The Russian attack on Mariupol resulted in the destruction of almost all buildings in the city, including museums and every other place dedicated to preserving memory.
Among these buildings, there is also the famous it8bit Club, the largest Ukrainian private museum dedicated to the history of computers, which was completely destroyed following the bombing of the city.
War is a tragedy on any level, capable of wiping out entire years of knowledge
The news – already reported by Kotaku and other gaming (and not) magazines – and the destruction of the museum seems to have occurred on March 21, as confirmed by its owner and founder Dmitry Cherepanov in a post on the official it8bit Club blog.
“That’s it, the Mariupol computer museum is no longer there,” Cherapanov posted on the it8bit Club Facebook page.
“All that is left from my collection that I have been collecting for 15 years is just fragments of memories on the [Facebook] page, website, and radio station of the museum.”Kotaku
All that remains of the collection collected by Cherepanov – over the course of over 15 years – are only the images that testify to its existence, available both on the it8bit Facebook page and in the gallery of the official website.
Club 8-bit’s collection included more than 500 pieces of computer history, with items dating from as far back as the 1950s. Gizmodo visited the museum in 2018, describing it at the time as “one of the largest and coolest collections” of Soviet-era computers to be found anywhere in the world.
It took Cherepanov more than a decade to collect and restore many of the PCs on display at Club 8-bit. What makes the museum’s destruction even more poignant is that it documented a shared history between the Ukrainian and Russian people.Engadget
The collection included a lot of computers and videogames from 1950 until the early 2000s, including some rarities that represented the basis of Soviet (and non-Soviet) computer innovation in its early days, all perfectly restored and most of them in working order.
In addition to the hardware, the museum also collected a lot of gigabytes of data related to games, programs, and music originally produced for these platforms.
Today the museum no longer exists, but Cherepanov has announced that this is not the end of the project. The physical destruction of the structure and the artifacts brought within it brought the right structure to allow the collector to give a strong push to his next conservation plan.
Take a note: since the destruction of his home and collection, Cherepanov has opened up a PayPal account and is accepting donations to help him and others in Ukraine.