HomeUnited NationsOdesa added to UNESCO's World History List amid threats of destruction

Odesa added to UNESCO’s World History List amid threats of destruction

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

‘Reinforced protection’

Ukraine may request this, to ensure the protection of the property and, if required, assist in reconstruction, if bombarded. UNESCO also provided equipment for the digitization of nearly 1, 000 works of art and of the formal collection of the Odesa Condition Archives. Equipment was also delivered to protect the buildings as well as open-air works of art on display. These measures are part of UNESCO’s overall action plan for Ukraine, which has already mobilized more than million to preserve education and learning, science, culture and information, as the battle for control over the country rages on. So far, the historic western Ukrainian town has not come under the kind of sustained bombardment that placed waste to the once-thriving interface city of Mariupol, hundreds of kilometres to the east. Ukraine’s President Zelensky made the submission official in October 2022, as well as the nomination was evaluated over the following weeks.

Accelerated procedure 

In parallel with the inscription process, UNESCO implemented emergency measures on the ground to help protect the website. Historic Odesa’s city centre, along with anti-tank and other defensive actions now in place amidst the Russian invasion. As early as the summer associated with 2022, UNESCO linked global experts with Ukrainian professionals to prepare the nomination, with all the support of Italy plus Greece.

Historic Odesa's city centre, with anti-tank and other defensive measures now in place amidst the Russian invasion.
Notably, the Organization ensured repairs were carried out following damage inflicted by Russian attacks, on the Odesa Museum of Fine Artistry and the Odesa Museum of recent Art .

“Odesa, a free city, a global city, the legendary port that has still left its mark on movie theater, literature and the arts, is certainly thus placed under the strengthened protection from the international community, ” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

Emergency measures

“While the war continues, this particular inscription embodies our group determination to make sure that this city, which has usually surmounted global upheavals, can be preserved from further damage. ”  In view of the threats on the city from Russia armed forces and irregulars, the World Heritage Panel used an emergency procedure supplied for by the  World Heritage Convention .   The  Historic Centre of Odesa   has also been written on the more than 50-strong  List of World Heritage in Danger , which gives it access to reinforced technical and economic international assistance.

Digital safekeeping

© IMF/Brendan Hoffman The decision commits the 194 States Parties from the Convention – which includes Russian federation – not to undertake any kind of deliberate step that may straight or indirectly damage the entire world Heritage site and to help in its protection.

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