Russia’s ongoing military campaign against Ukraine causes progressively more damage in all walks of life, including cultural heritage. Monuments, archaeological sites, museums, archives, industrial heritage complexes, old and new residential districts, urban spaces, all part of local, national, European, and world heritage, are being destroyed in Ukraine. The Hague Convention and the related protocols contain specific measures on how to deal with cultural property in war, but heritage is so much more: it is how individuals and communities connect to, feel about, and identify with these sites. Heritage is all those assets from the past that people value and care for in the present, to be able to pass it on to their children for generations to come. When heritage is destroyed, the cohesion and future of the communities is destroyed. CEU CHSP invited three experts in various aspects of cultural heritage to discuss how the ongoing war impacts heritage in Ukraine, what role the politics of heritage and memory plays in the present conflict, and how heritage, heritage experts, and heritage organizations can contribute to a peaceful future.
Sofia Dyak is a historian and sociologist, director of the Center for Urban History in Lviv, Ukraine. Her research focuses on post-war urban recovery and transformation in Eastern Europe, heritage infrastructures and practices in socialist cities, and their legacies.
Kateryna Busol is a Ukrainian lawyer specialising in international human rights, humanitarian, criminal law, transitional justice, gender and cultural heritage protection.
Cornelius Holtorf is Professor of Archaeology and holds a UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden.