UNESCO supports Ukraine's bid to put threatened port of Odesa on World Heritage list
The cultural arm of the United Nations, UNESCO, declared on Tuesday that it approved Ukraine's application to add the port city of Odesa to the World Heritage List.
Following a meeting between Oleksandr Tkachenko, the minister of culture for Ukraine, and Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, at the organization's Paris headquarters, UNESCO announced that it had organised experts to assist Ukraine so that the nomination could be urgently reviewed by World Heritage Committee member states.
In addition to Kyiv and Lviv, which are also in danger, UNESCO said it now intends to list Odesa on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
UNESCO said that the Black Sea port of Odesa, which is only a few dozen kilometres from the frontlines, has already been hit by artillery fire. The Odesa Museum of Fine Arts, which opened its doors in 1899, had a portion of its enormous glass roof and windows destroyed last month.
Since the start of the war, UNESCO has paid for renovations to both the museum and the Odesa Museum of Modern Art. They will also pay for additional staff members whose job it is to protect the artefacts. Along with providing safety gear, it will assist in digitising artwork.
According to UNESCO, it has already raised close to $7 million for Ukraine and will contribute further money to repair war-related damage to museums as well as additional protective gear.
It will also provide assistance for the "digitisation of at least 1,000 works of art in Odessa as well as the documentary collection of the Odessa State Archives," it said.
The beetroot soup known as borshch was added to Ukraine's list of intangible cultural treasures in July, a decision that Moscow criticised as "xenophobic."