The Mayor of Venice visited Odesa on April 14 to seal the friendship pact between the two cities and discuss a contribution to Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. The visit comes as Ukraine celebrates Easter weekend, as is traditional according to the Julian calendar.

Luigi Brugnaro, first citizen of the city of Venice, was welcomed at the Town Hall by Gennadiy Trukhanov, mayor of Odesa.

The meeting sought to strengthen the collaborative pact between the cities, as signed by the respective mayors at Ca' Farsetti, headquarters of the Municipality of Venice, on Nov 7 2022. At that meeting, Venice and Odesa mutually committed to building networks and links between local authorities, fostering collaboration between communities, and promoting exchanges of information, experience and good practice.

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“Since the day I proposed to my colleague, Mayor Trukhanov, to receive the doge’s ring as a symbol of our cities’ twinning, I promised that I would come to Odesa to demonstrate the real proximity of Venice to a city that we hold in our hearts,” Brugnaro said.

“I'm here to consolidate the pact signed a few months ago at Ca' Farsetti. In this period, during which we have seen the citizens of Odesa risking their lives to defend their port and the city, we have given all our support. We did this, for example, by supporting your request to UNESCO to recognize the historic center of Odesa as a World Heritage Site,” added the mayor of Venice.

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During the meeting, Brugnaro launched an appeal for peace, calling for the “terrible war to end as soon as possible” and to “proceed with the reconstruction of a country that has proudly defended its freedom from the invader.”

He referred to the importance of laying the foundations “to rebuild Greater Odesa,” which can be best undertaken through “exchange of experiences, knowledge and good practice in the field of urban planning, development, conservation and improvement of the state of cultural heritage.”

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Trukhanov publicly thanked his guest for having kept his promise to travel to Odesa and for the help that Venice will give to the city’s reconstruction.

“For us, it is very important to know that we have sincere friends in this moment of difficulty,” Trukhanov said.

Noting that culture is an element of union and communion among peoples, and that the promotion of dialogue is a factor in supporting the values of integration, solidarity and friendship, he added that the two mayors, within their respective competences, have “reaffirmed a commitment to promoting mutual collaboration.”

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