Historic Center of Odessa, Ukraine inscribed on World Heritage List

Chinanews.com, Paris, January 25th. The World Heritage Committee decided on January 25th local time to include the Historic Center of Odessa in Ukraine in the World Heritage List.

UNESCO Director-General Azoulay welcomed this. She said that Odessa has finally received strong protection from the international community. The success of Odessa’s inscription reflects our collective determination to ensure that it is protected from further destruction.

Under the terms of the World Heritage Convention, its 194 States parties undertake to refrain from any deliberate action that may directly or indirectly damage this World Heritage site, and to assist in its conservation.

The historic center of Odessa was also inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger at the same time, which gave it the opportunity to receive further international technical and financial assistance. Ukraine can request assistance to ensure the protection of the site and, if necessary, restoration.

According to reports, in the summer of 2022, UNESCO began to help Ukrainian experts establish contacts with international experts, and prepare application materials with the assistance of Italy and Greece. In October 2022, Ukrainian President Zelensky formally submitted an application for World Heritage in an online speech to UNESCO. The evaluation agency reviewed the nomination materials in the following weeks, allowing it to be considered at the special session of the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

While inscribing the historic center of Odessa on the World Heritage List, UNESCO has taken urgent steps on the ground in recent months to strengthen the protection of the site. In addition, UNESCO provided equipment for the digitization of nearly a thousand works of art and the documentary collection of the Odessa State Archives, as well as for the preservation of important buildings and open-air artworks. These measures are part of UNESCO’s overall action plan in Ukraine.

In addition, the World Heritage Committee also decided to include the “Landmark Building of the Ancient Kingdom of Sheba” in Marib, Yemen and the Rashid Al-Kalami International Convention and Exhibition Center in Lebanon on the List of World Heritage in Danger. (Finish)