"Over the first two years of occupation, the Russian Federation fully appropriated all the cultural heritage sites of Ukraine which were located in the temporarily occupied territory. In fact, they account for more than one-tenth of all sites registered in Ukraine," Anastasiya Martynovska, head of the Regional Center for Human Rights, said at the presentation of the report entitled "Human rights situation in Crimea for seven years of occupation", which took place at Ukrinform agency on June 15.
According to her, there are three main types of violations related to the preservation of cultural heritage. The first one is relocation and illegal removal of cultural artefacts from the Crimean Peninsula.
The second type is illegal archaeological excavations. In particular, during the construction of the Tavrida highway by the occupiers, the discovery of nine archaeological artefacts of different epochs was officially recorded. But due to limited time, the research was not high-quality and effective, so the monuments were damaged or not fully identified. And we will no longer have access to this part of our history because of the highway construction in these areas, the human rights activist stressed.
She also pointed out the third type – restoration works.
"One of the brightest examples was the restoration works in the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve. Due to the fact that the contractor had no experience in carrying out such work, irreparable damage was caused to the only surviving example of Crimean Tatar palace architecture," Martynovska said.
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