It contains 53 types of objects in categories such as painting, sculpture, archaeological pieces, books and manuscripts, coins, and folk and religious art.
In addition to lives, estates and infrastructure, the war destroys heritage and cultural assets and pays for their illicit trade. A scourge denounced and combated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), an organization that has just published the Emergency Red List of Cultural Objects in Danger Ukraine.
The supranational institution aims to “help protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage” and protect it for future generations “against the growing threat posed by invasion and military punishment by Russian troops. “The war threatens objects to be stolen and smuggled from Ukraine,” says Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
Experts from 11 museums in the slaughtered country have teamed up with ICOM’s Department of Heritage Protection to research and compile an exhaustive list of 53 types of objects belonging to seven categories and from all periods. They include painting and sculpture, archaeology, books and manuscripts, numismatics, folk art, religious art, and applied art.
“The wide variety of objects on display emphasizes the history, richness and diversity of Ukraine’s cultural heritage, from the Scythians to the avant-garde of the 20th century,” emphasizes ICOM. The Red List is published online in English and distributed to authorities and law enforcement agencies in Ukraine and across Europe. Soon there will be translations in Ukrainian, French and Swedish.
ICOM hopes this tool will help police officers, investigating customs officers and citizens “identify endangered cultural heritage and prohibit the illicit trade in looted and stolen items”. Also that it is “a valuable and sustainable tool to help preserve Ukraine’s cultural heritage”.
The list comes “at a relevant time in the ongoing fight against the illicit trafficking of Ukrainian cultural heritage, a long-standing phenomenon in the region that has been amplified by the Russian invasion,” denounces and ICOM. He alludes to reports of the massive looting of the Oleksiy Shovkunenko Art Museum in Kherson by Russian forces as they withdrew from the city on Nov. will be a relevant and effective tool for the identification of looted and stolen cultural objects from Ukraine as they enter circulation in the coming weeks, months and years.”
International cooperation is essential to tackle this illegal trade in cultural heritage. To prevent this, ICOM cooperates with national and international law enforcement agencies such as Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO). It also encourages the ratification of international cultural conventions, such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 Unidroit Convention, as well as bilateral agreements between states, “which are vital to tackling illicit trafficking”.
The list is the result of a coordinated effort involving international and Ukrainian experts from institutions and museums such as the Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the History of Religion in Lviv, the Book and Printing Museum of Ukraine, the National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU), Folk culture, History of Ukraine, Kiev (MIST) Folk and decorative arts of Ukraine (NMUNDM) or Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine (NBUV)
“All of them efficiently conducted and contributed to the Red List investigation while coping with the emergency situation they found themselves in,” acknowledges ICOM, also thanking its branch in Ukraine “for its enormous coordination efforts in the preparation of this important resource in just a few months.
This Ukrainian Red List is the 19th ICOM Red List, closely following the recently published Red List of Cultural Assets at Risk of Southeastern Europe, “representing an ongoing contribution to the protection of cultural heritage in the region and across the world.” ».
Source: La Verdad