On September 7th, Anastasia Bondar, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, and Lina Doroshenko, Head of the Sector for monitoring the situation in the temporarily occupied territories at the MCIP, participated in the third extraordinary meeting of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
Anastasia Bondar expressed gratitude for the support from the Committee’s member states and emphasized that Ukraine had put forward a unique initiative. With the support of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to UNESCO and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the MCIP prepared a request to the Secretariat of the Hague Convention to inscribe 20 objects on the List of Cultural Property under Provisional Enhanced Protection.
During the UNESCO Committee meeting, the initiative put forth by Ukraine was endorsed, and a decision was made to inscribe the objects under enhanced protection.
This includes the majority of objects listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Tentative UNESCO World Heritage List, excluding objects located in temporarily occupied territories, the historic centers of Odesa and Chernihiv. This constitutes an exceptionally extensive list of objects. The following objects are concerned:
1. Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra;
2. L’viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre;
3. Yasynia-Tserkva of Our Lord’s Ascension;
4. Zhovkva-Tserkva of the Holy Trinity;
5. Matkiv-Tserkva of the Synaxis of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
6. Nyzhnii Verbizh-Tserkva of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
7. Potelych-Tserkva of the Descent of the Holy Spirit;
8. Rohatyn -Tserkva of the Descent of the Holy Spirit;
9. Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans;
10. Struve Geodetic Arc – Kateryniwka;
11. Struve Geodetic Arc – Baraniwka;
12. Struve Geodetic Arc – Felschtin;
13. Struve Geodetic Arc – Staro-Nekrassiwka;
14. Astronomical Observatory of Kyiv National University;
15. Cultural Landscape of Canyon in Kamenets-Podilsk;
16. Dendrological Park “Sofijivka”;
17. Derzhprom (The State Industry Building);
18. Research Institute (RI) Astronomical Observatory of Odesa National Museum;
19. Research Institute (RI) Mykolaiiv Astronomical Observatory;
20. Taras Shevchenko Tomb and State Historical and Natural Museum – Reserve.
“For over 500 days, the Ukrainian people have continued to demonstrate their resilience and determination in the face of aggression. We do not accept this war as a normal occurrence. We do not accept the occupation of our territories or the destruction of our cultural heritage. So, let this meeting be another step in our shared mission – the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage sites,” said Anastasia Bondar.
During the meeting, discussions also revolved around international support for Ukraine. The Committee member states reaffirmed their readiness to provide assistance to Ukraine. Specifically, Ukraine will continue to receive international assistance from the Fund for emergency measures, taking into account the preliminary findings of UNESCO’s International Expert Mission on assessing damage to cultural and religious sites in Odesa. There are also plans to train experts in the field of cultural heritage protection, conduct training sessions for military personnel, and implement other measures.
The participants and attendees of the Committee expressed their solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and deep concern over the deliberate destruction of the cultural sector by russian forces.
As a result of the meeting, a Declaration on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Ukraine, proposed by the Ukrainian side, was adopted.