Sessions of the Commission

Press Releases

Visits to Municipalities


Campaign for Protection of Heritage at Risk

Projects and Conferences

European Heritage Award 2010 Celebrating Excellence awarded to The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Regional Cultural and Natural Heritage Programme for South Eastern Europe

Integrated Rehabilitation Project Plan/Assessment of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage (IRPP/SAAH)


The meeting in Tešanj municipality was held on 7 March 2003 at 11.30.  In addition to Commission members and staff, the meeting was attended by Miralem Mujkić, deputy mayor; Jasmin Mandžukić, associate of the mayor and head of the department of social affairs; Fatima Smailbegović, head of the department of cadastral and property rights; and Emir Srkalić, head of the department of town planning, regional planning, inspectorate and housing.  The Mayor and the president of the municipal Prosecutor's office did not attend.

              The deputy mayor informed members of the Commission that the municipality had appointed Jasmin Mandžukić to liaise with the Commission and coordinate matters of interest to the Commission at the municipal level.

Members of the Commission informed those present of the jurisdiction, methods and rules of procedure of the Commission, the way proposals to designate properties as national monuments are submitted, and the implementation of decisions. The obligation to uphold the legislative provisions that all the monuments on the Provisional List of National Monuments enjoy the highest level of protection and that the Entity ministry is responsible for issuing permits for their rehabilitation was particularly emphasized.  Those present were notified of the activities of the Commission in relation to national monuments endangered by illegal construction, inexpert reconstruction, lack of maintenance or other forms of destruction, and that pursuant to the Criminal Code, criminal charges may be filed for such acts.  They were also informed of the principle of transparency of operations of the Commission and the way decisions and other acts of the Commission are made public.

The methods and forms of collaboration were specified.  The mayor and his associates confirmed that they would collaborate with members of the Commission and the Secretariat in compliance with the law.  It was confirmed that qualified staff members of the Secretariat of the Commission, while preparing documentation for the adoption of decisions to designate properties as national monuments, would receive all the necessary data from the municipal cadastre, land registry, archives and existing regional planning documents.  The municipal authorities will also extend assistance to Commission staff when conducting on site visits to monuments and when identifying possible further sources of information on the property in question.

All the Commission's decisions will be forwarded to the municipal courts, which will enter in the land registry the obligations relating to the plots deriving from the Commission's decisions and will then forward the necessary information to the municipal cadastral service so that the information on protection measures can be entered on the cadastral plan for each cadastral plot. Regulatory plans and other regional planning documents cease to be applicable to the extent that they are not consistent with the decisions of the Commission, which are final and enforceable.

The basic remit of the Commission is to issue decisions on designation, and the Commission does not have the funds to finance the reconstruction of national monuments, but may address the relevant State and Entity institutions with a recommendation that they allocate funds for the protection of the most endangered monuments and approach international donors.

The municipality representatives informed members of the Commission that they had sent copies of the petition form to all juristic subjects and informed the general public in Tešanj municipality through the media, with the aim of establishing a file of all the monuments in the municipality, some of which would be proposed for designation as national monuments.  It was noted that the stećak necropolis of Brusovi, Oraš Planje no longer exists, having been destroyed when the Unkić family house was built.  The problem is that monuments are not entered on the geodetic bases in the municipality.  This necropolis was recorded some 30 years ago by the National Museum of BiH, but not entered in the land registry.  Ljiljana Ševo was interested to know if an evaluation of the cultural, historical and natural heritage had been included in pre-war regulatory plans. The Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Sarajevo had drawn up a regulatory plan to renovate the Old čaršije in Tešanj in 1987, but this had not been entered in the cadastral plans.  A positive example was that of Bajina Glava, Vukovo, where five stećaks were recorded, but a visit to the site ascertained that there were eleven well preserved stećaks on three sites.  Dubravko Lovrenović noted that the Federal Ministry for Culture and Sport had issued a decision to approve 20,000 KM for Tešanj Municipality to renovate the Eminagić house.  The municipality representatives appealed to members of the Commission to use their influence on the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport to plan funds for a feasibility project for the restoration and reconstruction of the Eminagić house in Tešanj in the 2003 Federation Budget.  The building is in a ruinous state and urgent preservation measures are needed.

