The UNESCO list of endangered monuments has been expanded to include monuments in Kiev and Lviv that are at risk of destruction as a result of the war. The Orthodox Cathedral of St. has been added.
The UNESCO list of endangered monuments has been expanded to include monuments in Kyiv and Lviv that are at risk of destruction as a result of the war. The Orthodox St. Cathedral Zofia has been added to the list. Sophia (Divine Wisdom) and monastery buildings in Kyiv and the historical center of Lviv, which entitles Ukraine to receive additional financial and technical resources to save these monuments, says the organization's Friday statement.
The monuments of Kyiv and Lviv are at risk of destruction due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Due to direct attacks, but also to the shock waves caused by the bombings of both cities,” these buildings deserve “additional financial and technical assistance so that new protection measures can be implemented on site,” UNESCO said in a statement.
In January, the organization included the historic center of Odesa on the list of World Heritage sites threatened by war. In July, as a result of rocket fire on this city, the historic Transfiguration Cathedral was destroyed, as well as many buildings in the historical part of Odesa.
Russia's missile attacks have previously targeted historic buildings in Odesa and Lviv covered by the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. UNESCO recognizes that the deliberate destruction of cultural property may be considered a war crime and that the attacks by Russian forces contradict the Kremlin's assurances about "precautionary measures taken to spare World Heritage sites in Ukraine and their immediate surroundings."
“Among the endangered places of enormous global importance are certainly those on the extremely prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. There are seven places on this list in Ukraine and four of them are located in large cities – Kyiv, Lviv, Chernivtsi, and Sevastopol – which, in the current realities of aggression, exposes them directly to destruction. It is, of course, no consolation that the destruction of two of the seven sites already on the UNESCO list does not seem possible for purely practical reasons.
"The facility currently located in Crimea, which is completely under Russian control (the Taurid Chersonese, which is a remnant of a Greek colony dating back to the 5th century BC) or the primeval beech forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians on the border with Poland, Slovakia and Romania will probably not be devastated."
Russia's bombing of Ukraine has sometimes drawn criticism from UNESCO. In July, the organization condemned the bombing of a building on the outskirts of Lviv's historic Old Town.
The city was founded in the Middle Ages and retains much of its architectural and cultural heritage as an administrative, religious and commercial center from the 13th to the 20th century. In 1998, it was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Meanwhile, the cathedral of St. Sophia was built in the 11th century and was intended to rival Hagia Sophia in modern-day Turkey, which was then part of Constantinople. It is one of the few surviving buildings from this period.
The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, also called the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves, was founded around the same time as the cathedral.
It is the oldest monastery complex in Russia, which inhabited Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages and became a significant spiritual and cultural center.
Currently, there are over 50 objects on the UNESCO threat list. Other places at risk include the Old City of Jerusalem, the historic center of Vienna and a tropical rainforest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.