Odesa added to UNESCO World Heritage List in the face of threats of destruction

This decision recognizes the site’s outstanding universal value and the duty of all humanity to protect it.

‘Strengthening protection’

“Odesa, the city of freedom, the city of the world, a legendary harbor that has left its mark in cinema, literature and the arts, therefore placed under strict protection. of the international community,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

“While the war continued, This text represents our collective determination to ensure that this city, which has weathered global upheavals, is preserved from further devastation.”

The decision commits the 194 member states to the Convention – including Russia – not to take any willful steps that could directly or indirectly harm the World Heritage Site and assist in its protection.

The Odesa . Historical Center has also been scored on more than 50 strong List of World Heritage in Dangerallowing it access to enhanced international technical and financial support.

Ukraine may require this, to ensure the protection of assets and, if necessary, to assist in reconstruction if attacked.

expedited procedures

In the face of threats to the city from the Russian armed forces and irregulars, the World Heritage Committee resorted to an emergency procedure prescribed by the World Heritage Committee. World Heritage Convention.

As early as the summer of 2022, UNESCO linked international experts with Ukrainian experts to prepare nominations, with the support of Italy and Greece.

Ukrainian President Zelensky officially submitted in October 2022 and the nomination is evaluated in the following weeks.

Odesa's historic city center, with its anti-tank systems and other defenses currently being deployed amid the Russian invasion.

Odesa’s historic city center, with its anti-tank system and other defensive measures currently being deployed amid the Russian invasion.

Emergency measures

Parallel to the registration process, UNESCO has implemented emergency measures on the ground to help secure the site.

Notably, the Foundation ensures repairs are carried out after damage caused by Russian attacks, on Odesa Museum of Fine Arts and Odesa Museum of Modern Art.

So far, the historic western Ukrainian city has not suffered the protracted bombardment that devastated the once-prosperous port city of Mariupol, hundreds of kilometers to the east.

digital security

UNESCO also provides equipment for digitize nearly 1,000 works of art and of the official collection of the Odesa State Archives. Equipment is also provided to protect buildings as well as outdoor artworks on display.

The measures are part of UNESCO’s overall action plan for Ukraine, which has raised more than $18 million to preserve education, science, culture and information, amid the war. Taking control of the country is going on fiercely.


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