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 Prijedor Municipality was held on 09.05.2003 at 14:30. In addition to Commission members and staff, the meeting was attended by Goran Kunić, regional planning department; Goran Glamočanin, Public Prosecutor Prijedor ordinary court; and Mirjana Komljenović, head of regional planning division; as well as by Vadim Kuznetsov, Deputy High Representative and senior OHR adviser. Though invited, neither the Mayor, Nada Ševo, nor the deputy mayor or a cadastral representative attended the meeting.

The Commission members acquainted those present with the jurisdiction, methods and rules of the Commission's work, the procedure for submitting proposals to declare a property a national monument and the implementation of decisions.  Particular emphasis was laid on the requirement to respect the provisions of the law stipulating that all the monuments on the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH enjoy the highest level of protection and authorizing the Entity ministry to issue permits for their rehabilitation.  Those present were also informed about the activities of the Commission in relation to national monuments endangered by illegal construction, inexpert reconstruction, lack of maintenance or other detrimental acts or omissions, and of the fact that such acts could be the subject of criminal proceedings.  They were also informed of the principle of transparency in the work of the Commission and of the way decisions and other acts of the Commission are made public.

The modus and forms of cooperation were detailed. The municipality representatives confirmed that they would cooperate with Commission members and the Secretariat as required by the law.  It was confirmed that the Commission Secretariat's staff would be provided with all the required information from the municipal cadastral records, Land Registry, archives and regional planning documentation when preparing the documentation to declare properties as national monuments.  The municipal authorities would also assist Commission staff when conducting site visits and in determining possible additional sources of information on a given property.

All the Commission's decisions will be forwarded to the municipal courts, which will check the Land Registry to ascertain if there are any charges against the plots deriving from Commission decisions, and the municipal courts will then forward the necessary details to the municipal cadastral office so as to enter the information on the protection regime in the cadastral records for each cadastral plot.  Regulation plans and other regional planning documentation are not applicable if they do not conform to the Commission's decisions, which are final and binding.

The Commission's basic responsibility is adopting decisions to declare properties as national monuments, and the Commission does not have funds available to finance the reconstruction of national monuments, but may contact the relevant State and Entity institutions with a recommendation that funds be allocated for the protection of the monuments at greatest risk, as well as contacting foreign donors.

The Commission Chair stressed that the Provisional List of National Monuments in BiH includes ten from Prijedor municipality.  She also informed the Municipal representatives that at its 7th session the Commission had issued a decision to declare the site and remains of the Čaršija mosque in Prijedor a National Monument, rendering null and void the part of the Municipal regulation plan relating to the protected site and protection zones, which is contrary to the Commission's decision. The decision prescribes the exact height of buildings in the protection zone.  There is no plan to issue town planning consent for the national monument.  From the date of submission of the petition to declare the property a national monument it has enjoyed the regime applicable to national monuments, and pursuant to the provisions of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission the Entity ministry responsible for regional planning has the authority to issue permission for conservation, restoration or rehabilitation.  The municipal authorities have no jurisdiction in this case, but are required to ensure that the site is protected and that the Commission's decision is implemented.  This relates to every monument on the Provisional List of National Monuments of  BiH.

Ljiljana Ševo drew attention to the case of the Fortress in Kozarac, which the Commission had resolved to add to the list of endangered monuments in BiH.  The Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Historical Heritage of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka cannot issue permits for the renovation or reconstruction of houses within the Kozarac Fotress or in its immediate vicinity, given that the Kozarac Fortress is a national monument, and the Entity Ministry is responsible for issuing permits. In such cases direct cooperation between the local authorities and the Commission is thus needed.

Dubravko Lovrenović pointed out that local authorities need to prevent intentional damage to the Kozarac Fortress by putting up a noticeboard prohibiting any works detrimental to the property.

Zeynep Ahunbay noted that three openings had been made in the ramparts of the fortress and that works were still going on, and that the municipality, as owner of the property, should ensure that it was protected.

