Despite being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the historical Ukrainian city of Odessa struggles to protect its monuments from the effects of war.
On January 25, UNESCO inscribed the historical Ukrainian city of Odessa on the World Heritage List and the World Heritage in Danger List. “Odessa, a free city, a world city, a legendary port that has left its mark on cinema, literature and the arts, is thus placed under the reinforced protection of the international community,” said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.
The people of the port city were delighted as was its mayor, Gennady Trukhanov. He pointed out, however, that the task would not be an easy one:
“We covered all our monuments with sandbags, but it is difficult to ensure complete security. For example, a blast from a rocket that was shot down damaged an architectural monument, the Vorontsov Palace on Prymorskyi Boulevard, part of the roof was destroyed, and the windows were smashed out.”
The irony in all this is that whilst the United Nations is trying to protect the hallowed city with one hand, one of its most powerful members, with the connivance of others, is bombing it with the other. The UN is unique in this respect. It is like a federation that has normalised civil war.
It makes no effort to stand up for justice through red lines, but scrambles on through a free-for-all, like a mother trying to protect her many children from a vicious and abusive father through every possible means except the only one that can ultimately work: telling the monster to piss off!