Oleksandr Tkachenko called on European countries to unite to protect Ukrainian heritage with a thousand-year history

Cultural heritage

On October 5, the 11th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe officially began in the city of Chania (Crete) in Greece, which will be held until October 7. Video

The purpose of the cultural routes of the Council of Europe is to unite different countries and communities, to reveal common features and historical trajectories, as well as to promote people-to-people encounters. Hence the theme of this year’s Forum – “Safeguarding European values, heritage and dialogue”.

In general, the entire Forum aims to re-emphasize the importance of cultural heritage in building a peaceful and democratic society, as stated in the Faro Convention, which refers to respect for cultural diversity. In addition, a dialogue between countries is needed to ensure that all cultural routes remain open and accessible, and that they can be traversed without any obstacles due to conflict or war.

Among the participants: more than 400 representatives of 46 member states of the Council of Europe, in particular the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Bjørn Berge, the Minister of Culture and Sports of Greece Lina Mendoni, the Minister of Tourism of Greece Vassilis Kikilias, the Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Dora Bakoyanis and others.

Oleksandr Tkachenko addressed the participants of the Forum in video format: “The russian attack on Ukraine began in 2014 and from that time on it has been obvious that this war is against our values, our intention to follow the European way of life and rule of law, European values ​​and, in general, against our desire to be a part of the European family, as we have been since the times of Kyiv Rus. Now the aggressor tends not only to steal parts of our territory. It became crystal clear that this war is against our culture and national identity. The russians do not recognize our right to exist, they want to destroy the background of our nation – our cultural heritage”.

The Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine noted that the full-scale invasion of russia on the territory of Ukraine causes serious destructions of civilian objects, in particular cultural institutions, churches and mosques, theaters and museums, cultural heritage sites. Even UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ukraine are under threat of destruction. By the end of September 2022, the MCIP has documented more than 500 episodes of russian war crimes against Ukrainian cultural heritage.

“What we witness now is that russia is destroying not only our culture, but also a significant part of European heritage and culture. This brutal war has radically changed not only our understanding of the world in which we live, but also our attitude to values and traditions. All the Ukrainians have united unprecedentedly to preserve Ukrainian – freedom, territory, culture, thousand-year history. And not only Ukrainian values, but also European and the entire democratic world,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko.

The Minister also informed that recently the Ukrainian park “Sophiivka” has joined the European Route of Historical Gardens, a network of Gardens of Inspiration, and in the center of Kyiv rises St. Sophia’s Cathedral – a world cultural heritage of the 11th century on the UNESCO list. “All this heritage with a thousand-year history is now under the threat. It can be defended only by uniting. Stand with Ukraine,” called on Oleksandr Tkachenko.

3 general sessions are planned within the Forum: promotion of European values and intercultural dialogue, preservation of heritage during the crisis and promotion of creative industries, cultural tourism, innovative technologies for sustainable communities.



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