HomeCultureConflict in Ukraine: UNESCO calls for the protection of endangered heritage

Conflict in Ukraine: UNESCO calls for the protection of endangered heritage

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reiterated on Tuesday its call for the protection and preservation of endangered heritage in Ukraine, in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

“We must safeguard cultural heritage in Ukraine, both as a testimony to the past but also as a seed of peace and cohesion for the future. As such, the international community must protect and preserve it,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, quoted in a press release.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, UNESCO has been mobilizing within the framework of its mandate, in particular for the protection of culture, indicates the UN agency based in Paris.

UNESCO has since been in constant contact with all the institutions concerned, as well as with cultural professionals in Ukraine to assess the situation and strengthen the protection of cultural property, it continues.

“The first challenge is to mark cultural heritage sites and monuments in order to recall their special status as protected areas under international law,” explains the Director-General of UNESCO.

The Organization is in contact with the Ukrainian authorities for the marking of cultural sites and monuments with the distinctive sign of the “Blue Shield” of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, in order to ‘avoid deliberate or accidental damage,’ the statement said.

Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, such as the site of “Kiyv: Saint Sophia’s Cathedral and related monastic buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”, are considered to have priority. This process of physical marking has already started this weekend on the site of “Lviv – Ensemble of the historic center”, notes the same source.

UNESCO, in partnership with UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), is also analyzing satellite images of priority sites, in danger or already impacted, in order to assess the damage.

“To date, around ten priority sites are already covered by this surveillance system, including World Heritage sites,” said Lazare Eloundou Assomo, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

Contacts are also being made with civil society, living heritage professionals and practitioners regarding the impact of the crisis on the situation of artists and cultural institutions, the statement said.

According to the same source, new meetings with Ukrainian cultural professionals – managers of World Heritage sites, directors of museums and professionals in charge of immovable and movable heritage – are scheduled for March 9 and 10 in order to identify their urgent needs.

To meet these needs, UNESCO will mobilize international partners during an emergency response coordination meeting, involving in particular UNITAR, the International Center for the Study of the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) , Blue Shield International, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and ALIPH, among other partners.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here