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University on the UNESCO World Heritage List
The central building of the Chernivtsi National University named for Yury Fedkovych was put on the UNESCO World Heritage list at the 35th UNESCO Session in Paris in July 2011. The site has been registered as Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans.
It is the fourth UNESCO World Heritage site in Ukraine, the other three being the eleventh-century Cathedral of Hagia Sophia and the Pechersk Lavra Monastery in Kyiv and the historical center of the city of Lviv.
The central building of Chernivtsi University used to be the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. The building, designed by Czech architect Josef Hlavka, represents a masterful synergy of architectural styles, which include cultural influences from the Byzantine period onward. The construction of the building lasted from 1864 to 1882.
The property, an outstanding example of the 19th-century historicist architecture, also includes a seminary and monastery, a garden and park, and it is dominated by the domed, cruciform Seminary Church. This architectural complex embodies the powerful presence of the Orthodox Church during Habsburg rule, reflecting the Austro-Hungarian Empire policy of religious tolerance.
The University was founded as a Franz-Josefs Universitat in 1875. The main language of instruction was German with separate departments for Ukrainian and Romanian language and literature. During the period of Austro-Hungarian rule the university operated three faculties: Orthodox theology, law and philosophy, It was in the twentieth century that the former residence of metropolitans began to be used by the University premises as the University expanded to include several departments that meet the requirements of the present-day education.
The World Heritage Site status was given to the University on condition that the University introduces certain infrastructural changes and improvements. The University should remove certain objects from the adjacent territory that don’t belong there, build shops that sell souvenirs, small restaurants and cafes which will cater for tourists. The rooms in the central building should not be used as auditoria for classes and the building should be turned into a museum with space reserved for exhibitions.
The city authorities are planning to conduct repairs and restoration of the facades in the central streets of Chernivtsi.
Being put on the UNESCO World Heritage list entails a number of pledges given to the UNESCO that the territory adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage site be kept inviolate and that no construction that can deface the site be undertaken.
The University authorities say that the number of tourists, particularly from abroad, who come to see the University has considerably increased after it was granted the status of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Contemporary Ukrainian Art Show in London
An exhibition of Ukrainian art, The Contemporary Ukrainian Art Show, was held in London, at Flaxon Ptootch Gallery & Salon in Kentish Town. It was on show from October 13 to November 7.
The exhibition, which was organized by HAPPENSTANCE RADIO, and curated by Anastasia Kokhan, attracted a lot of art lovers. It’s the first modern Ukrainian art group exhibition in London.
Marking 20 years of independence, this exhibition firmly established Ukraine as an artistic force in its own right. 75 pieces by 41 artists embrace themes of fantasy, beauty and an edgy modernity though the majority of pieces are paintings, photographic and mixed-media works are also represented. Since the emphasis was on emerging artists (all works had been completed in the last 5 years), all pieces were affordable and increasingly collectible.
The organizers of the exhibition received 502 applications for more than 3,000 art works in various techniques and themes.
HAPPENSTANCE RADIO is a radio station that supports British-Ukrainian cultural exchange, and in its turn is supported by the British Ukrainian Society.
The guiding principles of this radio station have been worked in Ukraine jointly with British and other partners. It broadcasts 24/7, with its priorities being to provide information about Ukrainian culture for listeners in Britain and elsewhere, and promote British culture in Ukraine.
The world's biggest floral clock
The world’s biggest floral clock was built in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. It was installed in the Park Heroyiv (Park of Heroes) recreational area located in Metalurhiv Avenue. The unveiling of the clock took place at the time when Ukraine was celebrating the 20th anniversary of its independence.
The clock was created within the framework of the City Without Outskirts Program, initiated by Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Oleksandr Vilkul.
This unique floral timepiece has a face of diameter of 22 meters (almost 70 feet). Twenty-two thousand flowers of six different species were planted to enhance the clock. A mechanism located underneath the structure moves the clock's hands. The clock chimes hourly during the day, and it is lighted at night.
The largest floral clock became the second major project of this kind that was carried out in Kryvyi Rih this year. In May 2011, it was a large fountain complex that was opened in the city.
Vinnytsya unveils the biggest fountain in Europe
The town of Vinnytsya sits on the bank of the Buh River and the reconstruction of the riverside promenade included the construction of a huge fountain erected right in the water some distance off the bank.
