UNESCO Gives Ukraine Final Warning Regarding Kyiv's UNESCO Sites
UNESCO is concerned about the famous Kyiv Cave Monastery and the National Reserve St. Sophia Cathedral and is considering adding them to the list of monuments in danger.
The reason is the construction in the buffer zone surrounding St. Sophia's and the constant reconstruction of the Cave Monastery that is resulting in its loss of authenticity. Consequently, these churches may be excluded from the UNESCO World Heritage List. The issue will be investigated until February 2011, when the authority will make a resolution.
This is not the first warning Ukraine has received from UNESCO but this time, they warn, is the last. The construction of upscale buildings close to St. Sophia, despite mass protests, continues, is why the historical monument may appear on the “blacklist” of UNESCO. Concerning the Kyiv Cave Monastery, UNESCO states that tlousy reconstruction is destroying its holistic silhouette. The monastery is the symbolic face of Kyiv seen from the east bank. Skyscrapers built next to the monastery obstruct the view thus making it less appealing for tourists. Experts have also expressed concern over renovation in the monastery's interior, which is resulting in the gradual loss of its authenticity – mansards, wooden windows are replaced with plastic ones, air conditioners are seen on the facades, etc.
If these monuments appear on the “blacklist” it will first of all be a blow to the prestige of the state. Furthermore, in accordance to UNESCO's rules, Ukraine will no longer have the right to add other objects in the registry of world heritage. For now St. Sophia Cathedral, the Kyiv Cave Monastery, Lviv’s historic city center, and beech forests in the Carpathian Mountains are on the list of UNESCO.
As was reported earlier, UNESCO refused to add to its list two churches in Kyiv.