The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage
Genoese fortress in Sudak. Photo by Victoria Bouquet
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The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage

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At the outset, it should be noted that the author evaluates the current system of cultural heritage protection as evidence of a deep institutional crisis in an important part of the state’s cultural policy. Despite the fact that the basic principles of protection of cultural heritage are fixed in 1996 in the Constitution of Ukraine: “Cultural heritage is protected by law” (Part 4 of Article 54); “The state ensures the preservation of historical monuments and other objects of cultural value…” (Part 5 of Article 54); “Everyone is obliged not to harm nature, cultural heritage, to compensate for the damage caused by him” (Article 66). And back in 2000, the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Cultural Heritage” was adopted, which provided for the creation of specially authorized bodies for the protection of cultural heritage.

The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage
The settlement of the ancient city of Mirmekiy in Kerch

In 2002, a relevant governmental body was established – the State Service for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (then – the State Service for National Cultural Heritage, hereinafter – the State Cultural Heritage), whose activities were directed by the Ministry of Culture and Arts (then the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Culture). in particular, part of the powers in the field of preservation of architectural heritage, which previously belonged to the competence of the Ministry of Regional Development, were transferred. Until 2011, the State Cult Heritage dealt with issues of architecture, urban planning, archeology, history, underwater heritage, historical burials, commemorations of Holodomor victims, etc. The functions of the State Cult Heritage included the maintenance of the State Register of Monuments of All Kinds. The powers of the State Cultural Heritage included the approval of restoration tasks,approval of the provision of land for construction, issuance of permits for restoration work, approval of protection zones of architectural monuments, approval of project documentation for the restoration of architectural monuments and urban planning throughout Ukraine, as well as a number of other tasks.

However, for a decade after the adoption of this law, the establishment of the management system was not completed in accordance with its provisions. In fact, the implementation of the law was blocked in government agencies. This is eloquently evidenced by the discussion in 2008-2009 between the then heads of the two ministries on the issue of delimitation of powers in the field of cultural heritage protection, which was discussed at a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Culture and Spirituality on January 21, 2009.

It was a question of delimitation of powers in the field of protection of cultural heritage between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MKT) and the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction (Minregionstroy) concerning protection and preservation of objects of architectural and town-planning heritage.

The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage
The house on Ivan Franko Street, where the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine was located

The position of the ICC, expressed at this meeting in the consideration of powers, was as follows:
first, among the objects of architectural and urban heritage there are many objects that are both monuments of history and archeology;
secondly, the powers of the Ministry of Regional Development and the ICC are clearly delineated in accordance with the competence and additional regulations do not require, which can be clearly seen at the level of laws and regulations that justifiably establish for the ICC the status of for the implementation of state policy in this area, and for the Ministry of Regional Development – the status of the central executive body, which is tasked with technical regulation of issues related to ensuring the preservation of cultural heritage sites.

The position of the Ministry of Regional Development was based on the separation of historical and archeological monuments from monuments of architecture, urban planning and landscape art and, accordingly, the deconcentration of the management structure of various types of cultural heritage monuments.

The arguments put forward by the Ministry of Regional Development in favor of further maintaining the decentralization of public administration in the field of cultural heritage protection were partly the basis for subsequent legislative changes, especially in the wording of Law № 5461-VI of 16.10.2012 and a number of other acts that led to today’s disappointing state of the cultural heritage protection system and unbalanced the regulatory framework.

In this regard, it is worth comparing the system of specially authorized bodies provided for in the original version of these provisions in the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Cultural Heritage” and the current version:

Law № 1805-III of June 8, 2000
Article 3. Governing bodies in the field of cultural heritage protection.
1. Public administration in the field of cultural heritage protection is entrusted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, specially authorized bodies for cultural heritage protection.
The specially authorized bodies for the protection of cultural heritage (hereinafter – the bodies for the protection of cultural heritage) include: the
central executive body in the field of protection of cultural heritage;
body for protection of cultural heritage of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
bodies of protection of cultural heritage of regional, Kyiv and Sevastopol city, district state administrations;
bodies of protection of cultural heritage of local self-government.

Edition of the Law № 5461-VI of 16.10.2012
Article 3. Public administration in the field of cultural heritage protection.
1. Public administration in the field of cultural heritage protection is entrusted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, specially authorized bodies for cultural heritage protection.
The specially authorized bodies for the protection of cultural heritage (hereinafter – the bodies for the protection of cultural heritage) include:
central executive bodies that ensure the formation and implementation of state policy in the field of cultural heritage protection;

executive body of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
oblast, rayon, Kyiv and Sevastopol city state administrations;
executive body of village, settlement, city council.

