Lviv is a Central-European city founded in the middle of the 13th century by Prince Danylo on the banks of the Poltva River on the main European watershed. Lviv is very beautiful city with long history and rich culture.

The main city river - Poltva - collects water from more than 200 streams and creeks. In 13th century the river played an important economic and defensive role. Lviv’s ethnographers from the late of the Middle Ages mentioned that in their times Poltva was used for shipping, trade and fishing ships sailed up the river to the Baltic Sea. The river banks were lined with mills, system of sluices, channels, ponds. And at the end of 19 century in the days of Austro-Hungarian  empire a town government decided to include the river into the underground sewer system of Lviv. Among the arguments called were swamp area, water rot, myriads of flies and mosquitoes, awful stench. In the early 20th century all central part of Poltva River was hidden under the ground and at the end of 20th century the whole river was completely closed. Since then  - and that is more than a half of century – the situation has not changed - the river flows under a city on concrete pipes, absorbs all the products of vital functions of densely populated city, and falls through Western Bug, Vistula and Narva in the Baltic Sea. Because the city was deprived of the river, new problems appeared. Lviv had no separate rainwater drainage and when the atmospheric pressure changed drastically, what happens very often, Poltva River and the sewage began to “breathe” and the city filled with stench.

The problem of rivers returning back to the cities became very acute in Europe over the last time, and the inhabitants of many European cities adequately corrected the sins of their predecessors - unfortunately, not in Ukraine and in Lviv. 

 That’s why Lviv city organisation "The Museum of Ideas" in 2009 started a long-term cultural project called “LeoPoltvis”. The purpose of this project is to exacerbate the problem of "lost" rivers in society and to search real capabilities of its salvation.



Member in Lviv, Ukraine

?Museum of Ideas Lviv, Ukraine is a culturological organisation, which engages in artistic, social and ecological problems, related to the life of city of Lviv. In the last few years our organization conducted various cultural actions devoted to the theme of rescuing the Poltva River.

During the last three? years our organisation conducted the row of culturo-artistic actions devoted to the theme of rescue of the town river regenerate in a sewage collector, in particular:

• Symposium of authorial glass of "SkloKoko 2009", the task of which was to unite people, artists, their efforts and possibilities for an implementation and realisation of "idea of the river" as a cleaning, life-giving, power and informative structure of city.
• Conceptual performance "Under the plate - beach" conducted near Theater of Opera and ballet under which Poltva flows on underground tunnels.
• The city-art installation of Ukrainian artist Alex Konoshenka "Boats on the shore ..."
• Poetry readings ‘Up to the river’ near the monument of Adam Mickiewicz. This monument was built directly on the riverbed of the Poltva


During 2010 realisation of following cultural and art measures took place :

  • International scientific conference  in Lviv, basic tasks of which were :

to absorb experience of Europe in analogical problem

to sharpen this problem in society of Lviv

to define strategy in process on this project

to stipulate the circumstances of announcement of world competition in the best city building idea for revival of Polva river

  •  Holding competition on the best poster   "Rescue  Poltva  river"
  •  Summer musical performance  on the banks of Poltva river (in gas-masks)
  •  Photo-exhibition the "River in a casemate"      
  •  Media  project (placing of the best poster on billboard of city as a social advertising);
  •  Ecological cleaning  on the banks of the river out of city;    
  •  Establishment of (gas) derrick  on Micjkevych  square.

2011-2012 - realisation of international architectural competition on the best idea  of rescue of Poltva river.