Culture News Society, 07/09/2017

To Save or Not to Save. Protecting Kharkiv Architectural Heritage

Yesterday, representatives of non-governmental organizations presented the new project “Ctrl + S, Protecting the Future.” 

The project was launched in August 2017; it aims to preserve historical and architectural monuments in Kharkiv and combines joined efforts of several NGOs – Kharkiv with you Charitable Foundation, Kharkiv Anticorruption center, Urban forms center and Nakipelo media project.

The project addresses the problem of frauds and corruption in the decision-making at historical monuments protection. The participants are going to find out reasons why the architectural monuments have been ruined or fallen into disrepair, not only in Kharkiv but also in Kyiv, Dnipro, Uzhgorod, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. The documentary will be made during the investigation.

“We welcome the changes in the city space, of course. But we must keep its ‘spirit,’ its historical image. We must preserve the heritage which we have inherited,” initiator and project coordinator Olena Rofe-Beketova stated. According to the activist, the law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, which prohibits ruining, changing, and moving the historical monuments, is regularly violated due to the corruption of officials.

The activists point out that “as far as cultural monuments, which are sites of attraction for tourists, have been ruined not only in Kharkiv but in other cities as well, the problem should be regarded as the systemic one.” And the reasons for such an appalling situation should be found soon due to their thorough investigation.

Interviews with the experts, activists and officials which were held during this investigation will be the basis of “To Save or Not to Save” documentary about more than 100 historic buildings and locations being threatened with extinction.

The film director Pavlo Syromenko informs that the documentary will reveal the tourist value of Ukraine and assess the damage for the country’s image due to ruined historical sites.

The activists are not only going to make a documentary, but they are also planning to collect the documents to prepare proper amendments to the law of Ukraine on Protection of the Cultural Heritage. The results of the project work will be presented in April 2018.

Also, creating national civic networking for the heritage protection is expected to be the project’s result.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photos: Nakipelo, Olena Sokolynska