The expert said that the main requirements of the UNESCO are the identity and integrity of the church, as well as the authenticity of the materials of the building. UNESCO also wants the historical landscape to be saved, including vegetation, and, finally, for the state to take care of the monument.

"If we recollect that in 20 years of independence of Ukraine the state has allocated no money to save wooden churches, than a conclusion arises itself. There should be an individual state program with definite financing," Slobodian said.

He said that the procedure for getting onto the UNESCO list is rather complex.

"There has to be a prior application. There are the description of eight of our monuments, general information, and arguments supporting the selection of the [monuments]," he added.


"Now our group is working on a large Ukrainian-Polish presentation. There are detailed descriptions of each church, its territory, a full history of the church and a short [history] of their location. There are also photos, plans, maps, measurements, archives, state documents on its inclusion on the list of monuments and more. A very important issue is how the state is going to take care of the monument, what work has to be done and who will pay for it. [People] falsely think that UNESCO has to provide funds to save the monuments. This organization never allocates any funds. Another document required by the organizers is a description of the object’s tourist attractiveness, [a description] of how to get there and information about overnight accommodation. There are a lot of requirements," the researcher said.

As the expert noted, Kyiv is responsible for the next stage of the procedure.

"The presentation is to be signed by Culture Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister. At the same time, a common presentation has to be done by one of the states. We agreed with Poles that Ukraine would do this because we have just three sites that are included on the UNESCO list. Only Moldova has fewer [sites], only one", Slobodian said.


He also said the presentation might be finished by the end of September, and in January it will be in the headquarters of UNESCO, whose specialists are to reach a decision within a year.

Only in the middle of 2013 could the wooden Ukrainian churches be put on the UNESCO list.

Asked, "How many Ukrainian monuments could be included on the UNESCO list?" Slobodian said: "It’s difficult to say. This year the Metropolitan Chambers in Chernivtsi were finally included on the list [of UNESCO]. The old parts of the Kamianets Podilsky and Odesa also have a chance [to be put on the list]. The corresponding prior presentations were done a very long time ago. But these cities are not doing anything except voicing their intentions."

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