UNESCO confirms damage to 387 cultural sites in Ukraine

02 June, 14:00
UNESCO confirms damage to 387 cultural sites in Ukraine - фото 1
UNESCO has verified damage to 387 different cultural sites in Ukraine.

According to Ukrinform, Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi, Head of the UNESCO Office in Ukraine, reported this during the second forum, "Ukrainian Cultural Heritage #ActForHeritage," which started in Kyiv.

"At the UNESCO level, we have verified the damage to 387 sites through satellite imagery analysis and on-site assessments," Bardeschi said.

She added that the estimated losses in the cultural heritage sector of Ukraine already exceed $20 billion, and this figure is expected to grow. Furthermore, $197 million is needed to protect the most vulnerable sites to preserve the monuments.

Maryana Tomin, Director of the Department of Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, noted that only joint efforts by the public, government, and international partners can restore and preserve cultural sites in Ukraine.

"We have two wars—kinetic and semantic. Cultural heritage is our shield in these wars because it is our identity that we fight for. At the same time, values—both material and immaterial—are things that inspire us and give us faith in the future. And all this can only be preserved by uniting the efforts of the professional community, the public sector, the government, and international organizations," she said.

Theodora Dell, Deputy Head of the USAID Mission in Ukraine, emphasized that civil society organizations, such as the Crimean Institute for Strategic Studies and the Anti-Corruption Headquarters, supported by USAID, have created a database of 717 cases of Russian crimes against Ukraine's cultural heritage. Additionally, under the Civic Engagement Program "Engage," the documentation platform Project Providence was launched.

"The initiative has currently documented damage to 572 cultural sites. This has led to the creation of ten requests for criminal investigations," she informed.

Remi Duflot, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, stressed that since 2014, Russia has systematically attacked Ukrainian culture, language, and identity. He noted that under these conditions, the EU is participating in initiatives to digitize cultural heritage sites and assisting in training Ukrainian specialists in heritage restoration.

The "Ukrainian Cultural Heritage" forum, held under the slogan "#ActForHeritage," serves as a platform where civil society and international partners discuss ways to preserve and protect Ukraine's cultural heritage.