The historic center of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa was added to the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday.
The site was simultaneously added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. Sites in Yemen and Lebanon were also added to both lists on Wednesday.
UNESCO’s founding Convention obliges all members, including Russia and Ukraine, “not to take any deliberate action that directly or indirectly damages their heritage or that of another State Party to the Convention.”
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s director-general, said in a statement that she hoped the listing would help protect Odessa from war.
“Odessa, a free city, a world city, a legendary port that has left its mark on cinema, literature and the arts, thus places itself under the reinforced protection of the international community,” Azoulay said.
“As war continues, this inscription embodies our collective determination to ensure that this city, which has always weathered global upheaval, is preserved from further destruction.”
The statement said the decision would give Ukraine access to “international technical and financial 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 addressed three threatened sites:
• Historic center of Odessa (Ukraine)
• Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli (Lebanon)
• Landmarks of the Ancient Kingdom of Sheba in Marib Governorate (Yemen)
All three are now listed on both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.
In Yemen, the site includes seven archaeological sites displaying the architectural, aesthetic, and technological achievements of the Kingdom of Sheba since the first millennium BCE. C. until the arrival of Islam around the year 630 d.
The site was added to the “endangered” list due to the threats that the ongoing conflict in Yemen poses to the site.
The site in Lebanon, Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, was designed in 1962 by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Its main building is a covered exhibition hall in the shape of a boomerang.
“It is one of the main representative works of modern architecture of the 20th century in the Arab Near East,” UNESCO said in a press release.
It was added to the list of threats due to its “alarming state of conservation, the lack of financial resources for its maintenance and the latent risk of development proposals that could affect the integrity of the complex,” UNESCO said.
Top Image: The historic center of Odessa, Ukraine, is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Bergamont/iStockphoto/Getty Images)