Status of monument -> National monument
Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 19 to 23 January 2006 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic building of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi Grad, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 504/1 (new survey), title deed no. 885, cadastral municipality Novi Grad, Bosanski Novi/Novi Grad, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 9/02) shall apply to the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, display and rehabilitate the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the financial and technical conditions for drafting the technical documentation for the rehabilitation of the National Monument and the rehabilitation thereof.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
Protection Zone I consists of the site of the National Monument defined in Clause I para. 2 of this Decision.
To ensure the protection of the National Monument and the conditions for its rehabilitation, two stages of works to be carried out are hereby stipulated:
Stage I – emergency protection from further deterioration:
- Emergency measures to protect the building, consisting of:
- clearing plant growth in and around the building, clearing the interior of rubble and removal of the rubble to a dump,
- boarding up all doors and windows to prevent entry into the building,
- intervention works on the roof cladding to prevent the elements from penetrating into the interior of the building,
- underpinning and consolidating unstable structural and non-structural elements,
- erecting notices warning passers-by of possible danger.
Stage II – rehabilitation of the National Monument
- all works are prohibited other than structural repairs, conservation and restoration works, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska,
Protection Zone II consists of the contact zone around the site of the National Monument, in which all interventions that could endanger the National Monument are prohibited.
All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.
The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II – V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba)
Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.
On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 116.
This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH.
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.
20 January 2006
Chairman of the Commission
E l u c i d a t i o n
I - INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.
The Commission issued a decision to add the Old Town Hall in Bosanski Novi (Novi Grad) to the Provisional List of Nationbal Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina under serial no. 116.
Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
II – PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DECISION
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
- Documentation on the location of the property and ownership documentation,
- The current condition of the property
- Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs,
- Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
Bosanski Novi/Novi Grad is in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the confluence of the Sana and the Una rivers. The town is located on the following geographical coordinates: latitude 45° 2' 45 N and longitude 16° 22' 49 E, at an altitude of 216 m above sea level.
The Town Hall stands right by the bank of the river Una, close to the bridge, in the border crossing area with the Republic of Croatia.
« Bosanski Novi/Novi Grad is located at the confluence of the Sana and Una, and is referred to in 1280 as ruled by the lords of Blagaj. In the early 16th century the town was in the possession of Nikola Zrinski, and in 1557 it came under Turkish rule. The foret was square in plan and was surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge. During the Austro-Hungarian war in the late 17th century, the town was briefly in the hands of the Habsburgs, but under the terms of the Treaty of Karlowitz it was returned to the Porte. In 1726 the fort in Novi was reinforced and enlarged, and in the light of its strategic importance, there was a well-equipped military garrison in the fort until the mid 19th century. All that survives of the fort is small parts of a tower.
After the Austro-Hungarian occupation, a number of representative buildings in the eclectic manner were incorporated into the oriental layout of the town: the present-day Court building and the two-storey residential-cum-commercial buildings in the town centre.
The building was erected in 1888 as the Town Hall.
It stands on the very bank of the river Una, and was built at the same time as the old bridge over the Una that was destroyed during World War II.
After World War II the building underwent considerable changes, of which the most detrimental to its authenticity was the addition of an annex to the south. The building was damaged in particular in the 1969 and 1981 earthquakes. Concrete was used to repair some parts of the authentic building. In September 1995 the Town Hall suffered several direct hits from shells. These caused an interior wall to collapse and large cracks and deformation to appear on the other walls. The roof structure cracked, the woodwork of the doors and windows was destroyed, and part of the balcony fell away.» (1)
2. Description of the property
The building has two storeys, a ground floor and first floor. The structural system is of solid walls. The ceiling joists consist of a steel beam over which a «blind floor» of floor boards is laid, on which the floor coverings of parquet (in the ofrfices), tiles (in the toilet blocks) and stone (in the corridors, staircase and hall) are laid, while the underside of the joists is also clad with boards, reeds and lime mortar. The overall thickness of the ceiling between the ground and first floor is approx. 67 cm.
