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Invasion damages $2.6 bn worth of Ukraine’s heritage, culture: UN

Odesa's historic centre joined UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list this year
Odesa's historic centre joined UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list this year - Copyright AFP/File Ted ALJIBE
Odesa's historic centre joined UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list this year - Copyright AFP/File Ted ALJIBE

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused some $2.6 billion worth of damage to the country’s heritage and cultural sites, a United Nations agency said on Monday.

Culture, tourism, sports and entertainment have lost a combined $15.1 billion in revenues since the Russian invasion in February 2022, the UN’s educational, scientific and cultural organisation UNESCO also said.

Close to 250 monuments have either been damaged or completely destroyed, mostly in the east of the country, it said.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, who visited Ukraine on Monday, said around $6.9 billion was needed to repair the damage and get the sectors back on their feet.

“We will help the Ukrainian authorities draw up a national reconstruction plan for the culture sector,” she said.

Seven cultural sites and one natural site in Ukraine are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List including, as of this year, the historic city centre of Odesa in the southwest, which has been largely spared damage in the conflict.

Sixteen other sites are on UNESCO’s tentative world heritage sites list, awaiting a formal application by the government in Kyiv to be given World Heritage status.

They include the centre of Chernigiv in northern Ukraine, which sustained heavy damage during a Russian siege in the early months of the conflict.

AFP
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