Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) condemns the invasion of Ukraine and calls on Russia to respect the 1954 Hague Convention and the right of Ukrainians to their history and cultural heritage.
CHwB is appalled by all the losses in human lives, people’s lives and homes that are smashed to pieces and everyone who is forced to flee.
CHwB is very concerned that Ukraine’s cultural heritage will be damaged and dispersed forever. Russia has ratified conventions for the protection of cultural heritage, in particular the UNESCO 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (‘The Hague Convention’) and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This means that in the event of a conflict, Russia has undertaken to protect cultural heritage.
However, the reports that reach us from within war-torn Ukraine are, on the contrary, that Russia is threatening and destroying cultural heritage. That Russia deliberately destroys Ukraine’s cultural heritage and wants to rewrite the country’s history is nothing short of a crime against all of humanity. We urge the Russian government to live up to its promises and respect the conventions and the right of Ukrainians to their history. Russia has a responsibility to protect and preserve Ukraine’s cultural heritage in this war situation.
CHwB will act to create awareness of Russia’s extrajudicial actions and that an orderly disposal of damaged cultural heritage will be planned.