UWC demands action over missing Patriarch Josyf Slipyj plaque
November 25, 2010
UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS
DEMANDS ACTION OVER MISSING PATRIARCH JOSYF SLIPYJ PLAQUE
On November 25, 2010, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) sent a letter to the Mayor of Kharkiv Hennadiy Kernes, copying President Victor Yanukovych and the Head of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn, demanding the restoration of the plaque honouring Patriarch Josyf Slipyj of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church that disappeared last week from the building on Malynovsky St., 5 – the premises of the former prison where the top church hierarch was imprisoned in the last century (today a local police station).
The plaque, which commemorates the fact that the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Josyf Slipyj was imprisoned in the Kharkiv Transfer Prison in 1961, was lawfully installed in August, 2005. Its installation was initiated and financed by UWC and local Ukrainian civic organizations ahead of UWC’s Annual General Meeting that was held in Kharkiv that year.
In June, 2008, the plaque was cynically destroyed by a group of a dozen people; after its restoration it was vandalized with red paint. In 2010, the plaque honouring Patriarch Josyf Slipyj came under attack by the local government: on March 30, 2010, the Kharkiv City Council Commission on Toponymy and Historical and Cultural Heritage recommended the cancellation of the 2005 Mayoral order that permitted the plaque’s installation.
UWC believes that the disappearance of the Patriarch Josyf Slipyj commemorative plaque from the police station is a result of the inappropriate actions on the part of Kharkiv city government. Not only did the city government ignore this controversial issue, it also failed to provide sufficient protection of this cultural-historical monument and did not reject the aforementioned recommendation of the Kharkiv City Council Commission on Toponymy and Historical and Cultural Heritage. This is a scandal not only for Kharkiv, but for all Ukrainians.
UWC President Eugene Czolij said “The Ukrainian World Congress demands that the Kharkiv City Council pay for the immediate restoration of the commemorative plaque to Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, investigate its disappearance and provide UWC with updates on the investigation’s progress.”
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