Start page

Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

Personal site


General summary


Unstable balance

Basic law of monuments protection

Sources of problems

What is absent

No monuments from the UNESCO list

No candidates for the UNESCO list

No faces on banknotes

The political trend of registry

Summa summarum

Unstable balance

So, after the list of 2001, Ukraine has 655 monuments of national importance; during preparation register 2009 118 possible sites were excluded from old list and 207 new monuments included. In 2009 the registry contain 744 sites of national importance (see diagram below).

Distribution of the number of sites in…

Distribution of the number of sites in 2001 and 2009 by regions

Diagram as diagram: in some areas the number of sites regions, in some – increased… Average temperature over the hospital may be considered reasonable… (Note that Kyiv data had to be deleted from the chart, because the number of sites in Kyiv is 4 times higher than the richest region, so at the background of these "mountains of Kiev" data other areas look just trivial…)

Quite different and much more interesting picture appears, if we subtract from the figures of 2009 the ones of 2001:

The difference among the monuments in…

The difference among the monuments in 2001 and 2009 by regions

First, the total growth to 89 sites to be presented as

 89 [total growth] = 90 [growth in Kyiv] -
1 [growth in the rest of Ukraine];

All increase the number of sites given alone Kyiv; the remaining 26 administrative units of the state yielded no growth of sites, as an overall reduction of 1 site.

Second, the total number of 27 administrative units the number of sites have increased only in 11 and the remaining 16 units show decreasing the number of attractions.

Thus, despite the list growth at 14%, the general trend should outline as reducing the number of sites or at least as unstable balance of opposing tendencies.

Basic law of monuments protection

Another [not?] expected feature appeared when studying the amount of penalty points depending on the number of sites (following chart).

The amount of penalty points increases…

The amount of penalty points increases with increasing number of sites

Thus, the basic law of monuments protection (outlined in the chart in red) is formulated as follows:

 Many places – many problems;
 no places – no problems;

My mother Kirovograd region have most radically benefited by this law, leaving only 5 sites in the list. As a result, it ranks first in the fight for quality, having received only two penalty points. Instead, Kyiv received 180 penalty points and stay in last place by this indicator.

But if one worked best in Kyiv with Kirovograd method and left on the list only the grave of communist Gauleiter V. Shcherbytsky and house, where he distinguished party leader and Soviet Lazar Kaganovich worked, then Kyiv could take first place.

Sources of problems

Thus, the main source of problems related to accounting sites is the very existence of sites (if they were not, there would be no problems).

A more detailed review by the proposed classes of errors (following chart) shows the new surprises.

The number of sites with errors of…

The number of sites with errors of certain classes, %

From the total number of comments made by me – 603 – as much as 84% accounted for problems with dating sites (219 formal dates and 229 wrong dates). Trouble befell our sights account just on the place where no one could expect for: since every monument of national importance have passport, which contains specific dates. If the authors of list gave of work to collate data from passports, most comments have disappeared. If…

The number of penalty points from…

The number of penalty points from certain classes of errors, %

Andrew Melensky's (first Kyiv…

Andrew Melensky's (first Kyiv architect) house. Left – the sunlit facade on the Khoreva street, right – shaded facade on the Kostjantynivska street. Photo by M.I.Zharkikh, November 9, 2008

The same picture appears if we consider errors in their value. On the wrong date falls 74% of all penalty points.

When I started writing an article in November 2009, the threat to monuments resulting from inaccurate documentation seems me purely theoretical. Now, in January 2011, the situation has changed.

Now smart people decided to rebuild the building at Kostjantynivska st., 11 (Kyiv), referring to that the historic building under the protection situated at Khoreva st., 11. Actually this unhappy house is located at Kostjantynivska st., 11 / Khoreva st., 11, and this accidental coincidence numbers of buildings (+ inaccuracy in the protection documentation) was the reason for its destruction.

So I repeat: every mistake in the protection documentation can be used to bear the conservation status of the object, and a large number of documentation errors makes this practically useless.

Composition of the information in the registry (set of fields in the list) remained as in the earliest lists of sites that are dated 1950th. This information is quite insufficient: UNESCO now requires that each monument, submitted to the UNESCO list, had a defined geographic coordinates, area, the exact geodesic plan of the monuments and protected area. And why not provide this information? Is it a monument of national importance to us cost less than the interest from the list of UNESCO?

Why no official Internet site of passports monuments? By law, these passports are not secret, and fit for the budget – where the same results? When we see the impact of those funds that are laid annually in the state budget for certification monuments?

What is absent

Of course, the statistical summary in such a case as monuments protection, outline some features of the phenomenon and diminish the other (remember back in the hospital averaged temperature). Quality in this case strongly dominates quantity, two hundred mounds of "national importance" does not outweigh a St.Sophia cathedral.

So let us view to register in terms of quality of the monuments in it.

No monuments from the UNESCO list

Ukraine is very poor in monuments of global value (ie, sites listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List). Here are some sample data:

The relative richness of the monuments of UNESCO (data after )

Country Population, million Monuments in the UNESCO list Monuments / million inhabitants
Czech Republic 10.3 12 1.17
Belgium 10.2 10 0.98
Austria 8.3 8 0.96
Bolivia 7.95 5 0.63
Algeria 35.2 7 0.2
Burkina Faso 8.5 1 0.12
Ghana 23.5 2 0,085
Ukraine 46 3 0,065

The average European nation has a 1 monument of UNESCO per 1 million inhabitants. In other parts of the world they are naturally less, but I have not found a country where they were so little (so pathetically little!), as in Ukraine. These ancient, highly cultural and civilized country like Burkina Faso and Algeria, far ahead of us. And we? What are we, we had just recantly baptized, and even full two thousand years has not passed…

But the fact that we had only a few world's attractions, in no way prevent neglecting to them:

Attractions (the official name of UNESCO) The presence in the registry 2009
Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra -
L'viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre -
Struve Geodetic Arc +

In the list of UNESCO Sophia Cathedral and Kyiv Pechersk Lavra are regarded as one object. I think it's a bureaucratic misunderstanding, which long ago should be corrected by dividing them into two objects, but our state does nothing for that by decades (it is not asking to eat).

We see that from 4 world attractions three are not in the list, ie 75%. But the three geographic poles, which are listed for state protection, not equal in value to hundreds of first-class attractions that are covered by three specified positions.

By the way, I was looking carefully at our "global-value" monuments, by nowhere and never saw the information tables that would explain the significance of world heritage monument. I do not know is the case with such boards in Burkina Faso, but everywhere in Poland not only near the monuments, but also on the roads placed panels – if you move here, you can see the monument of world heritage. And what such a sign means? Is it in a this way Ukraine prepares for what its expelling from the world list?

No candidates for the UNESCO list

Also bad is the situation with Ukrainian monuments – candidates to the list of UNESCO:

Ukrainian monuments – candidates to the UNESCO list (data after )

Attractions (the official name of UNESCO) Date of application The presence in the registry 2009
Archaeological Site "Stone Tomb" 11/08/2006 +
Astronomical Observatories of Ukraine 30/01/2008 -
Bagcesaray Palace of the Crimean Khans 07/07/2003 -
Complex of the Sudak Fortress Monuments of the 6th – 16th c. 12/03/2007 -
Cultural Landscape of Canyon in Kamenets-Podilsk 13/09/1989 -
Dendrological Park "Sofijivka" 20/06/2000 -
Historic Center of the Port City of Odessa 06/01/2009 -
Historic Centre of Tchernigov, 9th – 13th centuries 13/09/1989 -
Kyiv: Saint Sophia Cathedral with Related Monastic Buildings, St. Cyril's and St. Andrew's Churches, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (extension of Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra) 26/01/2009 - (St. Cyril's Church)
26/01/2009 - (St. Andrew's Church)
Mykolayiv Astronomical Observatory 12/03/2007 -
Ruins of Ancient City of Khersoness, 4th B.C. – 12th century 13/09/1989 +
Tarass Shevtchenko Tomb and State Historical and Natural Museum – Reserve 13/09/1989 +
The Residence of Bukovynian Metropolitans 11/06/2007 -
Trading Posts and Fortifications on Genoese Trade Routes. From the Mediterranean to the Black Sea 16/09/2010 - (Sudak)
- Caffa (Feodosia)
- (Balaklava)
Wooden Tserkvas (Churches) of Carpathian Region in Ukraine and Poland 28/01/2010 - (Church sv.Trinity in Zhovkva)
- (St. George Church in Drogobych)
- (Church st.Demetrius in Matkiv)
- (Holy Spirit Church in Rohatyn)
- (Church of Nativity of the Virgin in Verbizh)
- (Church st.Michail in Uzhok)
- (Church of the Ascension in Jasinja)

