Rebuilding Ukraine – starting with Odesa’s Cathedral of the Transfiguration. The historical building made headlines when it was damaged by Russian missiles last July. And Italy, which aims to be at the forefront of efforts to aid with Ukraine’s reconstruction, has made the restoration of the Cathedral its flagship project. That process began on Tuesday in Milan at the Workshop on the Reconstruction of Ukraine, an event promoted by two of the nation’s most important museums – Milan’s Triennale and Rome’s Maxxi – in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture.
- The next two stages of the Workshop will be carried out in Rome and Kyiv.
It’s a promise, too. On the same day, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni met with Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč, in her Roman offices. Stressing Italy’s intention to contribute as much as possible to the reconstruction process, she reaffirmed that Rome will continue to stand by Kyiv and its people in every way, from the political to the humanitarian spheres, and that it will “unceasingly pursue its full commitment to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
- Archbishop Shevchuk thanked PM Meloni for the “historic” meeting and expressed the Ukrainian people’s gratitude to Italians for welcoming refugees, especially women and children.
Several reasons why. “Solidarity must not be made up of abstract and empty words, but must be a concrete act,” said Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, who highlighted the extraordinary cultural significance of rebuilding Milan’s La Scala Theatre after World War II – and likened it to the project of reconstructing Odesa’s Cathedral. Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani then highlighted Italy’s contributions to supporting Ukraine “from all points of view,” including the architectural.
- Italy inaugurated its first Honorary Consulate in Odesa – which will facilitate and coordinate some regional reconstruction efforts – back in September.
Gathering the right people… Creative designers, international cultural institutions, companies, and economic operators took part in the Workshop on the Reconstruction of Ukraine to discuss the urban and architectural regeneration of Ukraine’s war-torn cities. The project aims to establish a European centre for sustainable and innovative reconstruction, leveraging Italian architectural expertise.
- Ministers Tajani and Sangiuliano were there, as well as Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Culture Minister Rostyslav Karandieiev, Lombardy Region President Attilio Fontana, Milan City Council President Elena Buscemi and Ukraine’s Special Envoy for Reconstruction Davide La Cecilia were all in attendance.
… and setting forth. “Today, we are going to start by presenting a map of the actual damage,” said Stefano Boeri, President of the Triennale Milano. “We are working on the cost of rebuilding the Cathedral. It is an important project of social responsibility, but also a very pragmatic one, because we really want this reconstruction to begin as soon as possible.”
- The first part of the Workshop was devoted to an analysis of the structural and social needs and the policies to be implemented for the reconstruction itself, including the intervention of the Council of Europe and the ECB’s Development Bank.
- The second session was dedicated to projects, with examples and master plan proposals by Italian, Ukrainian and international architects, professors and technicians for the reconstruction of Odesa (especially the Cathedral of the Transfiguration), as well as a series of case studies of reconstructions in other Ukrainian cities such as Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Irpin.