Italy allocates $540,000 to rebuild Odesa cathedral struck by Russia in 2023

Italy to help Ukraine rebuild Transfiguration Cathedral
Italy to help Ukraine rebuild Transfiguration Cathedral

Italy has granted EUR 500,000 ($543,000) for the restoration of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, which was damaged by a Russian missile strike in July 2023, Odesa City Council announced on March 21.

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The council noted that in October 2023, Italy pledged aid to Odesa, and by December had determined the amount of funding for the program.

Additionally, the message said that an expert group along with the head of the UNESCO office in Ukraine will soon arrive in Odesa to assess the damage to the landmark and determine the scope of the restoration effort.

Notably, city authorities have already done some reconstruction work to prevent further deterioration of Odesa’s largest Orthodox temple.

Read also: Kyiv hit by massive missile attack: 17 injured, including child; fires and infrastructure damage reported across three districts

“We couldn't afford to wait, as we might have lost even the remaining parts of the cathedral after it was hit by a missile,” said Odesa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov.

“Thus, using the funds from donors and parishioners of the Odesa Eparchy, the roof was restored, and work began on the most damaged parts of the building.”

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According to him, Italy and UNESCO will help Ukraine rebuild other historical monuments in the city that have been damaged by Russian attacks.

Read also: Death toll climbs to 21 in Russian missile strike on Odesa

Italy is also considering another potential collaboration with the Ukrainian government for Odesa’s reconstruction and heritage preservation. The parties will work on training specialists, developing regulatory documents, and setting guidelines for reconstruction projects.

On July 23, 2023, Russia launched a barrage of cruise missiles at Odesa, damaging 25 historic landmarks in the city’s old town and killing two people.

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