2010-11-17 13:06:12

The Project "Astronomy and World Heritage"

In 2005, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre announced the beginning of a new project Initiative "Astronomy World Heritage". The aim of the project is the identifying and preserving of objects associated with astronomy which have a historical and cultural value. Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory takes an active part in this project. NAO prepared and submitted documents to the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO for inclusion to the tentative list of World Heritage Site from Ukraine. On March 2007, NAO was included into the tentative list under the number 5116. The next step is preparing a package of documents with detail description of the object, state of conservation and its management.

In 2007, within the framework of the "Initiative" there was organized an astronomical expert group. By the decision of the Council the group was headed by Pinigin G., the director of the NAO. In 2008, due to active efforts of expert group members and the assistance of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO and the State Service for National Cultural Heritage of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine a new serial object "Astronomical Observatories of Ukraine" (N 5267) appeared in the tentative list of UNESCO from Ukraine. The object includes four Ukrainian Observatories (Nikolaev AO, Crimean AO, Odessa AO and AO of Kiev National University) , which have historical and scientific value from the point of world heritage.

In 2008, with the aim of developing the UNESCO project "Astronomy and World Heritage" and at the point of IYA-2009 there was adopted the Memorandum of Understanding between UNESCO and IAU. The working group of IAU / UNESCO was created under the Commission of the 41 International Astronomical Union, headed by British astronomer Clive Ruggles. The aim was to review and to develop new criteria for selection of astronomical objects. Two members from Ukraine (G. Pinigin J. Pozhalova) takes part in the group work. In 2008-2009, the project was further developed under the title "Thematic Study”. The aim was to create a database of astronomical heritage from prehistory to space astronomy (16 themes in general) with the task of their protection and conservation. This work was carried out under one of fundamental projects named "Astronomy and World Heritage" IYA-2009. Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory, takes an active part in this project. The new application form on the theme "Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-20th century" was prepared and submitted to the IAU/UNESCO Working Group. In August 2009, G. Pinigin took part in the International Congress "Astronomy and World Heritage: Across time and continents " and made a presentation.

In July 2010, an electronic version of the collection «Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the context of the World Heritage Convention: A Thematic Study» was placed at the site of IAU / UNESCO working group, which is a result of cooperative work of working group and UNESCO ICOMOS committee (International Council on Monuments and Sites).

This document presents a general view on the astronomical heritage, and tries to determine what constitutes the outstanding universal value to humanity from the point of view of astronomy. Unfortunately, there is no astronomical objects of Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries.