Two days of Claudia Roth, Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and the Media, in Odessa
German Minister of Culture and Mass Media Claudia Roth, who represents the Soyuz-90 / Greens party in the government, paid a two-day visit to Odessa. She is the first representative of the German federal government to visit Odessa after Russia’s war against Ukraine.
“I am confident that today, during the visit of your delegation to our legendary city, there will be an effective discussion of possible expansion of cooperation between Ukraine and Germany in the fields of culture, cultural heritage and information policy,” said the head of the Odessa Regional Military Administration Maxim Marchenko.
Before presenting unique and special objects of the cultural heritage of Odessa, the Head of Odessa MA briefed the German Minister of Culture and Media on the terrible consequences of strikes using missiles fired by the Russian army directly on the territory of Odessa and Odessa region.
During the visit, the delegation visited the Odessa Film Studio, the Odessa Regional Philharmonic, the Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, the Odessa National Scientific Library and laid flowers to the foundation stone of the memorial complex in memory of the October 1941 tragedy of mass extermination of Jews.
Claudia Roth has repeatedly advocated for Ukrainian artists who have taken refuge in Germany and support Ukrainian cultural institutions.
According to her, because of the war, Ukrainian cultural values are under threat of destruction, and with them, the cultural heritage of Europe.
“The war against culture is also a war against democracy. When culture is destroyed, democracy no longer has a voice. Therefore, speaking today about UNESCO, I promise you the support of the German government of Odessa’s application for the status of a world cultural heritage site. I would like to add that I will make every effort to convince my colleagues from other countries of the need to grant Odessa this status. It is very scary for us to realize that such a beautiful city and such open people are now in great danger due to a brutal war. And it is one thing to read about the war in Ukraine, and quite another to see it with your own eyes. Now I see that Putin is fighting against your culture, against your identity,” said Claudia Roth, Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and the Media.
Together with the Minister of culture of Ukraine, Oleksandr Tkacheko, they managed to discuss many important issues:
- inclusion of Odessa in the main list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, initiated by the ICIP and the city hall, and the full support of Germany in this process.
- in support of Ukrainian culture and certain cultural events and institutions – agreed to allocate funds to restore the Odessa Philharmonic.
- also agreed on financial support for digitalization and preservation of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.