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Protection and restoration of Ukrainian cultural heritage debated at CEI PD General Committee on Cultural Affairs in Łańcut, Poland

Parliamentary delegations from CEI countries gathered in Łańcut, Poland on 3-4 July for their meeting of the General Committee on Cultural Affairs of the CEI Parliamentary Dimension. As a follow-up of the discussions held in Krakow in September 2022, the meeting focused on the protection and restoration of Ukrainian cultural heritage destroyed as a consequence of the Russian aggression; and was opened by Tomasz Głogowski, Head of the Polish Parliamentary Delegation to the CEI and Chair of the GC on Cultural Affairs, and Ivana Holoubková, CEI Deputy Secretary General

Several experts representing Polish local communities and cultural institutions reported on the activities carried out in the field of preservation and restoration of cultural heritage in Ukraine. They highlighted some best practices in terms of expertise exchange and financial commitments as well as cooperation at the level of local communities in Poland and Ukraine. The experience of Poland with the reconstruction and rebuilding of cities and historical monuments destroyed during the World War II was also presented.

All Parliamentary delegations actively contributed to the debate by introducing activities in support of Ukraine. They stressed the importance of cooperation both at governmental and local level,  and with the involvement of competent organisations such as UNESCO, regarding issues such as digitalisation, archiving, technical assistance, illegal trafficking of cultural goods, educational activities, professional training. Regional cooperation promoted in the framework of the CEI was referred to as an asset for raising awareness, but also for enhancing the role of local communities and cultural institutions.

The Ukrainian representatives provided comprehensive information about the damages to cultural heritage sites since the beginning of the Russian’s aggression and some of the actions carried out so far. Among the various matters where intervention is required, they underlined the need for developing a building code and urban planning legislation closer to the EU standards. To this end, an exchange of best practices among the CEI countries could be explored.

The programme of the meeting included visits to Markowa, Łańcut and Rzeszow which provided an insight into the territory and its history, including refences to the present time considering the vicinity to the Ukrainian border.

Participants also had the chance to see the moving documentary “Erase the Nation”, directed by Tomasz Grzwaczewski.

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