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Foundation of the Tithe Church (Kyiv, Ukriane)

Author Tetiii
#1 | Posted: 17 Apr 2013 03:42 | Edited by: Tetiii 
Hello everyone. My name is Tetiana, and I am a journalist of the cultural department of the municipal newspaper "Evening Kyiv" (Ukraine).

A difficult situation in Kyiv has occurred today around one of the largest historical monuments of Ukraine and Kyiv - Foundation of the Tithe Church, first built in the year 996. It was the first church built of stone on the territory of ancient Rus'. The church was destroyed later in 1240, then rebuilt in 1842 and demolished by the Soviet authorities in 1928.

For a long time there have been talks about restoring the church in the same place. The proposed plan of reconstruction also includes museumification of the preserved ancient foundation. Restoring the church as an important historical and religious building has many supporters, but, at the same time, many argue that there is lacking information on the appearance and structure of the original church, to reliably restore its original appearance.

Unfortunately, the debate has gradually shifted to the political level, and each party chooses more convenient arguments both for and against the reconstruction. I would like to ask for your assistance in providing authoritative opinion and help us objectively deal with the situation without relying on local experts, many of whom are interested parties in the dispute.

I would be very grateful if someone could provide a competent opinion on this matter, or share contacts of authoritative experts who can provide an independent assessment of the situation.

Thank you

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 17 Apr 2013 04:04 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I would be very grateful if someone could provide a competent opinion on this matter, or share contacts of authoritative experts who can provide an independent assessment of the situation.

Hi Tetiana,
I am not sure if any of us who contribute to this Web site would claim to be "competent" on these matters - interested - yes; knowledgeable - well more than your average person probably, but, speaking personally, not "professionally"!

I would start with ICOMOS which is the body used by UNESCO to adjudge Cultural nominations for World Heritage. They do far more than just act in this role for UNESCO and are involved in the protection and preservation of monuments worldwide.

There is a National Committee of this organisation in Ukraine see -
I cannot speak for whether this Committee escapes or is tarnished by the sort of political views of which you talk - but, through them, you should be able to gain access to International papers and experts - But I would find it amazing if they were not already involved in this matter. A few links

You might also find it of interest to follow up on the subject of Bagrati Cathedral in another ex-Soviet "province" - Georgia. This IS a World Heritage Site and Georgia (or elements within that country) decided that it should be restored. ICOMOS/UNESCO have not been exactly pleased with the result! Here are a couple of links to start with - -on-medieval-cathedrawl/

The UNESCO inscribed city of Yaroslavl has also been involved in rebuilding religiuos buildings destroyed during the Soviet era. The project was pushed trough by a local "oligarch" who happened to be in the construction business!! Look up "Dormition Cathedral Yaroslavl"

As you may be beginning to appreciate, on these matters there is unlikely to be a single opinion even among experts!!

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 18 Apr 2013 04:22 
"WHS followers" might be interested in the relationship between this subject - the possible reconstruction of the Tithe Church in Kiev - with the existing inscribed site "Kiev: Saint Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra"

In 2010 and 2012 Ukraine proposed an extension to this site to include Saint Cyril's Church and Saint Andrew's Church. On both occasions this nomination was deferred by the WHC for management and protection reasons - including worries about nearby reconstructions and control in buffer zones (though the Tithe Church wasn't specifically mentioned)

The arguments against reconstruction of the tithe Church cover issues about damage to the historic foundations and to the general archaeological fabric of the area but also cite the impact on the nearby St Andrews Church - it would seem therefore that, if this reconstruction were to proceed it would damage/prevent the planned extension of the current WHS. See this article from 2005

Going back to the original note in this thread - the above article, which refers to Ukraine's international commitments regarding treaties concerned with preservation. would seem to make it inconceivable that the national ICOMOS Committee of Ukraine hasn't been/isn't involved in this issue.

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 Foundation of the Tithe Church (Kyiv, Ukriane)

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