Goran Kunić said that about 5,000 buildings near the fortress had been damaged and that the German humanitarian organization THW had located its warehouses, containers and materials needed for reconstruction in the Old Fort itself.  Returnees who had owned property in the immediate vicinity before the war had not even been required to apply for consent to renovate them if they did not alter the use or dimensions of the property, and as a result the municipality had been unable to acquire information about construction at the proper times.  Mirjana Komljenović said that THW had not applied for any kind of consent or permit for siting its warehouses.  The Old Fort was protected as a cultural monument by the pre-war regulation plan, but the organization had not wished to cooperate with the municipality.  In addition, the municipality did not have sufficient staff to prevent illegal building, and returnees usually altered the dimensions of their buildings and then applied to have the works legalized. Ljiljana Ševo said that the reconstruction of the first buildings in Kozarac had begun in late 1999 when the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH and the Law on Implementation had not yet been adopted, so that there had been no legislation requiring that the property be protected. Amra Hadžimuhamedović underlined the need for the municipality to invest the funds required for the conservation of the tower and other endangered parts of the monument.  Goran Kunić pointed out that the municipality's budget was limited and that only minimal funds were available for the maintenance of the monument, but said he would inform the Mayor to see if they could resolve the problem. The municipality was cooperating well with the Entity ministry and the majlis (council) of the Islamic community in Prijedor in regard to the renovation of the Čaršija mosque in Prijedor. Amra Hadžimuhamedović noted that the Commission's decision did not differ greatly from the terms and conditions set by the municipality.  No other building could be erected, but only minor changes and restoring to the original dimensions prior to demolition.

Goran Glamočanin said that the municipal prosecutor's office was willing to cooperate with the Commission and all other relevant heritage protection institutions and recognized the need for good cooperation with the Interior Ministry (law enforcement authorities).

It was resolved that the municipality would set up a noticeboard prohibiting any works that could be detrimental to the property.

Following the meeting there was a visit to the Prijedor Museum and the site and remains of the Čaršija mosque. The Kozarac Fortress had been visited earlier, and Commission members will also visit Holy Trinity Church.


The meeting in Bosanski Novi/Novi Grad Municipality was held on 09.05.2003 at 18.00. In addition to Commission members and staff, the meeting was attended by the Mayor, Drago Todić; Malik Kapetanović, head of the commercial department; Slobodanka Vojinović, head of the public Cultural and Education Centre; Mirjana Drljača, documentarist of the Cultural and Education Centre; Vadim Kuznetsov, Deputy High Representative and senior OHR consultant.

Following the meeting there was a visit to the filial church of the Holy Trinity, the old town hall building and the site and remains of the Vidorija mosque.

Six properties in Novi Grad municipality are on the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH, and the Commission has received a petition for the Vidorija mosque from the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ljiljana Ševo informed the municipal representatives about the list of endangered monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and said that the Commission would consider adding the Novi Grad town hall to the list.

Dubravko Lovrenović referred to positive examples of municipalities allocating funds for heritage protection.

Amra Hadžimuhamedović underlined the need to protect Holy Trinity Church from further deterioration by erecting a temporary roof and preventing any building in the immediate vicinity.

Zeynep Ahunbay asked the municipal representatives if they had a project for the protection of the town hall and whether they were in a position to prevent works being carried out in the immediate vicinity of the Vidorija mosque and the filial church of the Holy Trinity.

Drago Todić referred to the lack of funds to renovate the town hall, but pointed out that they had preventing the town library and art gallery from further deterioration. Illegal construction in Novi Grad had even been initiated by the Government of Republika Srpska, individual ministries, and municipal officials who had issued planning permits, and the municipality could do nothing, although it had even filed criminal charges against the perpetrators in certain cases. Before the war, there had been a building alongside the Vidorija mosque on the site where a house was now being built.  There was a building very close to the town hall for which planning permission had been issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources Management of Republika Srpska. The municipality had filed criminal charges, since the building was disrupting the flow and the possibility of building the pontoon bridge that had been there before, but the charges were dismissed by the public prosecutor.  Permission for building close to the filial church of the Holy Trinity had been issued by the previous municipal authorities.  The municipality did not have the funds to repair the church roof.

