On September 15, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, approved the inscription of the sites of “Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” and “Lviv: the Ensemble of the Historic Center” on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the danger of destruction posed by russian aggression.
The inclusion of Ukrainian sites on this List provides Ukraine with additional legal arguments to collect evidence of russian aggression against Ukraine’s cultural heritage. It also opens the door for additional technical assistance to implement new emergency measures to protect the unique heritage.
In general, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee considers that “optimal conditions are no longer met to fully guarantee the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and that it is threatened by potential danger due to the war.” These sites are also vulnerable to shock waves caused by russia’s bombing of the two cities.
Anastasia Bondar, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, is participating in the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, as well as among the members of the Ukrainian delegation are: Mykola Movchan, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Ukraine to UNESCO, Ivan Liptuga, Director of the Department of Culture, International Cooperation and European Integration of the Odesa City Council.
During the meeting, the delegation of Ukraine strongly condemned russia’s crimes against Ukraine’s cultural heritage and emphasized that the only reason for the inclusion of these sites on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger is russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
As a reminder, in January 2023, the historic center of Odesa was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger