Authorities return restored golden crosses to the domes of Kyiv’s St Sophia Cathedral

The seven golden crosses atop the iconic cathedral’s seven domes had become corroded. Officials said they required urgent attention.

The final cross, on the cathedral’s main golden dome, is due to be removed next week. It is expected to be put back in May.

The cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is in the heart of Kyiv. It has not sustained any major damage from the bombing of the Ukrainian capital by Russia since its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 2022, but it has occasionally been struck by debris from explosions.

In September, the U.N.’s World Heritage Committee placed the cathedral on a list of sites it considers to be in danger.

The cathedral was built to rival the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The monument to Byzantine art contains the biggest collection of mosaics and frescoes from that period. It is surrounded by monastic buildings dating back to the 17th century.

It is one of Kyiv’s main tourist sites.