Until May this year, Azovstal Steel Works was a name not known to many, but when it became the epicentre of a horrifying battle in the Russia – Ukrainian War, receiving 38 airstrikes in just one day, causing hundreds of innocent civilian casualties, the heroic defence captured the sympathy and admiration of our nation.
A local man from South Shields, was among the viewers who watched with horror at what was unfolding before him on the TV. It was then that he realised that the industrial landscape being destroyed seemed very familiar to him and was in fact the subject of a painting hanging on the wall at home.
“I found the picture in a junk shop in St Petersburg when I was based there in 1994 and bought it for about US $100 as I thought it was quite dramatic. It’s been on my wall ever since, always with a question mark as to where it was. When I bought it, all they could tell me was that they thought it might be in the Ukraine somewhere.” Said the vendor.
“For thirty years I have wondered about the location, that is until two months ago, when Russia invaded the Ukraine and started to obliterate the Azovstal steelworks at Mariupol, making headline news here for weeks! Every time I see the picture on my wall I think of the horror of what the Russians are doing, and it really effects me”
“Two days ago, I had a visit from John Anderson of Anderson & Garland Auctioneers, a friend of 40 years. I showed him the picture and we decided we would sell it and donate all the proceeds to a suitable Ukrainian charity – With Ukraine.”
“I am delighted, that my 1994 speculative purchase will make a very small but vital contribution to benefit the oppressed Ukrainian people.”
Art Expert John Anderson said “This painting is perhaps one of the only remaining depictions of the Azovstal steel works in The Ukraine, as it stood before. It may be unique. Not only is it is superbly painted, but the work holds great historical significance too.”
The impressionist painting, by Ukrainian Artist Chernyakhovski Georgi Georgievich, will go up for Auction on Thursday 21st July as part of the Summer Country House & Fine Interiors Auction and has a Auction Estimate of £500- £800.
After a fantastic flurry of bidding the paining was sold to a private UK buyer. The final sum raised and donated to With Ukraine was £1,701.00