2023-01-25 22:56:32

Ukraine's Odesa designated Unesco World Heritage site

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BBC

By Alys Davies

BBC News

The historic centre of the Ukrainian port city of Odesa has been designated an endangered World Heritage site by the United Nations cultural agency, despite Russian opposition.

Unesco said its decision recognised "the outstanding universal value" of the site.

But Russia criticised the move, saying it was "politically motivated".

Known as the pearl of the Black Sea, Odesa has been bombed several times since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Last year, residents rushed to protect the city's monuments and buildings by covering them in sandbags.

Speaking after the vote, Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay said the city's designation as a World Heritage site was an important step.

"There was first a symbolic aspect which is that of saying this city belongs to the world heritage, it concerns us all, we are all looking at it, we all see it and we recognise its history and its contribution to the heritage," she said. "That's already an important symbolic aspect."

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