ROME, Italy – More than one year after Putin’s unprovoked and brutal full-scale invasion began, Ukraine’s cultural identity and heritage remain under threat. To build Ukrainian capacity to recover and safeguard its cultural heritage – a pillar of cultural identity – the United States is proud to contribute close to $250,000 to the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). This funding is a part of the U.S. Department of State’s $7 million investment in its Ukraine Cultural Heritage Response Initiative, a wider effort to support Ukraine’s efforts to protect its cultural identity.
The U.S. funding will enable ICCROM, an intergovernmental organization based in Rome, working in coordination with the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative (HERI) and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, to produce risk maps and data analyses of cultural heritage sites in Ukraine damaged during the Russian invasion of and war on Ukraine. This information will provide enhanced documentation for the protection, repair, and restoration of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.
On March 30, 2023, members of the diplomatic corps gathered to learn more about these preservation efforts in Ukraine and the important role ICCROM plays in the upkeep and safeguarding of cultural heritage in times of conflict.
“ICCROM – as an intergovernmental organization, drawing on a global network of cultural heritage experts – is well-positioned to help Ukraine strengthen its emergency response and long-term strategy to safeguard cultural heritage,” said Rodney Hunter, the host for the evening and U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome Chargé d’Affaires. “We will continue to call on Russia to heed the demands of the UN and the international community and withdraw immediately, completely, and unconditionally from Ukraine,” Hunter stressed.
During the event, ICCROM Director General Dr. Webber Ndoro thanked the United States for its continued partnership and outlined the challenge ahead as well as ICCROM’s commitment to work alongside Ukraine to preserve its historic monuments: “ICCROM is about connecting people and heritage. Within the humanitarian and disaster risk reduction framework, our work is centered on preserving Ukraine’s heritage to aid the society’s long-term recovery and future resilience.”
Alternate Permanent Representative of Ukraine Yuryi Grynevetskyi expressed gratitude for both the United States and ICCROM for their steadfast commitment to preserving his country’s past for future generations.
About the Ukraine Cultural Heritage Response Initiative
Through its Ukraine Cultural Heritage Response Initiative, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) committed $7 million to support Ukrainian efforts to protect their cultural heritage. Implemented by ECA’s Cultural Heritage Center and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv in coordination with Ukrainian NGOs and international partners, the Initiative will support Ukraine’s efforts to protect and repair damage to Ukrainian cultural heritage sites and collections, as well as expand and strengthen public-private partnerships with civil society in Ukraine. The Initiative builds on more than 20 years of U.S. engagement on cultural heritage protection and preservation work with the Government of Ukraine through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). To learn more about U.S. efforts to preserve and protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage, click here.
ICCROM – the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property – is a Rome-based multilateral organization that builds member states’ capacity to protect cultural heritage from threats posed by conflict, climate change, mass tourism, and urbanization. To learn more, including the criteria for candidates to apply for the ICCROM Director-General position (closing April 20), visit www.iccrom.org and follow @ICCROM on Twitter and Facebook and @ICCROM_Official on Instagram.
About the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome
The U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome works with the UN food and agriculture organizations to fight global hunger and promote sustainable development. In addition, the U.S. Mission represents the U.S. Government to three other international organizations in Rome — the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), and ICCROM — to strengthen the rule of law, access to justice, and the conservation of cultural heritage. To learn more, follow @USUNRome on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and visit usunrome.usmission.gov.