UNESCO Adds Ukrainian City of Odesa to World Heritage List – ARTnews.com

The historic middle of the Ukrainian Black Sea port metropolis Odesa has been added to UNESCO’s listing of endangered World Heritage websites. 

The important thing strategic port metropolis, recognized for its cosmopolitan historical past and architectural landmarks, has been the goal of Russian bombing since its invasion of Ukraine started in 2022. Final October, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a proper attraction to the United Nation’s cultural group to put the town middle beneath its safety—a transfer which presents Odesa further worldwide help together with potential penalties for its destruction.

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A dimly lit glass case containing four artworks.

“I’m grateful to companions who assist defend our pearl from the Russian invaders’ assaults!” Zelensky tweeted after UNESCO voted in favor of the inscription throughout a particular assembly of its World Heritage Committee on January 25.

In a press release, Audrey Azoulay, Director-Common of UNESCO, described Odesa as “a world metropolis, a legendary port that has left its mark on cinema, literature and the humanities”. 

“Whereas the struggle continues, this inscription embodies our collective dedication to make sure that this metropolis, which has at all times surmounted world upheavals, is preserved from additional destruction,” she stated.

The town, a centuries-old crossroads for European and Asian cultures, is famend for its architectural landmarks, together with the Odesa Opera Home and the lengthy harbor staircase immortalized within the 1925 silent basic Battleship Potemkin. In response to Azoulay, Ukraine’s utility for Odesa described the town as “a melting pot of trade and migration” with “a heritage and a historical past that resonates with folks world wide and stands as a strong image.”

Odesa is a important goal of the Russian navy given its entry to the Black Sea—a key transit hub for Ukraine’s grain exports—and is important to Ukraine’s nationwide id. The town has suffered from a fierce Russian bombardment, however continues to withstand occupation.

Final July, an aerial assault on the town resulted within the destruction of a part of the Odesa Museum of Fashionable Artwork and Odesa Museum of Superb Arts. UNESCO funded repairs to each museums and financed efforts to digitize artworks and supply protecting tools. The Odesa Museum of Superb Arts housed greater than 12,000 works earlier than the struggle, however practically the entire assortment was transported for safekeeping by the museum workers in February.

Russian empress Catherine the Nice’s position within the founding of contemporary Odesa in 1974 has change into some extent of controversy. Russia has pointed to the town’s imperial historical past as a protection of its tried annexation, at the same time as Odesa’s residents denounce the connection. In December, a towering monument to the empress was eliminated in a single day from Odesa’s central sq..

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