Ukraine, Churches and Works of Art: Devastated Cultural Heritage in Satellite Imagery. watching

there war It kills miles of lives Ukraine Certainly not all that is spared the history of the country’s cultural heritage. Watchman Today’s reports on the satellite control of Ukraine focus not only on military equipment. Indeed, thousands of miles away from the fighting, an international group of archaeologists, historians, and technicians is coordinating another work of high-risk monitoring: the mounting losses in the landscape. cultural Ukraine.

Rape of women in Ukraine, for Russian soldiers “with the tacit consent of the authorities.” The complaint of the British NGO

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An impact study, published this month by the scientists’ lab at a museum in the US state of Virginia, reveals a grim truth. So far, traces of destruction have been monitored at 191 monuments and cultural sites. Most of the devastation caused by the invasion of Russian forces focused on Ukrainian memorials and houses of worship. 58 churches, mosques, temples, and cathedrals are listed, along with 111 memorial sites and nine public monuments. The war also saw an attack on two art sites, including the Mariupol Theatre, whose pictures have spread around the world, and an archaeological site. Violence directed against monuments and buildings may seem insignificant compared to the growing number of casualties and deaths inflicted on Ukrainian families, but for a country under a threatening neighbour, culture and heritage can play a crucial role. The 1954 Hague Convention also prohibits the intentional targeting of religious and cultural sites, although punishment for individual perpetrators is rare.
The Cultural Heritage Observation Laboratory, at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, is the center that coordinates and records endangered monuments. The network was created last year in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Cultural Rescue Initiative, which was established after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and works to train curators around the world in conflict response.

News of any affected site immediately returns to Ukraine in the event that the damage to the artifacts can be reduced, or at least documented on the ground. Several vaults containing Byzantine icons and Shiite gold have been moved inside Ukrainian museums. Valuable artworks were hidden in cellars or secretly transferred to supporting foreign museums. Other national groups are guarded by guardians who are now armed and ready to fend off thieves.

The operation in Virginia draws on the expertise of American and European curators and is led by archaeologist Hayden Bassett. “It’s a 24/7 operation,” Brian Daniels, an anthropologist working with the team in Virginia, recently told the Washington Post, and said the rate of attacks has increased dramatically since the report was published. “The violence is now focused on civilian infrastructure, which means museums and cultural heritage are being targeted through a scorched-earth strategy,” he explained to the Observer.

The 26,000 cultural sites examined by the lab this month through a combination of remote sensing, open source research and satellite imagery, include Ukraine’s seven World Heritage Sites. The most famous of these is St. Sophia Cathedral with its still intact Kyiv golden dome. Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture has also urged witnesses to submit photos to its cultural crimes website, Culturecrimes.mkip.gov.ua, so that verified evidence can be sent to the International Criminal Court.

The lab’s new Impact Report defined cultural heritage broadly, covering historical places, sites, and monuments, but not libraries and archives. “Potential impact” detected refers to an indication of potential damage based on remote sensing methods. Other minor effects may not be visible to geospatial technology. The Russian-controlled regions of Donbas and Crimea were one of the first concerns, according to Damian Korobekij, a senior analyst, who found evidence that ruins destroyed there are being replaced with new ones that support the Russian version of the regions’ heritage.
“We adopt old projects remotely, of course. But it’s definitely very important to me. Believing we can make a difference here is very important,” Kurobikej said last.

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