Ljiljana Ševo asked about the collection of icons of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Tešanj. The municipality representatives were informed that in 2000 this collection of icons, which included four of the most valuable in BiH, was removed from the Serbian Orthodox Church in Tešanj without the knowledge of the local authorities and the Institute for the Protection of Monuments.  The collection had been preserved during World War II and the recent war in BiH thanks to the people of Tešanj.  During the last war it was held in the vaults of the Privredna bank Sarajevo, and in early 2000 was formally handed back, following which the municipality made good the war damage to the church. Representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, with archpriest Stojan Jovanović, removed the collection to Bijeljina at the end of 2000 for conservation purposes.  The municipality had notified the relevant institutions, the Cantonal Ministry for Education, Science, Culture and Sport and the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of BiH, which reacted immediately by sending a letter to Bishop Kačavenda, who replied in late February 2001 that the collection had been taken away for conservation and restoration and would be returned after the return of the Orthodox inhabitants to Tešanj. The media were also notified of the matter, including Dnevni avaz, but there has still been no response.  There is a minute of the hand-over where all the icons in the collection are listed and it is noted that they are in good condition and require no restoration and conservation.  A priest from Maglaj serves the Orthodox parish in Tešanj since it does not have its own representative.  The church is now in good condition and the collection of icons could be returned to the church. Ljiljana Ševo noted that the Commission had not received a petition for this collection, and that the Commission in its previous complement had not included the collection in the Provisional List because it was movable cultural property.  The legal status should be resolved: the municipality should submit a petition to designate this collection as a national monument, and after the adoption of a decision the collection will enjoy all legal protection measures and it will be possible to return it to the Orthodox parish of Tešanj, given that it is important evidence of the history of Tešanj over the past 250 years.  It should be verified whether restoration works have been carried out in Bijeljina, who is responsible and in what conditions the collection is being kept.  The owner of the collection is the Orthodox parish.  It was agreed that municipality representatives would submit all the documentation relating to the collection of icons to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments. Amra Hadžimuhamedović referred to the similar cases of the monastery of Žitomislić and the church of St Nicholas in Trijebanj, where the icons have been removed for protection.  Talks are currently in hand for the return of movable items to the buildings where they belong, and the Commission plans to hold talks with senior officials on the matter. Fatima Smailbegović asked members of the Commission to submit decisions on designation to the municipality so the obligations relating to various plots could be entered in the land registry.  There are two sets of records in Tešanj municipality, the land registry is based on the old Austro-Hungarian survey and the cadastre on a new survey.


The meeting in the City Authority of Banja Luka was held on 08.03.2003 at 09:15. In addition to members and staff of the Commission, the meeting was attended by Vladimir Glamočić, head of the department of regional planning; Milenko Marinović, head of the department for social affairs; Svetislav Popović, freelance qualified associate for bridges and low-rise buildings.

Amra Hadžimuhamedović notified municipality representatives that the previous day members of the Commission had visited the convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Banja Luka, a building that is on the Provisional List of National Monuments and, pursuant to the law, enjoys the status of national monument.  It had been ascertained from documentation that the municipality had issued approval for the demolition and reconstruction of this building, but that it did not have the jurisdiction to do so and that pursuant to the law the ruling was regarded as null and void.  The building had been demolished, which had caused irreparable damage to a national monument, and its reconstruction would expose the owner to major expenditure.  Situations of this kind could be prevented by direct contacts between the Commission and the municipality, which would improve the efficiency of implementation of Annex 8.

Municipality representatives said that the building was in such poor condition that it posed a danger to passers-by and that in such cases a ruling on the demolition of the building was issued by the inspectorate authorities.  The municipality requested that the design concept be such that the new building would be identical to the original, and that a special committee of the Institute would approve the design concept.  No building permit has yet been issued (only town planning consent because the building was in a dilapidated state) for the reconstruction of the building.

Ljiljana Ševo said that there had been failings at two levels. The owner had addressed the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska, which had issued an expert opinion approving renovation with the possibility of demolishing and reconstructing the building.  Neither the Institute nor the municipality had notified the owner that the building was on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which meant that it enjoyed the highest degree of protection in BiH until such time as a final decision on designation was issued by the Commission.  The municipality had prescribed conditions for its rehabilitation that were appropriate to the conditions stipulated in the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Commission.

Ljiljana Ševo noted that pursuant to the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Commission no interventions to the building were to be carried out without the approval of the relevant Ministry, given that the building was on the Provisional List.

Amra Hadžimuhamedović said that pursuant to the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission, only approval for rehabilitation could be issued for buildings on the Provisional List for which a decision on designation had been issued or a petition filed, and that the owners of the buildings did not require to obtain town planning permission since the town planning and technical conditions were included in the approval for rehabilitation.

It was concluded that this misunderstanding should be seen as a warning and efforts be made to avoid similar errors and misunderstandings in the future, and that it was vital to establish good cooperation between the municipality and the Secretariat and for the municipality to make available the documentation required in the procedure of issuing decisions on properties in Banja Luka municipality. The municipality representatives agreed to become actively engaged in the process and to assist the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.

In addition to this monument, about another twenty buildings in Banja Luka municipality are on the Provisional List, and the Commission has received a further twenty or so petitions relating to properties in this municipalities.  These properties will have priority in the Commission's decision-making process, but this will need the municipality to assist in gathering the necessary documentation.

Ljiljana Ševo referred to the case of the Kastel fortress which is not on the Provisional List and in regard to which no petition has been submitted, though this is a very valuable monument, and suggested to the municipality representatives that they review the list of properties and submit petitions for valuable cultural and historic properties in the municipality.


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