Against the background of the dire situation created worldwide due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Movement for Cultural Heritage (the Sakdrisi Committee) responds to outrageous media reports that a cultural heritage site of international importance – St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv – is in danger of destruction, which will be irreparable damage to all mankind.
The Movement calls on international cultural organizations such as UNESCO, Europa Nostra, and the International Committee of the Blue Shield, to take immediate action to save this historic cathedral along with other monuments in danger during the armed conflict.
“We consider that along with human casualties, each cultural heritage site in danger of destruction is no less a loss to humanity during armed conflict.
“Built in the XI century, the cathedral, one of the most important monuments of history and culture, the uniqueness of which has survived to this day, is a landmark not only in Ukraine but also in the world cultural heritage. It is the first historical monument in Ukraine to be included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
“We address the world cultural heritage organizations: UNESCO, Europa Nostra and the International Committee of the Blue Shield to act as soon as possible to save the monument in accordance with the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, according to which “The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect cultural property situated within their own territory as well as within the territory of other High Contracting Parties by refraining from any use of the property and its immediate surroundings or of the appliances in use for its protection for purposes which are likely to expose it to destruction or damage in the event of armed conflict; and by refraining from any act of hostility, directed against such property.”
“Given that cultural heritage site, such as the Church of the Assumption in Kharkiv, has already been damaged as a result of this conflict, we reiterate the importance of the immediate activism and support of the international community,” reads the statement.
Ukraine has sent a letter to UNESCO to save St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv from the threat of destruction, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko has said.
“The Russians are going to destroy St. Sophia Cathedral. They seek to destroy the entire Ukrainian history, trying to appropriate it for themselves,” Tkachenko wrote in the Telegram channel.