The historic center of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and sites in Yemen and Lebanon were added to the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday.
All three sites were simultaneously added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.
UNESCO’s founding Convention obliges all members – including Russia and Ukraine – “not to take any deliberate action which directly or indirectly damages their heritage or that of any other State party to the Convention” .
Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO, said in a statement that he hoped the inscription would help protect Odessa from war.
“Odessa, a free city, a world city, a legendary port which has marked cinema, literature and the arts, is thus placed under the reinforced protection of the international community”, declared Azoulay.
“As the 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 focused on three threatened sites:
• Historic Center of Odessa (Ukraine)
• Rachid Karami-Tripoli International Fair (Lebanon)
• Monuments of the ancient kingdom of Sheba in the governorate of Marib (Yemen)
All three are now inscribed on both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.
In Yemen, the site includes seven archaeological sites that show the architectural, aesthetic and technological achievements of the Kingdom of Sheba from the 1st millennium BCE to the arrival of Islam around 630 CE.
The site was added to the “endangered” list due to threats posed to the site by the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
The site in Lebanon, the Rachid Karami International Fair in Tripoli, was designed in 1962 by the 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 20th century modern architecture in the Arab Near East,” UNESCO said in a press release.
It has been added to the endangered species list due to its “alarming state of conservation, the lack of financial resources for its upkeep and the latent risk of development proposals that could affect the integrity of the complex”, it said. ‘UNESCO.
Top image: The historic center of Odessa, Ukraine, is now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. (bergamont/iStockphoto/Getty Images)