Apparently, from the 24 candidate sites (according to registry, 2009) our state agreed to take care of just 3 items. 87% of sites that have held nominating process, are not under state protection.

I do not know about this to be sad or happy. List of candidates is chaotic and helpless, it is evidently have not only the Ukrainian state idea, but in general any ideas.

Is Mykolayiv astronomical observatory not absorbed by nomination "Astronomical Observatory of the Ukraine"? Why Sudak Fortress is not a part of the nomination "Genoese trading routes"? In this latest nomination from Ukraine included only Sudak and are not included Caffa (Feodosia) and Cembalo (Balaklava). This shows a complete lack of expertise in the authors of the "woe-nomination" because for Genoese Caffa weighed up to 100 times more than the Sudak.

By the way, "Astronomical Observatories of Ukraine" (with Mykolayiv or without – all the same) – also a fine anti-professionalism example of grief-authors of the "sights". Astronomy in Ukraine, of course, exist, but never did any contribution to world science. For the theme "Science in Ukraine" it would better nominate Kyiv University, building of the Presidium of National Academy of Sciences in Kiev and buildings of Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv. They weigh for Ukraine 1000 times more than all its astronomical observatories together (with Mykolayiv or without it).

Nomination "Cultural landscape of canyon in Kamenets-Podolsk" – shameful for Ukraine helplessness. In the canyon there is no cultural landscape than landfills that pour down from the plateau. Everything what Kamenets glorified, situated on a plateau, not in the canyon. Is it well to promote on the universal significance of trash piles instead of the Old castle and church ensembles of Old Town?

Nomination "Carpathian Wooden Church" has a distinctly local, rather than state in nature. Nominate for world significance must be "Wooden Churches of Ukraine" with the obligatory inclusion of the cathedral in Novomoskovsk, churches in Sedniv, Berislav and representatives (2 churches) from Kyiv region, Podolia, Volyn and Bukovina (and of course, those seven churches are listed, which I would add another old churchs in the Stara Sil and Kolodne). In such a nomination would show the entire diversity of ukrainian wooden churches, wooden church would show not as a local Carpathian phenomenon, but as a national cultural forms. The state mind, where you are, hey!

In contrast to the interesting but not unique St. Andrew's Church (in Europe there is no city or town where there would be at least one church in rococo) – among the candidates we absolutely do not see sights of ukrainian Baroque, that is exactly what most remarkable that created by ukrainian people and what really is not exists in any other country (including Burkina Faso). Why not promoted Vydubytsky, Gustynsky monasteries, baroque churches of Nizhyn, Pryluky, Sumy, Kharkiv, Izjum? To poke a UNESCO an observatory unique by its four walls and forget about these monuments – is this a sign of state approach?

No faces on banknotes

Ukrainian banknotes bearing the image of our greatest leaders. Of course, just missing the 1000 Hryvnia banknote with the portrait of Stepan Bandera, but it can still be correct. How accounted the sights of these figures?

(Full list given in the Ukrainian version.)

The list of monuments, outlined above, is very indicative. To make it, one have knowledge in history within the school curriculum. It easily can be (and should be!) doubled or tripled. Each village, where stayed one of these figures should be proud that here was President or hetman.

