Nearly 30 Countries Pledge Support for Ukraine’s Cultural Sector Recovery

Almost 30 countries on Friday, June 7, committed to supporting the recovery of Ukraine’s cultural sector through UNESCO’s coordination.

This pledge was made at a conference in Vilnius initiated by Lithuania. UNESCO, in collaboration with over 40 international and Ukrainian institutions, will develop a comprehensive action plan to guide the recovery efforts.

Their support aims to assist Ukrainian artists and cultural professionals, protect and restore cultural sites, and revive cultural life under UNESCO’s coordination.

“There can be no healing of the wounds of war without culture. There can be no sustainable growth and prosperity without culture. This has been the purpose of UNESCO’s work in Ukraine since February 2022. This is why the commitment made today by nearly thirty of our Member States will go down in history,” said Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.

UNESCO has verified damage to over 400 cultural sites in Ukraine, including 191 historical buildings, 137 religious sites, 31 museums, 25 monuments, 15 libraries, and 1 archive.

Restoration projects have commenced in cities such as Kyiv and Odesa. However, the financial requirements are substantial, estimated at $680 million annually until 2033.

Many cultural activities have ceased, and artists are struggling to work, highlighting the necessity for international support.

The action plan, created by UNESCO with input from Ukrainian authorities and international organizations, includes six areas of focus:

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  • Assessing and documenting damage
  • Preventive measures and reconstruction
  • Revival of cultural institutions and education
  • Strengthening cultural industries
  • Enhancing resilience through culture
  • Digital transformation of the cultural sector.

UNESCO and participating countries will reconvene on June 11-12 in Berlin for the Ukraine Recovery Conference to discuss the implementation of this plan.


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