The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage
Excerpts from the Laws in the field of protection of cultural heritage of Ukraine

Today there is no government body (State Cultural Heritage was liquidated in 2011). Local executive bodies are not very interested in creating, in turn, appropriate regional bodies for the protection of cultural heritage, which would make it possible to create an integrated and effective system of bodies for the protection of cultural heritage.

Some actualization of the cultural heritage in the system of state policy, which has manifested itself since 2005, and the emergence of the relevant political situation among the business circles of the country has made it possible to implement significant monument protection measures in the last few years. However, there were also negative trends – inconsistent cultural policy led to negative consequences, partly due to voluntaristic decisions in the field of restoration and restoration of monuments, as well as insufficient attention to the adaptation of historical and cultural complexes to modern cultural needs and functioning of monuments. in a market economy.

The loss of control in the sphere after the liquidation of the government body was especially evident in the history with the development, approval and subsequent revocation of the act on the historical and architectural reference plan of the city of Kyiv, which is an integral part of the Master Plan. By the way, the Ministry of Culture categorically denied such actions by a letter from the ICOMOS National Committee. Against this background, a completely new genre of business correspondence, invented in the depths of the Ministry of Culture, seems to be innocent.

The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage
Genoese fortress in Sudak. Photo by Victoria Bouquet

An even more illustrative example of the organizational failure of the central executive body in the field of cultural heritage protection is the situation with the formation of the State Register of Immovable Monuments. Cultural heritage sites are entered in the State Register of Immovable Monuments of Ukraine by decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine – for objects of national importance or by decision of the relevant central executive body in the field of cultural heritage protection – for local objects.

And here is an obvious institutional catastrophe due to the lack of a register or at least statistics of state losses in the annexed territory of the Crimean peninsula or in some occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The formation of the State Register of Immovable Monuments is almost non-existent – as of October 2017, 9,134 monuments were entered in the State Register, of which 907 monuments of national importance and 8,226 monuments of local significance.

But the dynamics is significant, because by March 2010 the State Register of Immovable Monuments already had 748 monuments of national importance.

From March 2010 to February 20, 2014, under the Yanukovych regime, 146 monuments of national importance were added to the State Register.

After the Maidan for the same period – almost 4 years – as many as 14 monuments of national importance! In 2018, another 8 were added. And recently, on May 23, 2019 – another 50. Together in 5 years – 72, which is twice less than during the period of Azarov’s presidency.

And as many as 97 monuments of local significance, although here the procedure is simpler – only the order of the ministry, subject to the submission of the relevant regional state administration.

The current state of the system of protection of national cultural heritage
Information on the number of monuments of cultural heritage of Ukraine

The loss of institutional memory was disastrous for the case – ten years ago the Ministry of Culture and Tourism operated on the data of the State Cultural Heritage (the table is attached). Now contradictory data are given from walls of department. The Ministry of Culture lacks the necessary human resources, managerial and practical experience required for proper professional review of relevant documentation, addressing methodological issues, coordination of activities in the field of cultural heritage preservation.

And finally. The development of monument protection is also hampered by the unresolved status and industry, and specialists – in the relevant state classifiers there is no trace of the field of “cultural heritage protection”, there are no relevant categories of professions, such as architect-restorer, which in turn hinders the development of training , retraining and advanced training of personnel for scientific, design and production activities in the field of cultural heritage protection. But the worst thing is that the once developed infrastructure of research, design, restoration, rehabilitation and other organizations in this field is degrading.

Obviously, the problems have not arisen in recent years or months. The cause of the crisis lies in the shortcomings of state cultural policy, and hence in the contradictory, anachronistic legal regulation today. These problems must be solved immediately in conjunction with the regulation of museum affairs, control over the movement of cultural values ​​across the state border of Ukraine, ie with the whole array of problems of legislative regulation of cultural heritage – both immovable and movable. Obviously, this is a task for the development of the draft “Code of Laws on Cultural Heritage”.

Mykola YAKOVYNA, Chairman of the Board of the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, President of the Ukrainian National Committee ICOMOS (2007-2016)

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The project was implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

Mikola Yakovina

Honorary President of the Ukrainian National Committee ICOMOS, Expert on Cultural Heritage of Ukraine

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