UNESCO will help to preserve the cultural heritage of Odesa

Cultural heritage

Ukraine will request the inscription of Odesa on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This was announced by Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, during a working meeting with Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture. Such a meeting was held on August 30 at the organization’s headquarters in Paris as part of Oleksandr Tkachenko’s visit to France.

The inscription of the Historical Center of Odesa on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List should be accelerated. This will make it possible to better protect the world’s cultural heritage. The object is recognized and protected by the Ukrainian state. It is located only a few dozen kilometers from the front line and has already been struck by artillery fire, and on July 24, russians have destroyed part of the large glass roof and windows of Odesa’s Museum of Fine Arts, inaugurated in 1899,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy.

At the request of Ukraine, UNESCO has already mobilized international experts to provide technical support so that this nomination can be urgently examined by Member States sitting on the World Heritage Committee, with a view of inscribing it on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The World Heritage Committee will also be recommended to add UNESCO’s World Heritage sites of Kyiv and L’viv to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

In addition, among other measures, Audrey Azoulay announced that UNESCO would strengthen its support to the city of Odesa by providing:

  • funding to repair the damage inflicted on the Odesa Museum of Fine Arts and the Odesa Museum of Modern Art since the beginning of the war, and to finance the hiring of additional personnel dedicated to the protection of museum collections;
  • support for the digitization of at least 1,000 works of art in Odesa, as well as the documentary collection of the Odesa State Archive through the provision of appropriate hardware;
  • supply of new equipment to the Odesa Regional Administration for the protection of cultural property on the ground: protective panels, sandbags, fire extinguishers, fireproof fabrics and gas masks will be delivered to the Department of Culture, Religion and Protection of Architectural Heritage. This will allow the restoration of public monuments and sculptures, which has been underway since the beginning of the war, to continue. 

It should be reminded that in Paris the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine also met with Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture of the French Republic. The parties have agreed on a specific joint action plan aimed at helping Ukrainians. Therefore, in the nearest future, a number of cultural events will take place in France with the participation of Ukrainian cultural figures and artists.

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