refugees who, as students of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, contributed to the Easter egg.

Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA) with the Ukrainian refugees who, as students of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, contributed to the Easter egg. — © Patrick De Roo

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Ukrainian refugees city mayor traditional gilded Easter egg show gratitude Antwerp

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