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The historical center of Odesa was included in the UNESCO list: what does this mean

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The historical center of Odesa was included in the UNESCO list: what does this mean

The historical center of the port city of Odesa was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was nominated for listing 10 years ago. Find out in more detail what the protection of the organization means and what other objects of Ukraine are protected by UNESCO

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The UNESCO World Heritage Committee included the historic center of Odesa in the list of World Heritage under threat. The relevant decision was adopted on January 25 in Paris under an accelerated procedure.


The Odesa City Council reported that the process of including the historical center in the UNESCO heritage list lasted about 10 years. And in October 2022, Ukraine officially submitted the nomination file for consideration by the organization.


What does UNESCO protection mean, and what are its benefits?


From now on, streets, buildings and other objects of Odesa, which have signs of multiculturalism, are under the protection of UNESCO. In particular, this is the ensemble of Primorsky Boulevard, Theater Square, Deribasivska Street, Gogolya Street, as well as the Sea Trade Port.


Odesa Passage



Deribasivska Street 


In addition to the protection of UNESCO, certain obligations are imposed on the city and the state. Among them: maintaining the territory in proper condition, prohibiting the appearance of disharmonious objects in the security zone, keeping the appearance of the streets as close as possible to the events of the 1917 Revolution.


Why is the inclusion of the city in the UNESCO heritage for Odesa and Ukraine as a whole?


The status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site guarantees the preservation and integrity of unique natural and cultural complexes, increases the prestige of the territories and institutions that take care of them. The main goal of the organization is to make known and protect unique objects around the world.


First, it will increase the number of tourists, because the city will be included in the world tourist routes. An increase in the number of tourists will in turn have a positive effect on the economy.


Secondly, the city receives the protection of objects of cultural and historical heritage. If military actions damage UNESCO sites, their restoration will take place according to the following procedure:


• determining the damage caused;

• collection of materials for the international court;

• the court imposes an obligation on the accused party to compensate for the costs of restoration.


It is worth noting that in the case of destruction or damage of UNESCO objects, their restoration must take place comprehensively, that is, together with the background buildings, in order to preserve the historical integrity.


What other objects in Ukraine and the world are included in the UNESCO heritage?


In Ukraine, the historical center of the city of Lviv, the Cathedral of Saint Sophia and adjacent monastic buildings, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv, the ancient city of Chersonesos in the Crimea, as well as the wooden churches of the Carpathian region are already protected by UNESCO in Ukraine.


Many other historical cities in Europe and the world are also included in the UNESCO World Heritage, among them:


- The historic center of Rome and the Vatican and the city of Venice in Italy;

- Historical center of Salzburg in Germany;

- The historical center of Vienna in Austria;

- Old city of Baku in Azerbaijan;

- Old Town of Tallinn in Estonia;

- The historical center of Vilnius in Lithuania.


The inclusion of Ukrainian cities in the list of endangered World Heritage is an important step for the preservation of Ukrainian culture. Today, when our state becomes a target for the enemy every day, this decision is especially important for the Ukrainian people.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy personally thanked for the inclusion of the historical center of Odesa in UNESCO, he noted that the city, in particular, is recognized as an object of cultural heritage that is under threat, and therefore, this will help protect it from regular russian attacks.

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