Ukraine’s Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy Rostyslav Karandieiev has called for stronger support for his country’s cultural heritage.
In an interview with Ukrinform given at the end of the year, he argues that “the cultural heritage of Ukraine is part of the world heritage. And neglecting our problems means neglecting the culture of the world."
Given the financial constraints and destruction Russia’s war against Ukraine has brought, the official acknowledges that "We must honestly say that we live now at the expense of donors. Both the government and the president of Ukraine have repeatedly said that macro-financial assistance is currently decisive for Ukraine's resilience. The entire humanitarian sector, including the sphere of culture, is now largely financed at the expense of donors. And we understand that without such support from the world community, we will not survive.”
Karandieiev elaborates that "culture is important as a component of resistance, as a component of the fight against the aggressor, as a component of the formation of our internal strength, our internal national identity, as a component of spiritual resistance. Without this, we cannot count on the proper motivation of people at the front, on motivation in peacetime."
The official refers to one of the latest decisions of the General Assembly of UNESCO on electing not Russia but Ukraine to the World Heritage Committee.
For Russia, Karandieiev says, “Culture is one of the tools for promoting its imperial narratives across the world. That is why its presence in UNESCO was extremely strong. It is remains so now, although we are gradually replacing Russia.”
Ukraine has also been elected as Vice-Chair of the UNESCO Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
“This is also a great achievement for us. We strengthen our influence, we find resources within ourselves. And our partners give us additional resources in order to focus on the preservation of monuments,” Karandieiev adds.
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