The 'Corruption Park' located in Kyiv's Gryshko National Botanical Garden is scheduled to open on June 1, 2018 and will run for just over 2 weeks. The project is hosted by the European Union’s Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine. Its aim is to shed light on high-level corruption in Ukraine, its history and ways to combat it.
"If public opinion about corruption does not change, it will be very difficult to hope something can be done about it. This park is not for settling legal accounts. It's meant to create an impression about what corruption is and what can be done to fight against it," head of the European Union's Anti-Corruption Initiative Eka Tkeshelashvili said during a press conference in Kyiv.
“Young people become more tolerant to corruption. They don’t want to read long texts about anti-corruption investigations and dig deep into this problem. That is why we decided to talk to them in an interactive format, where we use images, virtual reality, 3D, interactive panels, and installations to explain not only how corruption works, but also what is being done in Ukraine to fight it. This project is not about specific people, heroes, events, or crimes. It describes corruption as a phenomenon that no one in the world was able to eradicate completely. However, the world knows examples of how the level of corruption has been reduced to a minimum, followed by economic growth. I am confident that Ukraine should also be embracing this path,” Tkeshelashvili continued.
The exhibits have names like “Golden Loaf” (named after runaway former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych’s infamous golden loaf of bread paperweight) and “Corruptionist’s Nightmare,” Visitors can explore the history of corruption and anti-corruption, take an aptitude test to see if they would make a good anti-corruption detective, and see a catalog of items confiscated from corrupt officials, including a €30,000 statue.
The conversation the park hopes to start is an optimistic one. The organizers want visitors to leave with the belief that change is possible and asking themselves what they can do personally to work for change.
Youth interest is key to the project’s success, and school field trips will be encouraged. Foreigners will also be welcome – there will be English-speaking guides throughout the park.
After exploring the installations, hungry visitors will also be able to purchase “Corruption burgers” with names like “Expensive Road” “Dean” “Tender Winner” and “Budget Deficit”.
In the center of the park, a six-meter statue of a corrupt official will tower over the other exhibits. The organizers say that visitors will be able to knock it down – but only if they work together.
M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden
T-F 10:00-20:0, Sat-Sun 9:00-20:00
Entrance to the Corruption Park is free with a Botanical Garden ticket purchase (50 Uah for adults, 20 Uah for children.)