After UNESCO Criticism Azarov Orders Moratorium on Construction Near St. Sophia and Kyiv Cave Monastery
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov ordered a moratorium on construction in the buffer zones of UNESCO World Heritage sites. As the newspaper Kommersant-Ukraine writes, this primarily refers to the construction underway near the Kyiv Cave Monastery and the St. Sophia Cathedral.
The publication says that Azarov ordered the Ministry of Culture “to make amendments to the legislation for a moratorium on construction in the buffer zones of cultural and historical heritage sites,” Korrespondent informs.
Azarov also called to adjust the general plans of cities that have UNESCO World Heritage sites, in order to “define the buffer zones and modes of their use.”
According to the report, construction in buffer zones is underway near the Cave Monastery and St. Sophia Cathedral. “Currently there are two problematic areas of development. On 17 Honchar Street a luxury apartment complex is being built, and on Desiatynna Street a high-rise office building,” Maryna Solovyova, the head of the Andriyivskyi Landscape Initiative, told the publication.
The Ministry of Culture noted that legislation does not provide a direct ban on the construction in buffer zones. “Now the question is governed by a ministerial order of 2011, which combined the buffer zones of Sophia and the Monastery and banned construction of buildings higher than nine floors,” said the deputy of the Department of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Values of the Ministry of Culture Viktor Vecherskyi.
He said that in Kyiv’s general plan it is planned to tighten the rules for construction. The document calls for the prohibition of new construction in buffer zones if it is not part of restoration, but allows for “transformations” that contribute to the restoration of historical architectural buildings.
The Ministry of Culture said they would propose to the Kyiv City Council the question of a moratorium, but they doubt that it will be accepted. Public activists also do not believe that a moratorium will be passed. “This issue has been repeatedly raised during the sessions, but no one wants to vote for it because in all the fractions there are people who are interested in building in the city center,” said Solovyova.