Uber to the rescue of Ukrainian heritage

The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture’s National Research and Restoration Center (NRRC) has partnered with Uber to locate, restore, and protect Ukraine’s national and cultural heritage using a custom-built version of the Uber app.

With many of Ukraine’s museums, religious buildings, and historic sites under threat from the war, NRRC’s partnership with Uber is providing a lifeline to irreplaceable artworks and artefacts of importance to the country’s history and identity.

A custom-built version of the Uber app, Uber Restore, allows NRRC to request 12-passenger vehicles to transport conservationists and specialist equipment free of charge to cities, towns, and villages across Ukraine.

Since May, NRRC has used Uber Restore to reach over 100 locations – travelling more than 20,000km – to locate and protect tens of thousands of artworks and artefacts, while evacuating those at greatest risk for storage in secure locations.

Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture, said: “Uber’s collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy combined aspects of culture and logististics technology very effectively. Since the first days of the war, Russia has been destroying Ukrainian cultural heritage. Museums, places of worship, architectural landmarks were heavily damaged, many irreversibly. Colleagues from Uber offered us the necessary logistical support, such as cars, fuel, and drivers for checking the state of preservation of objects of the Museum Fund. I am grateful to Uber for their support. From our side, we are putting effort into ensuring that our collaboration is as beneficial and optimized as possible.”

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, said: “We’re proud to be assisting Ukraine in its efforts to protect the country’s cultural heritage which is under threat from this devastating war. Using a custom-built version of the Uber app, we’re enabling conservationists to carry out their critical work to safeguard Ukraine’s national identity, with free on-demand access to safe and reliable transportation.”

Alongside launching Uber Restore, Uber has been working around the clock to provide support inside Ukraine over the past six months.

This includes free transportation for refugees, doctors, nurses, local government workers, and NGOs across Ukraine; a partnership with the UN World Food Program to help deliver emergency food relief to communities in urgent need; and the expansion of Uber’s essential transportation services to 12 additional cities since the start of the war.

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