The facade walls to the north-west, north-east and south-east of the building are of Austrian format brick in lime mortar, and are structurally composite, with the exterior faced with regular dressed stone blocks that are structurally incorporated (the «stone part» also takes structural damage). The interior load-bearing walls are of Austrian-format brick. The roof structure is timber and the roof cladding of galvanized iron. The roof pitch is approx. 4 degrees.
The building is approx. 20.30 m long on the north-west side (the original length was 15.20 m, with the annex extension approx. 5.2 m long); it is approx. 17.25 m long on the north-east, street side, and 10.60 m on the south-east side.
The entrance to the building is on the north-east side facing the street. The entrance area is accentuated by a portal measuring approx. 2.35 m wide x 3.85 m high, with four stone steps with 30 cm treads and 15 cm risers leading to the entrance threshold.
Double wooden doors lead through a wind-baffle measuring approx. 2.35 m wide x 4.45 m high into the hall, measuring approx. 4.50 m wide x 6.70 m high, in which there is a triple-flight staircase to the south. This consists of two side flights each of five steps with 29 cm treads and 16.3 cm risers and one longer flight along the south wall of the building, with 14 steps with 29 cm treads and 16.3 cm risers. The flights are approx. 140 cm wide, and the staircase was made with a mirror area(2) measuring approx. 75 x 393 cm. The hall and staircase are lit by the first-floor windows of the south facade of the building.
The first-floor landing is supported by a pillar (Ø approx. 35 cm, height approx. 355 cm) set beneath the edge of the landing, by the mirror area. The staircase has a wrought iron balustrade approx. 75 cm high, with a wooden handrail.
According to the available data, the building was designed as the town hall, and was used as such until the end of World War II, when it was turned into the Regional Museum. It has another two entrances in addition to the main entrance, one at the corner of the north and west facades (in the ground-floor section of the north-west corner turret), and one to the west of the building. According to the information provided in the part-preserved project documentation(3) for the extension of the Town Hall carried out in the 1980s, the ground floor areas of the north wing of the property, to the west of the main entrance, along with the west wing and the ground-floor extension to the south of the building, were incorporated functionally into a single entity and converted into a restaurant. The daylight height of the ground-floor premises is approx. 3.55 m.
The hall leads to the office premises on the first floor (five offices in all, measuring respectively 2.75 x 4.60 m, 4.50 x 5.00 m, 4.50 x 2.45 m, 4.50x 3.95 m, and 4.50 x 3.95 m, with a daylight height of approx. 3.90 m) and the assembly hall in the west wing.
The ceiling of the assembly hall (interior dimensions 6 x 9 m, daylight height of ceiling 3.9 m) is painted. The outer edge of the painted area is approx. 50 cm from the walls.
The whole surface is dominated by light blue and light green, red and ochre.
The painted area can be divided into three sections:
- the border area
- a large square area
- a smaller square area.
The painted surface begins with a slightly moulded string course painted ochre. Beyond this string course are three bands of different decoration, separated one from the other by narrow grey bands with black lines and white bands with red dots.
The painted background of the first decorated band is dark, and is covered with a line of small foliar designs linked alternately by reddish leaves and bluish flowers or rosettes.
The central decorated band is dominated by ochre-yellow geometric designs.
The painted background colour of the third decorated band is green. The decoration consists of rather bolder bluish flowers than those of the first band, and rose designs. The same decoration also separates the square areas.
The frame of the larger square area consists of the geometric design already referred to, in ochre. Inside, the square is filled with red eight-pointed and five-pointed stars and blue medallions. The stars and blue medallions appear to be randomly scattered over the surface, but a more careful inspection reveals that diagonal bands intersect in the central eight-pointed star, forming an X shape over the entire painted area. Around the central star, four other eight-pointed stars are set equidistantly within the painted square, interlinked by bands extending towards the outer edge of the square. This subdivides the painted panel into nine smaller squares. The central outer squares contain half eight-pointed stars around each of which are two five-pointed stars. These half eight-pointed stars form the transition points of the band, forming a single large rhombus where they meet. This rhombus, with the bands running from the central star, also forms an X shape, creating four smaller rhombuses. At the centre of each of these smaller rhombuses is a hexagonal, dark blue medallion filled with floral designs in brown and ochre. Four five-pointed stars are arrayed around the medallion. The other areas are painted light blue and with floral designs.
The smaller square is bordered by the same decorative band as the larger. The inside is painted green, on which reddish roses are painted. The main design consists of the edging of four-petalled flowers (one on each side) and a central elongated form with trefoil end. These designs are painted light blue with ochre tendrils, and are edged by a grey band. The central elongated design with trefoil end is green at the centre with rather darker tendrils.
The greatest value of the Town Hall is its facade decoration, while the treatment of the facade surfaces, as well as the type and selection of the decorative elements, are the result of the eclectic approach of the design to the articulation of the architectural appearance of the building.
The entrance facade and the north-west facade each have openings set in five axes, both on the ground and the first floor. The windows of the first floor (daylight openings 96 x 1906 cm) are set in edicules framed by a decorative cornice composed of faience (the surface of which is in bas relief, with floral/foliar decorative designs). The niche in the upper part of the edicule contains a bas-relief floral design.
The corner turret with its balcony is particularly accentuaated by its wealth of decorative features. The parapet of the balcony balustrade is decorated with stylized geometric designs with variations on the interlinked forms of octagons and eight-pointed stars in bas-relief(4). The sides of the round-arched balcony windows and doors are accentuated by pilasters, and the top by pointed arches in bas-relief. The roof of the tower is in the shape of a semi-elliptical dome. A moulded, cantilever-projecting cornice, with a row of blind arcades below, marks the top of the turret walls. The wall surfaces of the turret between the cornice and the windows and doors are decorated in bas-relief stucco decoration: string cornices, intertwined bands, stylized flowers.
The Town Hall is the most representative building in Novi Grad. Despite its relatively small size, there is no doubt that thanks to its exceptionally elaborate decoration and the striking impression it creates, it is one of the most harmonious buildings in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3. Legal status to date
The building of the old Town Hall (Regional Museum) in Novi Grad is registered as a cultural monument and enjoys the protection measures prescribed by the Law on the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of SR BiH no. 20/85).
The property is on the Provisional List of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the title Old Town Hall Building, serial no. 116.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
No information is available that might shed light on such works having been carried out on the property.
On 4 November 1997 a Commission of the Institute for the Proection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka inspected the property and found as follows:
- major structural damage has occurred to the property as the result of uneven subsidence, the effects of the elements and war damage;
- structural cracks can be seen on the exterior and interior walls;
- the east façade has been badly damaged by shelling;
- detonations caused the windows to shatter;
- much of the façade mouldings is missing;
- one partition wall is in ruins on the ground floor;
- the ceiling has collapsed in places;
- the roof is damaged in several places.
Novi Grad Municipality and the Government of RS have been notified as to the condition of the property. (5)
5. Current condition of the property
The building is in very poor condition. Uneven subsidence has caused structural cracks to appear on the exterior and interior walls. “Cracks are to be seen on all the façade walls, which are markedly vertical in nature, other than the cracks on the façade facing the river, where diagonal cracks can be seen in the areas above the window lintels. The cracks are of varying widths, up to 5 cm.
In some places the brick window lintels have collapsed.
On the courtyard façade wall, which is faced with stone on the exterior, there are not only cracks but also considerable erosion of the binder from the joints.
The cause of the damage is mechanical and weathering.” (6)
As a result of damage to the roof and the absence of windows (as a result of war action, caused by detonations and direct and indirect hits to the Town Hall, all the window openings and glazing were destroyed; some have been boarded up, but most have not) the building is exposed to the progressive damaging impact of weather and war action. There is extensive moss, lichen and other plant growth on the building, which are very aggressively damaging it. As a result of detonations and hits by shells and other ammunition, the east, street façade of the building is badly damaged, and the façade mouldings of the building are also badly affected, particularly the decorations around the doors and windows and the terminal cornice.
The ceiling has also collapsed in part of the building.
6. Specific risks
There is a high probability of the damage worsening, which could lead to the loss of structural stability of parts of the building. Any delay to interventions on the building could lead to part of it collapsing.
III – CONCLUSION
Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.
The Decision was based on the following criteria:
A. Time frame
B. Historical value
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
C. i. quality of workmanship
C.ii. quality of materials
C. v. value of details
D.i. material evidence of a lesser known historical era
D.ii. evidence of historical change
D.iii. work of a major artist or builder
D. iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner
D. v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
G.i. form and design
G.ii. material and content
G.iv. traditions and techniques
G.v. location and setting
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Property documentation:
o Town Hall, copy of cadastral plan issued 20.10.2005 by the Geodetics and Property Affairs Authority of Republika Srpska, Novi Grad branch;
o Town Hall, excerpt from Title Deed no. 885/66, plot no. 504/1, c.m. Novi Grad, issued 17.12.2002. by the Geodetics and Property Affairs Authority of Republika Srpska, Novi Grad branch, no. 33/952;
- Photographs taken on 10.05.2003 by architect Emir Softić
- Documentation of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska on the Town Hall in Novi Grad:
o Description of the condition of the building
o Technical documentation
§ floor plan
§ cross section
§ longitudinal section
§ front, north-eastern façade
§ side façade
§ south-western façade with extension
§ detail of ceiling
§ ground plan with extension
§ photographs of the condition of the Town Hall in 1997 and 2005
During the procedure to designate the historic building of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi Grad as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1952. Kreševljaković, Hamdija: Prilog povijesti bosanskih gradova pod turskom upravom, (Contribution to the history of Bosnian towns under Turkish rule) offprint, Oriental Institute in Sarajevo, Contributions to Oriental Philology and the History of the Yugoslav Peoples under Turkish Rule, vol. II, 1952, Sarajevo
1980. Kreševljaković, Hamdija: Kapetanije u Bosni i Hercegovini (Captaincies in BiH) / Hamdija Krešeljakovic. - 2. ed.. -Sarajevo : "Svijetlost", 1980.
1998. Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic Epigraphics of BiH), bk. 2, 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo –Publishing, 1998
1999. ÇELEBI, Evliya: Putopis o Bosni i Hercegovini / Evlija Celebi (Travelogue on BiH) - Sarajevo, 1999
2005. PTA Study of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi grad, Project Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe 2003-2005, responsible authority: Commission to Preserve National Monuments of BiH, Authors: Dr Ljiljana Ševo, art historian, Radovan Beleslin MA, graduate civil engineer, Milijana Okilj, graduate architect, Banja Luka, 12. 09. 2005
(1) Quoted from PTA Study of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi grad, Project Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe 2003-2005, responsible authority: Commission to Preserve National Monuments of BiH, Authors: Dr Ljiljana ševo, art historian, Radovan Beleslin MA, graduate civil engineer, Milijana Okilj, graduate architect, Banja Luka, 12. 09. 2005
(2) The “mirror area” or “mirror” is the vacant inner space of the staircase formed between the side and the main flights, known as the first-floor landing
(3) Parts of the project to extend the Town Hall dating from the 1980s – copies of drawings are housed in the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka. According to unofficial information (the drawings have no stamp or tables), the technical documentation was compiled by an unidentified design office in Belgrade (Details from PTA Study of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi grad, Project Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe 2003-2005, responsible authority: Commission to Preserve National Monuments of BiH, Authors: Dr Ljiljana ševo, art historian, Radovan Beleslin MA, graduate civil engineer, Milijana Okilj, graduate architect, Banja Luka, 12. 09. 2005
(4) The arches do not have a uniform geometric determinant, but are complex arches composed of several sections (op. E. Softić)
(5) According to data from PTA Study of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi grad, 2005. The study refers to the Document of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka, no. 189/97.
(6) Quoted from PTA Study of the Town Hall in Bosanski Novi/Novi grad,