Conflicts & War

UNESCO raises number of damaged cultural sites in Ukraine to 152

Paris, Jun 23 (EFE).- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has verified damage to 152 cultural sites in Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, about 60 more than in its earlier evaluation, the organization said Thursday.

Experts from the UN agency have been able to verify that 70 religious sites, 30 historic buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums and seven libraries had been damaged by the conflict up until Wednesday.

UNESCO’s director general Audrey Azoulay said that cultural heritage, in all its forms, could not be considered a target of the war.

Most of the damage has occurred in the Donetsk region, where 45 sites have been affected, Kharkiv region, with 40 affected sites, and Kyiv region, with 26.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, UNESCO has adopted a series of measures to prevent the destruction of protected sites and advises professionals to take inventory and prevent as much damage as possible.

Some shelters have also been identified to store objects that can be moved while fire-fighting systems of some of these sites have been reinforced.

UNESCO collaborates with the Ukrainian authorities to mark cultural sites with the distinctive “blue shield” emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which indicates that those causing damage to them could be faced with consequences. EFE


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