Collection of War Artifacts



A sculpture made from shrapnel by Sergey Melnikoff, a.k.a. MFF!

A magnificent jade face mask was discovered in 2021 in a royal Maya tomb at the Chochkitam site near Petén in northeastern Guatemala. Dated to approximately 350 AD, the mask is made of jade stones and belonged to the local king Itzam Kokaj Bahlam.

A metal replica of the mask by Sergey Melnikoff is made from polished shrapnel fragments collected in 2024 from the fields of Ukraine, the site of battles with Russian invaders.

The Maya were a deeply spiritual people. Their worldview represented a complex polytheistic religious system. For millennia, their thoughts and actions were inspired by cosmological ideas about time and space, the emergence of humans, and the religious significance of agricultural cycles. This religious system was established in ancient times. The Maya shared many traditions and rituals with other Mesoamerican cultures, which represent a diverse mosaic of similar yet unique traditions for each ethnicity.

— There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.

The Maya are remembered in history as a very bloodthirsty people. They performed human sacrifices, tore hearts out of living victims, and practiced cannibalism. Therefore, a creation made from the shrapnel of mines exploded on battlefields rightfully symbolizes the god of war.

A video about creating the shrapnel sculpture by Sergey Melnikoff!

The metal replica of Itzam Kokaj Bahlam's mask was created by metal specialist Viktor Belchyk. Viktor Belchyk brought to life the idea of Sergey Melnikoff, a.k.a. MFF. The Ukrainian craftsman cut large fragments of combat mines and connected dozens of metal elements, replicating the shape of the jade pieces of the mask of one of the Maya rulers of the Chochkitam province.

The mask is mounted on a base, also assembled in the form of a shapeless heap of shrapnel from combat mines.

The carved details of the mask were laid out on a mound of sand, where they were joined together by electric welding. Sergey Melnikoff, a.k.a. MFF (left), and Viktor Belchyk in the workshop. Odessa, 2024. Photo by Mariia Universaliuk