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 on 26 October 2010 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic site of the necropolis with stećci and graves at Gračani, Municipality Konjic, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument consists of graves and eleven stećak tombstones.
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 440, Land Register entry no. 220, cadastral municipality Glavatičevo, Municipality Konjic, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The provisions relating to protection 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 the Federation of BiH nos. 2/02, 27/02, 6/04 and 51/07) shall apply to the National Monument.
The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.
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 basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the site defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:
- all works are prohibited other than investigative and conservation-restoration works, including those designed for the presentation of the monument, with the approval of the Federal ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- the extraction of stone and the exploitation of other natural resources is prohibited;
- works to refurbish the necropolis, remove self-sown vegetation and remove lichen and moss from the stećak tombstones, and to repair damage, are prohibited without first drawing up a repair, restoration and conservation plan, and must have the approval of the relevant entity ministry and be conducted under the supervision of the heritage protection authority;
- the zone is a potential archaeological site, and in consequence investigative works must be conducted in the presence of an archaeologist;
- the dumping of waste is prohibited.
The Government of the Federation shall be responsible in particular for ensuring that the following measures are carried out:
- conducting a geodetic survey of the current condition of the site;
- producing a plan for the repair, restoration and conservation of the site;
- producing a Management Plan for the site.
Stage I of the production of a detailed Management Plan entails drawing up a project for clearing the necropolis, with emergency protection measures, to include clearing and refurbishing the necropolis so as to determine the exact number, size and position of the stećaks and to identify any decorations on them.
All movable artefacts found during the course of the archaeological survey shall be deposited in the nearest museum able to provide the necessary personnel, material and technical conditions or in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, processed, and suitably presented.
All movable and immovable archaeological material found during the course of the archaeological investigations shall be professionally processed.
Upon completion of the archaeological works the archaeologist leading the investigations shall submit a report to the Commission and to the institution that conducted the investigations.
The archaeologist leading the investigations must have access to all the movable and immovable archaeological material found during the course of the investigations and until his/her report is completed, for a period not exceeding three years.
All immovable finds shall be conserved in situ as the archaeological investigations proceed, and the movable archaeological material shall be conserved and placed for safe keeping in a suitable storage facility.
Upon receipt of a report on the investigations conducted, the Commission shall identify which movable artefacts shall be subject to protection measures to be determined by the Commission.
The removal of the movable artefacts referred to in para. 1 of this Clause from Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited.
By way of exception to the provisions of paragraph 7 of this Clause, the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable artefacts for the purposes of display or conservation shall be permitted if the leader of the investigations determines that a given artefact must be processed abroad, and provides evidence to that effect to the Commission, which may permit the temporary removal of the artefact from the country subject to detailed conditions for its export, treatment while out of the country and return to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
All executive and area development planning acts are hereby revoked to the extent that they are not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation thereof.
The Government of the Federation, the relevant ministry, the heritage protection authority, 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 to VI 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.kons.gov.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.
This Decision shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the Official Gazette of BiH.
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Martin Cherry, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović and Ljiljana Ševo.
26 October 2010
Chair 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.
On 27 October 2009 the Department of Administrative and Social Affairs and Inspection of Konjic Municipality submitted to the Commission a petition/proposal to designate the necropolis with stećak tombstones at Gračani, Konjic Municipality, as a National Monument.
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 para. 4 of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
Statement of Significance
According to Š. Bešlagić’s statistics, Konjic municipality – with 3,018 recorded stećci – is one of those with the greatest number of stećci (pl. of stećak) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In terms of shape, chest-shaped stećci are the most numerous, with gabled and slab-shaped tombstones represented in almost equal numbers. The way in which the stećci are grouped makes it possible to trace and to document on the ground important historical features, processes and relations. The siting of large necropolises is a reliable indication of the centres of former religious and political communities. That of medium-sized necropolises enables one to follow the process of development of clan-based villages, while smaller groups reflect intensive feudalization and social differentiation, when individual clans no longer bury their dead alongside their neighbours, but form their own family necropolises.
The necropolis at Gračani is just by the road to Striježevo. It formerly contained 22 stećak tombstones, but located as it is on a sandy hillock from which sand has been extracted for many years, half of the tombstones have been moved or even disappeared, and only eleven now remain.
II – PRELIMINARY PROCEDURE
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
- details of the current condition and use of the property, including a description, architectural survey and photographs,
- an inspection of the current condition of the property,
- a copy of the cadastral plan,
- a copy of the Land Register entry,
- historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.
Pursuant to Article V para. 2 of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 37 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, before rendering a final decision designating a property as a national monument, the Commission is required to provide the owner of the proposed monument, the person submitting the petition, the institutions responsible for heritage, professional and academic institutions, experts and scholars, as well as other interested parties, to express their views. Accordingly, the Commission sent a letter ref. 05.1-35.2-5/10-7 dated 3 March 2010 and 05.1-35.2-10/10-23 dated 5 March 2010 requesting documentation and views on the designation as a national monument of the necropolis with stećak tombstones in Gračani, Konjic Municipality, to Konjic Municipality (Mayor), department of urbanism and cadastral affairs, the Federal Ministry of Regional Planning and the Institute for the Protection of Monuments under the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport.
The views of the owner, Hebibović (Salko) Adem, had not been received at the time this Decision was rendered.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
The necropolis with stećci at Gračani is at an altitude of 485 m, at 43°30'35.47"N 18° 4'47.74"E, beside the road to Striježevo.
