What fruit will ploughed memory grow?
State Inspection of Ukraine for Control over Use and Protection of Land (SI) on December 1, 2009 informs about results of checks and investigation performed by the SI and its territorial departments on lands of cultural and historical use. In total, there were done 556 checks and 125 infringements revealed at the area of 416.6 hectares. SI issued respective orders, applied fines, calculated damages and also submitted petitions to offices of public prosecutors for application of appropriate measures.
SI calculated that the damages caused by infringements committed at lands of historical and cultural use amounted to UAH 426.8 thousand (USD 53.35 thousand). Taking into account that harm inflicted upon monuments and historical places is often irreparable, we would say that the real scale of damage goes far beyond this sum.
SI says that the most common violation is use of land without proper titles (land title or lease contract, i.e. land was actually allocated to a person but it failed to get necessary documents) or illegal seizure of land plots (i.e. when land was not at all allocated to a person who seized it).
SI also points out that in many cases the legal regime of protection of historical and cultural places is disregarded, and most such places are still without boundaries in kind. The latter makes it possible to use these places for activities irrelevant for the legal purpose of these places and/or harmful for the ir preservation, like farming or development. For example, it is quite widespread that barrows (burial mounds of ancient tribes), which found in Ukraine in big numbers, within the course of privatization of agricultural land were shared and turned into private land of agricultural use. In practice, if a farmer plows these barrows for several years they are gradually disappearing.
SI concludes its sad report with a reminder that most cultural and historical places have not been properly documented yet, and this work shall be done as soon as possible by the state authorities in the field of protection of cultural heritage of Ukraine. SI promises to keep an eye on those places in order to preserve them for present and future generations.
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This summary produced and translated by MyLand, 2009
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