Odessa, the Port City of Ukraine, is on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger

The historical center of the city of Odessa, which is the most important port city of Ukraine and also known as the “Pearl of the Black Sea”, has been included in the List of World Heritage in Danger by UNESCO.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, on the official Twitter account of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In the announcement, it was stated that the historic center of Odessa was included in both the List of World Heritage and the List of World Heritage in Danger.

On the same day, UNESCO announced on its official Twitter account that the landmarks of the ancient kingdom of Saba in Yemen and the Rachid Karami International Fair in Lebanon were included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. Thus, the number of properties in the List of World Heritage in Danger reached 55.

Odessa, which has been bombed many times since the beginning of the war between Ukraine and Russia, has been on UNESCO’s agenda for a long time. UNESCO officials had previously stated that emergency measures should be taken for the protection of cultural heritage in Odessa.

Artifacts and Museums in Ukraine in Danger due to War

Finally, with the decision taken on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, the historical center of the city of Odessa was included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. It was also stated that due to the ongoing war, expedited procedure was applied. The decision was welcomed in Ukraine and in many other countries. But Russian officials said it was a political decision.

It is thought that the inclusion of the historic city in the List of World Heritage in Danger will ensure the historic city is preserved from further destruction.

Previously, UNESCO has offered to help repair two art museums damaged by the war.

The Port of Odessa

The Port of Odessa, located on the Black Sea coast, plays a key role in Ukraine’s maritime trade.

List of World Heritage in Danger
Compiled according to Article 11/4 of the World Heritage Convention, the list aims to raise awareness of threats. As of January 25, 2023, there are 55 assets on the list. The World Heritage Committee may request additional measures against assets on this list.

Odessa is sister city with Baltimore in the USA, Liverpool in the UK, and Vancouver in Canada.

Airstrikes against Odessa

In 2022, the first Russian airstrikes against Odessa began in late February.

  • In the attack on February 24, 22 people lost their lives. The ages of the deceased ranged from 26 to 52.
  • On March 2, Russian forces damaged a gas pipeline. On March 3, they sank a ship in the Port of Odessa.
  • On 21 March, Russian warships indiscriminately opened fire on some targets in Odessa.
  • On April 23, Russian forces struck a military facility and two buildings. The mayor of Odessa announced that eight people died.
  • On 7 May, the runway of the airport in Odessa was damaged in a missile attack by Russia. On the same day, a helicopter was shot down and 5 people lost their lives.
  • On May 9, Russian troops fired rockets at three warehouses and a shopping mall. It was reported that one person died.
  • On July 1, an apartment was destroyed by Russia. More than 20 people were reported to have died. Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov claimed that the building was used for military purposes.
  • On September 23, two unmanned military aircraft damaged an administrative building near the port.

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