04 March 2016

Attempts by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to make the leadership of the National Reserve Saint Sophia Cathedral of Kyiv conclude an agreement with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate for the free use of the national architectural monument – the Refectory (Malaya Sofiya) - will jeopardize the existence of an integral site and will lead to its losing its status as a UNESCO world heritage site, thinks Vadym Novynskyi, an MP and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Culture and Spirituality.

This decision was put forward by the Ministry of Culture completely disregarding public opinion, representatives and experts from the professional community, as well as the representative office of UNESCO in Ukraine and other international organizations responsible for the protection of monuments and cultural heritage.

The MP noted that such actions by public officials not only deepened the rift in Ukrainian society, but also inflicted another blow on the international image and reputation of Ukraine. Such decisions are the grossest violation of Ukraine's commitments undertaken within the framework of the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites as well as other international legal instruments." Apparently, today the Ministry has exerted direct pressure on the management of the conservation site so that it has approved and entered into this agreement," said Novynskyi. The MP added that he would have to raise the issue at the next session of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Culture and Spirituality.

On his Facebook Page Vadym Novynskyi https://www.facebook.com/novynskyi urged his readers to support the e-petition posted on the official website of the President of Ukraine, "On prevention of transfer of the national architectural monument, Refectory (Malaya Sofiya), of the National Reserve "Sofiya Kyivska" to the UOC-KP for use".

All related news