Ukraine: UNESCO supports the restoration of the historical center of Chernigov

Украина: ЮНЕСКО поддерживает восстановление исторического центра Чернигова

Destroyed school in Chernigov. Ukraine: UNESCO supports the restoration of the historical center of Chernigov Culture and Education

From 18 to 22 March 2024, experts from UNESCO and the International Council for the Conservation of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) visited Chernigov in Ukraine to develop an action plan for its rehabilitation. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries, the historic city center is included in the Tentative List of Ukraine – in the future it may be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In April 2023, during a visit to Chernigov and a meeting with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay committed herself to supporting efforts to rebuild Chernigov, which had suffered greatly in the first months of the war from attacks from outside Russian Federation.

For several months now, UNESCO has been assisting local authorities in developing a plan for the rehabilitation of the urban landscape. In March, the organization spearheaded a new mission aimed at providing guidance, support and methodological tools to prepare a recovery plan.

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Experts visited more than a dozen cultural sites, including cathedrals, churches and caves of the Ancient Chernigov National Reserve, as well as the Drama Theater, which was hit by a rocket in 2023. The team also assessed the urban structure, timber architecture and historic buildings of the city center.

This will document the cultural assets that need to be preserved. In addition, the upcoming UNESCO-ICOMOS mission will use 3D scanning to gain a better understanding of historical sites.

UNESCO’s holistic approach focusing on historic urban landscapes is important for integrating policies and practices for conservation of the built environment while respecting the values ​​and traditions inherited from different cultural contexts. As part of this approach, in particular to promote dialogue and broad participation in the development of the rehabilitation plan, UNESCO and ICOMOS experts met with a special working group created by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

Together with Ukrainian and international partners, and with the participation of the Government of Japan, UNESCO will continue to support the working group in the coming months in developing a recovery plan that will serve as a concrete roadmap for the revitalization of Chernigov, a key urban center in the history of Ukraine.


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