The fountain was unveiled on September 4 2011 at a ceremony that attracted thousands of people. The fountain, 60 meters (almost 200 feet) high, and 140 meters (460 feet) wide, cost millions of hryvnyas to build (the present exchange rate is 8 hryvnya to a dollar). The financing was provided by the Petro Poroshenko Fund (Petro Posohenko is the owner of Roshen candy- and cakes-producing factories). The reconstruction began when it was realized that the dam upriver was in a poor state and could collapse during the vernal flooding — the old sections of Vinnytsya were in real danger of being swamped. There was no money that was urgently needed to get the dam reinforced. The Poroshenko Fund offered to do it with its own resources. One thing led to another — the riverside promenade got reconstructed too and a fountain got erected. The erection of a fountain that in addition to spewing water is also equipped with lighting equipment that creates an impressive light show, proved to be an excellent idea.
The fountain is among the five largest fountains in the world, with 227 sprayers and 560 lamps to create various light and water effects.
About a fifth of the entire population of Vinnytsya, which is estimated at 360,000 people, came to see the unveiling of the fountain where the Ukrainian pop stars Oksana Bilozir, Mandry and TIK bands were entertaining the fountain enthusiasts.
UEFA EURO 2012 will be a smoke-free zone
UEFA EURO 2012 will be a smoke-free tournament after UEFA announced a complete ban on the use, sale and promotion of tobacco in all stadiums hosting finals matches.
The regulation will apply without exception to all spaces within stadium perimeters, both indoors and outdoors. This tobacco-free policy was developed and will be implemented in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), World Heart Federation (WHF), European Healthy Stadia Network, local organizing committees (LOCs) in Poland and Ukraine, and local health advocacy groups.
UEFA’s decision to ban tobacco from the world’s third-biggest sporting event sends a strong message to football fans everywhere, reaffirming the link between football and good health.
“A tobacco-free EURO 2012 is about respecting the health of our spectators and everyone else involved in the tournament,” said UEFA President Michel Platini. “We uphold the highest standards of health, safety and comfort at our flagship tournament, and tobacco does not fit within them.”
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for sport, is delighted with UEFA’s decision and underlined its potential wider impact: “EURO 2012 will be a magnet for millions of spectators and fans, so this sends a powerful message. In addition, a tobacco-free EURO 2012 sets the standard for other sporting events across the continent.”
Urging host cities to ensure smoke-free public transport, restaurants and fan zones, she added: “Football and sport are about health and performance, and tobacco is about the opposite – they just don’t mix.”
The total ban on tobacco consumption, sale and promotion at UEFA EURO 2012 goes beyond local restrictions and is a natural outcome of UEFA’s commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles through football. This is a core theme of its football and social responsibility activities, which use football to help get a handle on some of Europe’s top health, social and environmental problems.
Streets signs in English
As part of preparations for UEFA Euro 2012 to be held in Ukraine (and Poland), the signs with the names of the streets and squares, and other local features, both in Ukrainian names and their English transliterations, began to be installed in Kyiv.
The city of Donetsk, also the venue of some of the Euro 2012 games, started to introduce such bilingual signs even earlier. Another Euro 2012 host city is Lviv which is believed to be the most tourist friendly town in Ukraine — the street signs there began to provide English transliterations several years ago.
Kharkiv is still another city where such signs are hopefully to be introduced in order to provide foreign tourists with easy-to-understand directions.
Ukrainian boxers enjoy world record
At the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championship, which was held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, from September 22 to October 10, 2011, Ukrainian boxers won a record number of medals. It had a particular significance as the first major qualifying event for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Ukrainian boxers were expected to perform well but the results exceeded all expectations — they won four gold medals and one silver, and thus occupied the first place among the national teams that had come to Baku. It was the best result ever achieved by Ukrainians at world boxing championships since Ukraine had regained her independence in 1991. As a matter of fact, this result has set an impressive record in world amateur boxing — back in 1974, Cuban boxers won three medals at the then amateur world championship and now Ukrainian boxers beat that record by one gold medal.
The gold medals were won by: Vasyl Lomachenko (Lightweight — 60 kg), Taras Shelestyuk (Welterweight — 69 kg); Yevhen Khytrov (Middleweight — 75 kg); Oleksandr Usyk (Heavyweight — 91 kg); the silver medal was awarded to Denys Berinchyk (Light Welterweight — 64 kg).
The Ukrainian boxers also brought from Baku six Olympic licenses for taking part in the Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012. In addition to the recipients of medals mentioned above, it was Oleksandr Hvozdyk (81 kg) who was given such a license.
The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych authorized additional prizes to be awarded to the winners — they and their coach Dmyro Sosnovsky are to be presented with apartments.