Historic city in Ukraine added to UNESCO ‘at risk’ list

Historic city in Ukraine added to UNESCO ‘at risk’ list

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The historic center of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and sites in Yemen and Lebanon were added to the World Heritage List on Wednesday by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

All three sites were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List at the same time.

UNESCO’s founding convention obliges all members — including Russia and Ukraine — not to “take any willful action that would directly or indirectly damage their heritage or that of any other state party to the convention.”

UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay said in a statement that he hoped the list would help protect Odesa from the war.

“Odesa, a free city, a cosmopolitan city, a legendary port that has left its mark on cinema, literature and art, is thus placed under the enhanced protection of the international community,” said Azoulay.

“As the war continues, this inscription embodies our collective determination to ensure that this city, which has always triumphed over global upheaval, is preserved from further destruction.”

The statement said the decision would give Ukraine access to “technical and financial international assistance” to protect and rehabilitate the city center.

The inscription was made during an extraordinary session of the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

The meeting covered three endangered sites:

Historic Center of Odessa (Ukraine)
Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli (Lebanon)
Monuments of the ancient Kingdom of Saba in Marib Governorate (Yemen)

All three are now both World Heritage and World Heritage Lists in danger.

The Temple Ruins of Bar'an are one of seven archaeological sites that make up the landmarks of the ancient Kingdom of Saba in Yemen.

In Yemen, the site includes seven archaeological sites showing the architectural, aesthetic and technological achievements of the Kingdom of Saba from the 1st millennium BCE. Until the arrival of Islam around 630 AD.

The site has been added to the “at risk” list due to threats to the site from the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

The site in Lebanon, Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, was designed in 1962 by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The main building is a covered exhibition space in the shape of a boomerang.

Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, Lebanon, was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

“It is one of the most important representative works of 20th-century modern architecture in the Arab Near East,” UNESCO said in a press release.

It was added to the endangered list because of its “alarming state of conservation, the lack of financial resources for its maintenance and the latent risk of development proposals that could affect the complex’s integrity,” according to UNESCO.

Top image: The historic center of Odessa, Ukraine, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (bergamont/iStockphoto/Getty Images)

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