Art of Memory: King Danylo Romanovych in Cultural Memory of Modern Ukraine
The paper deals with the problem of formation of a national historical narrative on the example of the use of historical image of King Danylo Romanovych. The emphasis is placed on the peculiarities of constructing a new historical memory in modern Ukraine as part of a wider process of creating a new national identity. The figure of Danylo Romanovych is the subject of retrospective analysis. The struggle for the purification of Ukrainian history from the mythological and cliché, artificially invented Soviet heroes of the past is being studied. Where, the king of Russia, is depicted not as historical «Danylo Halyts’kyi». In the research, the author is finding out, how using the visualization as the example of cultural memory (monuments, stamps, orders, paintings) the stylization of the image of the ruler and his integration as the first king of Rus to modern Ukrainian society were carried out.
During the period of existence of independent Ukraine, the image of Danylo Romanovych has taken a steady place in Ukrainian cultural memory. The memory of the king found its representation in various cultural implementations of this phenomenon – monumental buildings, elements of urban infrastructure (streets, squares, boulevards) numismatic and heraldic materials, postage stamps, etc. For the first time Danylo became the object of the sphere of national regulation of cultural policy, which, with the assistance of Western regions activity, allowed to create a truly new memory of the First King of Rus. However, the dubious traditions of the Soviet past could not be completely eradicated.
As our research has shown, the Old Rus ruler has not gained a full-scale all-Ukrainian memorial scope yet. And still he remains a memorable figure only for several Western regions of Ukraine with a significant focus on Halychyna (Galicia). Nevertheless, gradually Danylo Romanovych changes his image in the cultural consciousness of Ukrainians – from the Soviet Western-Ukrainian patriot Danylo Halyts’kyi, a fighter with «German Hounds-Knights» to the Ukrainian King of Rus, the symbol of European civilization's choice since the beginning of time.