As part of ongoing efforts to protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage Robinson Patman and Hogan Lovells teams have joined forces to apply to the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights Professor Alexandra Xanthaki.
The application refers to numerous abuses of Ukrainian cultural rights and distractions of cultural heritage caused by russian military aggression against Ukraine in breach of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter. The application was prepared on behalf of several Ukrainian museums, galleries and archives that suffered distraction and damages as a result of the russian aggression, including the National Literary and Memorial Museum of H.S. Skovoroda, the Odesa Fine Arts Museum, and the Galagan Art Museum in Chernihiv.
The main message to the Professor Xanthaki is to take action as the UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights and to highlight gross violations of cultural rights Ukraine is facing now. The Special Rapporteur’s interference may serve as a wakeup call up the international community on the need to protect Ukrainian culture from russian aggression.
Nadiia Dmytrenko, Head of Pro Bono Practice, comments: “Working with the museums and galleries was hard as you realize what damage was done to the Ukrainian culture. Every action made by russians shows us that it was not a coincidence. Russia denies our identity and culture. As a part of this strategy, they try to remove and distrust everything Ukraine-related, especially on the temporary occupied territories. Each and every violation against our culture should be defined as a war crime on international level.”
Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.