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 440, Land Register entry no. 220, cadastral municipality Glavatičevo, the property of Hebibović (Salko) Adem, Municipality Konjic, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The area around the upper Neretva straddles two regions. Since prehistoric times, the roads linking central Bosnia with the Adriatic coast ran along the Neretva valley and its outer margins. With some alterations and adaptations to the route, major roads ran here in antiquity, mediaeval times and the Ottoman period, until the road was laid through the Neretva gorge from Jablanica to the south in the 1880s. The central Bosnian ore-rich mining area, the fertile soils of the Neretva valley, and the rich mountain pastures, all led to the formation of many settlements throughout history, in line with the conditions and demands of their respective times, on the great bend in the Neretva between the mountain massifs of Bitovnja, Bjelašnica and Visočica to the north, and Prenj and Čvrsnica to the south.
In the early mediaeval period, the wider Konjic region consisted of the Neretva župa (county), part of the Zagorja župa (the area around Bjelimići) and part of the Kom župa (the area around Glavatičevo). The earliest reference to the Neretva župa is in the Chronicles of the Doclean priest, written in the mid 12th century. It lay between the župas of Rama and Kom. By the mid 11th century the župa had presumably been incorporated into the Bosnian state. From then on until ban (governor) Tvrtko came to power in 1353, it enjoyed special status within the Bosnian state(1).
2. Description of the property(2)
Description of the stećci
Eleven stećci were identified and catalogued at Gračani, all chest-shaped, undecorated, and lying east-west.
Stećak no. 1, chest, measuring 202 x 123 x 43 cm, surfaces in very poor condition.
Stećak no. 2, chest, measuring 166 x 67 x 40 cm, partly covered with lichen and moss.
Stećak no. 3, measuring 140 x 70 x 20 cm, partly buried, damaged.
Stećak no. 4, visible measurements 150 x ? x 42 cm, leaning off true, overgrown with grass and woody plants, covered with moss.
Stećak no. 5, measuring 195 x 95 x 28 cm, sinking, top surface cracks, covered with moss.
Stećak no. 6, measuring 163 x 65 x 28 cm, tilted (only one side visible), covered with moss.
Stećak no. 7, measuring 162 x 68 x 20 cm, leaning off true, covered with moss.
Stećak no. 8, measuring 135 x 80 x 30 cm, tilted (only one side visible), covered with moss.
Stećak no. 9, measuring 170 x 83, partly buried, of indeterminate shape, damaged.
Stećak no. 10, measuring 150 x 60 x 45 cm, partly covered with lichen.
Stećak no. 11, measuring 74 x 55 x 16, partly buried, of indeterminate shape, damaged.
3. Legal status to date
The Regional Plan for BiH to 2000 lists 69 sites of necropolises with stećci (3,018 tombstones) as Category III monuments in Konjic Municipality, without precise identification.
4. Research and conservation-restoration works
The National Museum in Sarajevo began a systematic study of the necropolises with stećci in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1950s.
Pavao Anđelić refers to a group of 22 chest-shaped stećci without any kind of decoration at Gračani(3).
Šefik Bešlagić gives the same number of stećci, adding that most have slid downhill from the hillock on which they were located, and that they lie east-west(4).
5. Current condition of the property
The findings of an on site visit conducted on 6 October 2009 are as follows:
- 11 stećci were catalogued and are described in this decision;
- the stećci are in poor condition, largely covered with plant organisms (moss and lichen) which are breaking up the structure of the stone;
- some of the stećci are leaning off true;
- some of the stećci are sinking into the ground;
- a few of the stećci have been so badly corroded by plant organisms as to be almost amorphous;
- some of the stećci are visibly damaged (split, more or less deeply cracked, or with the top surface damaged);
- one stećak has slid downhill and is now at the foot of the sandy slope;
- the necropolis is directly endangered by the extraction of sand;
- there are trenches dug during the war in three places in the necropolis.
6. Specific risks
- extraction of sand;
- devastation of the site during the war when trenches were dug.
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
D.ii. evidence of historical change
D.iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner
E. Symbolic value
E.i. ontological value
E.ii. religious value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Ownership documentation
- copy of cadastral plan, c.p. 440, c.m. Glavatičevo, plan no. 2, scale 1:2500, issued on 29.9.2009 by the Department of Geodetic, Proprietary Rights and Cadastral Affairs of Konjic Municipality, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Land Register entries for c.p. 440, Land Register entry no. 220, order no. 4092/09, issued on 29.9.2009 by the Land Registry office, Konjic, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Photographs taken on 6.10.2009 by historian Zijad Halilović using Canon 1000D digital camera.
- Technical documentation
- Technical drawings of the property (drawings of the necropolis and survey of the stećak tombstones), measured and surveyed on 06. and 26. 10. 2009 by historian Zijad Halilović and architect Arijana Pašić.
During the procedure to designate the property as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1971. Bešlagić, Šefik. Stećci, kataloško-topografski pregled (Stećci, a catalogue and topographical survey). Sarajevo: Veselin Masleša, 1971.
1975. Anđelić, Pavao. Historijski spomenici Konjica i okoline (Historic Monuments of Konjic and its Environs), I. Konjic: 1975.
1980. Redžić, Husref (ed.). Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stage B - valorization of natural, cultural and historical monuments. Sarajevo: Institute for architecture, town planning and regional planning of the Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo, 1980.
(1) For further historical details, see the Decision by the Commission designating the historic site of the necropolis with stećak tombstones of Česmina glava in Odžaci, Konjic Municipality, as a national monument of BiH, posted on the Commission’s web site: www.kons.gov.ba
(2) For a general decription of necropolises with stećci in Konjic Municipality see the Decision by the Commission designating the historic site of the Česmina glava necropolis with stećci in Odžaci, Municipality Konjic, as a national monument of BiH
(3) Pavao Anđelić, Historijski spomenici Konjica i okoline, I, Konjic: 1975, 201.
(4) Šefik Bešlagić, Stećci, Kataloško-topografski pregled, Sarajevo: Veselin Masleša, 1971, 335.