In September 2023, at a meeting in Riyadh, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee included several sites in Kyiv and Lviv to the List of World Heritage in Danger. Among the places in the capital, St. Sophia Cathedral and Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra were included, and among those in Lviv, the ensemble of the historic center, according to the United Nations.
Acknowledging the numerous steps taken by the Ukrainian government to protect its cultural heritage, the Committee noted that these sites have been under constant threat since the beginning of Russia's invasion on February 24, 2022. They are vulnerable to both direct attacks and shock waves from bombings in both cities.
This decision by UNESCO reminds 195 participating states of the Convention of their duty to supervise these sites and promote their protection. It may serve as a basis for additional financial and technical support for the implementation of new strategies for the preservation of Ukrainian heritage.
In January 2023, the historic center of Odesa was also added to the World Heritage List.
What else was added to the List
In total, in 2023, UNESCO added 14 cultural monuments to the World Heritage List. Among them, for example, are Persian caravanserais, ancient shelters for travelers. They are located in 24 provinces of Iran along trade routes that connect Asia with Africa and Europe.
Unexpectedly, despite the problematic state of it's foundation, Venice was not included in the list. In the summer of 2022, the Committee said the city was not doing enough to reduce the effects of over-tourism and climate change — and recommended that Venice be designated an endangered site.
The sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2023 include:
— Shantiniketan city, India;
— persian caravanserais, Iran;
— Odzala-Kokoua forests, Congo;
— viking ring fortresses, Denmark;
— historic center of Kuldīga, Latvia;
— Tr’ondëk-Klondike region, Canada;
— Gedeo agroforestry landscape, Ethiopia;
— medieval Jewish heritage of Erfurt, Germany;
— Gaya Tumuli, Megalithic tomb claster, Republic of Korea;
— ancient tea plantations of Jingmai Mountain in Pu’er, China;
— Montagne Pelée volcano and Pitons du Carbet mountains, France;
— stone deer monuments and other places of the Bronze Age, Mongolia;
— Silk Roads: Zarafshan-Karakum corridor, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan;
— historic town of Lingapura and Koh Ker temples ensemble (Chok Garg'yar), Cambodia.
At the same time, the Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli (Lebanon) and the Landmarks of the Ancient Kingdom of Saba in Marib (Yemen) were added to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2023. Unexpectedly, despite the problematic state of it's foundation, Venice was not on the list. In the summer of 2022, the Committee said the city was not doing enough to reduce the effects of over-tourism and climate change — and recommended that Venice be designated an endangered site.