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Ukraine: Monuments

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the condition of the war memorial and its immediate surroundings at Cathcart Hill, near Sevastopol; and what information his Department holds on (a) the terms under which the memorial is maintained and (b) the body responsible for its maintenance. (286982)

Our embassy in Kyiv, in conjunction with local Sevastopol authorities, has been actively seeking a successful resolution to the long-standing issue of the Cathcart Hill monument. This private monument was built by a local entrepreneur in 1993 supported by public subscription, but has fallen into disrepair due to weathering, vandalism, theft and lack of maintenance by its owner.

Following the efforts of the embassy, the land on which the monument stands and associated historical artefacts have now been transferred to the ownership of the Sevastopol City Administration, a prerequisite for the expenditure of Ukrainian state funds. Work is now underway for the official British Crimean War memorial near the village of Dergachi to become the focus for official commemoration with the complex at Cathcart Hill being simplified to become a place for quiet contemplation.