ROME (Reuters) - Italy will help with the rebuilding of a cathedral in the Ukrainian city of Odesa that was badly damaged by a missile strike last year, the Italian foreign ministry said on Thursday.
Italy and UNESCO signed an agreement in Kyiv to provide 500 million euros ($539 million) towards the restoration of the roof of Odesa's Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi Cathedral, or Transfiguration Cathedral.
"Italy is very committed, through its institutions and its industrial capacity, to the reconstruction of Ukraine," ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo said, noting Italy's expertise in the restoration of places of worship and monuments.
Ukraine said the Orthodox cathedral was damaged when it was hit during a Russian missile attack on the southern port of Odesa last July. Russia denied responsibility for the attack.
The Italian involvement follows through on a commitment made in the immediate aftermath of the attack by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to provide help with rebuilding.
Meloni has been a strong supporter of Ukraine in its war with Russia and hosted a bilateral summit last April to discuss steps to rebuild the country. ($1 = 0.9283 euros)
(Writing by Keith Weir, Editing by William Maclean)