Slobodanka Vojinović noted that the first signs of damage to the town hall building had appeared after the Banja Luka earthquake, in October 1969. Further cracks had appeared as a result of the action of underground waters on the foundations of the building.  A project to repair the building had been drawn up, but there had been a disagreement over funding, and the works had not been undertaken.  The building had suffered considerable damage during the recent war, particularly after the nearby bridge had been blown up.  In 1997 the municipality had contacted the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska about repairs to the roof so as to prevent the building from deteriorating further, but nothing was done because of lack of funds.  The town hall building is currently fenced off and is in a border zone, so it is difficult even to enter the building.

Ljijana Ševo said that the Institute had some of the documentation for the town hall building, but did not have the funds needed to protect it.

The Mayor notified Commission representatives that he had appointed Mirjana Drljača as the liaison person for cooperation with the Commission.  He underlined their major problem with the cadastral office, which did not operate within the municipality.  Malik Kapetanović said that the Vidorija mosque was of no importance except architecturally, and was of the view that it would not be possible to rebuild it since it would be difficult to obtain permission.  Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed out that the Entity ministry was responsible for issuing, within one month, a permit for the rehabilitation of buildings that had been declared national monuments.  In addition, there was a project already drawn up for this mosque.  It was a wholly wrong view that it was harder to renovate buildings that had been declared national monuments.  Municipal representatives were of the view that drawing up project documentation was much more expensive in the case of properties that had been declared as national monuments. Ljiljana Ševo cited the example of the project to reconstruct the monastery in Žitomislići, which the Institute had drawn up free of charge as part of its normal activities.  Malik Kapetanović also referred to the foundations of a residential building very close to the filial church of the Holy Trinity.  Permission for this building had been issued before the war, when the foundations had also been laid.  If the Commission issued a decision to remove this building then the municipality would have to compensate the owner for the loss suffered. Ljiljana Ševo said that this had happened because the church had not been a cultural monument prior to the war and as a result had not been under protection.  The church now had the status of a national monument, which included the protection zones around the church.  Amra Hadžimuhamedović noted that the municipal regulation plan did not comply with the prescribed urban planning and technical requirements.

It was resolved that the municipality would allocate the funds needed to repair the roof of the filial church of the Holy Trinity.


The meeting in Bihać Municipality was held on 10.05.2003 at 11.00.  In addition to Commission members and staff, the meeting was attended by Zlatko Čizmić, deputy Mayor; Samir Dedić, cadastral department; Vanesa Arnautović, department of regional planning; Silva Tomljenović, town planning and building inspector; Goran Stambolija, cultural officer; and Vadim Kuznetsov, Deputy High Representative and senior OHR adviser.

Amra Hadžimuhamedović notified those present that at its 8th session the Commission had adopted decisions to declare three properties in Bihać municipality as national monuments (the Založje slab, the Golubići slab and the archaeological site of Ripač).  The Commission would draft decisions for the Mausoleum of Croatian notables and St Anthony's Tower for its next session.

Vadim Kuznetsov referred to representatives of the Catholic community in Bihać who had expressed the wish to take account of St Anthony's Tower without regaining possession of it. He had had a meeting with the Mayor, who had said he would contact the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to try to resolve the problem. Meanwhile, restitution had begun, and they were unable to begin clearing the building, which had been abandoned for a long time and had become the site of criminal activities.    He asked the municipal representatives if they were in a position to prevent further deterioration of the building.  Zlatko Čizmić said that municipal representatives had had a number of discussions with representatives of the Parish Office, who had directed them to the Bishop's ordinariate in Banja Luka, which was responsible for this church.  The municipal representatives said they were willing to take action to prevent the cultural and historical heritage in the municipality.  Funds had been approved at a session of the Municipal Council to preserve St Anthony's Tower and the Museum of the Second AVNOJ session.

Following the meeting a tour was made of the Fethija mosque, Kloster, the Pounje Museum, the building of the Second AVNOJ session, the Mausoleum of Croatian notables, the tower of St Anthony's Church.  The tour of the old fort of Ostrošac had been completed before the meeting in the municipality.


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