Liverpool and the Ukrainian city of Odesa are preparing to sign a historic Memorandum of Understanding.
This new development will continue to cement the bond of friendship between Liverpool and its sister city Odesa, as part of the Eurovision legacy. The new commitment will ensure that the two cities work closely together when Odesa begins to rebuild its cultural infrastructure, when the war is over.
A short Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be drawn up in the coming weeks which will detail how Liverpool’s cultural sector will come together to advise and support the renewal of Odesa’s cultural institutions. Consideration will also be given to developing a programme which will see a cultural exchange of artistic talent and expertise, as well as plans to build on the existing library twinning agreement.
In April, Liverpool’s Central Library was formally twinned with Odesa Regional Scientific Library in an historic ceremony attended by His Majesty The King and The Queen Consort, and the First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska.
The event marked the official start of the build up to the Eurovision Song Contest, which Liverpool staged on behalf of Ukraine and is widely considered the most successful ever.
Now, the relationship between the sister cities is set to be further strengthened with Liverpool utilising its exceptional cultural links to help with the future rebuilding of the Ukrainian port city.
The creation of the MoU has been developed following a meeting with Liverpool City Council Leader, Councillor Liam Robinson, Chief Executive Andrew Lewis, Director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan and representatives from Odesa City Council’s Department for Culture, International Relations and European Integration.
In an additional show of solidarity, the Ukraine flag was flown from civic buildings – Liverpool Town Hall, St George’s Hall and Cunard Building – last Saturday (2 September) to mark the 229th anniversary of the founding of Odesa.
Mayor of the City of Odesa, Mr Gennadiy Trukhanov, said:
“The leadership of our city is making every effort to work with our sister cities and international partners to restore the historical centre of Odesa.
“The sistership of Odesa and Liverpool, which dates back more than 65 years, has passed the test of time and always had a special character. We cannot highlight our gratitude to Liverpool enough – the city’s solidarity means so much to the Ukrainian people and we are ready to co-operate and implement projects which will benefit our citizens and contribute to the development of our city.”
The City of Liverpool and the City of Odesa’s long-standing relationship extends back to 1957 when the two cities were officially twinned.