Site History and Significance
A Conflict’s Toll on Treasured Places
As of April 2023, UNESCO has confirmed 250 cases of Ukrainian cultural sites that have suffered damage as a direct result of the Russian invasion. These sites run the gamut from libraries to art museums, churches to war memorials. Proper inventorying and assessment of affected sites is crucial for proper heritage crisis response, and while other available registers of cultural sites affected by the war in Ukraine list up to 600 entries, none is complete.
Assessing Damage on the Ground
World Monuments Fund (WMF) has partnered with the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative (HERI) and the Ukrainian NGO Tustan on a damage assessment project that focuses on the documentation and evaluation of buildings affected by the conflict that have received heritage designations either locally or nationally. The project was designed to verify available registers and conduct on-site assessment of damaged historic and cultural sites in the oblasts of Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kyiv, three particularly hard-hit areas. The purpose of the on-site expeditions is to mobilize a local network of experts, register the loss of cultural heritage, document the scale of destruction, and create a database with information about the investigated sites.
The results of the expeditions will be made available to key stakeholders, including regional governments and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, and to heritage professionals in Ukraine and around the world, supplemented by additional information on affected sites. These findings will facilitate the creation of better strategies for emergency stabilization and lay the foundations for post-conflict recovery.
World Monuments Fund safeguards cultural heritage around the globe, ensuring our treasured places are preserved for present and future generations.
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