“Enhanced protection” – Odessa now on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in danger


The Old Town of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa is now considered an endangered World Heritage Site. “Odessa, a free city, a cosmopolitan city with a famous port that has given shape to films, literature and art, is now under the heightened protection of the international community,” Unesco Secretary General Audrey Azoulay said on Wednesday.

Inclusion on the UNESCO list of World Heritage in danger means better access to technical and financial support. Russia had unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Ukrainian city on the Black Sea from being included on the World Heritage List. The Russian representative stressed that the application for admission was copied from Wikipedia. Moreover, Ukraine itself has destroyed buildings in Odessa. The city has been bombed several times since the beginning of the Russian offensive war, but remained largely intact.

Zelenskyy: “Protect the pearl from attack by the invaders”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who in October requested that the city be listed to protect it from Russian attacks, welcomed the decision. “Today Odessa received UNESCO protection,” he said on Twitter. “I am grateful to the partners who help protect our pearl from the attacks of the Russian invaders,” he added. “A diplomatic victory,” emphasized Ukrainian politician Emine Djeppar.

Founded in 1794, Odessa developed into a commercial metropolis that attracted many people to the Black Sea coast. The multicultural heritage characterizes the architecture and the cityscape. Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 film “Battleship Potemkin” made the Odessa harbor staircase “probably the most famous staircase in the world” and one of the icons of the 20th century.

By “emergency mechanism” on UNESCO list
UNESCO included the city in an “emergency mechanism” in light of the ongoing war. In addition to the old town of Odessa, the International Fair in Tripoli, Lebanon, and the sights of the ancient kingdom of Sheba in Yemen are also listed as World Heritage in danger.

The next meeting of the World Heritage Committee is scheduled for September 10-25, 2023 in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. There are currently 1157 cultural and natural sites in 167 countries on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 55 of them are considered endangered.

Source: Krone


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