Displaying the most prominent figures of Ukraine
in the monuments of meaning significance

Leader Number of valuable sites (approximately) Of those in the registry 2009 % representation in the registry
Prince Volodymyr the Great 2 1 50
Prince Yaroslav the Wise 1 0 0
Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky 16 3 19
Hetman Ivan Mazepa 7 0.5 7
Writer Ivan Franko 6 3 50
President of Ukraine Mykhajlo Hrushevsky 8 2.5 31
Taras Shevchenko 8 3 38
Poetess Lesja Ukrainka 9 4 44
Philosopher Gregory Skovoroda 4 2.5 63
Together 61 19.5 32

Thus, even the most famous sights of most valuable figures presented in the register only one third. Ukrainian easier access to the kingdom of heaven than a monument – to the State Register!

The political trend of registry

From the previous section can be concluded that the political trend of registry is anti-Ukrainian. But it's not quite true. The political trend of registry is very simple and it is absence of any political trends.

In fact, try to search:

anti-Ukrainian trend confirmed by exclusion of the home of Taras Shevchenko, but denied by the presence of his tomb in Kaniv;

anti-Russian trend confirmed by exclusion the Admiralty Vladimir Cathedral in Sevastopol, but denied by the presence of Pushkin and Bulgakov;

anti-Jewish trend observed in the absence of names of Zionist Zhabotinsky and Nobel Laureate Landau, but denied by the presence of Baal Shem Tov Hassids and Babi Yar;

anti-Polish trend observed in the absence of names hetmans Zolkiewski and Koniecpolski, but denied by the presence of Adam Mickiewicz;

anti-Soviet trend observed in the absence of names Marshal Brezhnev and Gauleiter Shelest, but denied the presence of names Gauleiter Shcherbytsky and Artem;

anti-European trend observed in the absence of names of Balzac and Hughes, but denied by the presence of John Howard;

So, against every trend authors charged counter-trend, making the registry came neither cold nor hot, but just a lukewarm, which God himself has threatened to throw out of his mouth (or already cast). Lay the straw in all places, the authors of registry protect themselves from any surprises. Whatever the occupier did come to dominate Ukraine, he will find this list a satisfactory or even excellent. That's just the case Ukrainian rule in Ukraine does not provide…

Ukrainian national idea, the Ukrainian state idea, which should serve as a theoretical basis for the list of monuments and will be its leading political trends, not even close to lying in the registers – both 2001 and 2009.

All work to compile the true list of national monuments (ukrainian national monuments) is ahead and register available here can serve perhaps as materials.

Summa summarum

Comparison of registries of monuments of national importance of 2001 and 2009 leads to the following conclusions:

1. The fact of a new register adoption is definitely positive and demonstrates the interest of public authorities to the problem of monuments.

2. An absolute positive feature of new registry is the absence of reserves (including reserves as administrative structures, not monuments to the register in 2001 was obvious error).

3. The good point is dramatically expansion the list of monuments of national importance in Kyiv (but this does not mean that there are no claims to Kyiv list).

Unfortunately, awarded positive points not enough to claim that the new registry improves the quality of accounting sites. There are very much weaknesses in it:

4. Registry does not contain any architectural monuments, which effectively deprived of any protection status. This deficiency greatly reduces Ukraine's contribution to world culture.

5. Registry does not contain sights on UNESCO World Heritage List. Now this issue has not yet become a subject of discussion at UNESCO, but this does not exclude the possible questions on this side.

6. The existing protection information in the registry replete with a mass of errors, which makes its practical application difficult. Composition of the information is very poor and not in line with modern world practice.

7. Registry have no Ukrainian state ideology that substantially interferes the use of monuments for the formation of Ukrainian patriotism, Ukrainian national memory and the Ukrainian national identity.

In my opinion, there are two reasons for current problems in accounting sights: the lack of Ukrainian state ideology and the lack of qualified specialists on monuments. Some value has insufficient funding (funding by itself, without appropriate training of professionals does not solve the problem) and longstanding interagency dispersion of sites administration (Preservation Act in 2000 tried to overcome this dispersion, but was complete failure).

In plain English, while sights stayed in charge of the pigs, we will look at gathering problems, raise our hands and repeated: "Well pigs? .. Well as you can from pigs require something not beastly? Pigs are not guilty…"

19 Jan 2011.