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 Zvornik Municipality was held on 4 July 2003 at 13.30.  In addition to Commission members and staff, the meeting was attended by Mile Jović, deputy Mayor; Gospava Jeremić, head of the social affairs division; Dragan Jevtić, head of the regional planning division; Aleksa Krstić, head of the regional unit of the RS geodetic administration in Zvornik; Milja Savić, senior staffer for tourism; Prof. Rajko Avramović, custodian of the museum collection; and Darko Sekulić from the OHR office in Zvornik.

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 is also responsible for international cooperation in the field of the protection of the cultural and historical heritage, starting with cooperation with Interpol in the case of property illicitly removed from the country, the proposal of monuments for inclusion on the World Heritage List and the WMF list of the world's 100 most endangered monuments, to preparing and implementing international conventions and agreements.

Amra Hadžimuhamedović said that in the Kušlat Fortress, new buildings were de facto being built which are detrimental to the national monument, which is on the Provisional List and is thus under protection.  The Commission would notify journalists of the case at the press conference, and both expected and required the full cooperation of the municipal authorities.

Mile Jović expressed the hope that the cooperation begun at the meeting would continue more intensively in future.  He said that the municipal budget unfortunately had no funds earmarked for the protection of monuments, although municipality representatives had taken some steps to protect cultural properties.  Plans were in hand for next year to protect the towers in the Zvornik fortress.  Because they were unable to secure funds from sponsors and the Republika Srpska authorities in Banja Luka, the municipality was not in a position to find adequate accommodation for the museum collection nor to renovate Andraš's villa, although this had been planned as part of the town planning.

Ljiljana Ševo explained that according to the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission, the Entity authorities were responsible for providing the necessary legal, scientific, technical and financial measures.

Rajko Avramović said that the municipality had planned this year to conduct a review of the entire cultural, historical and natural heritage, since there were some 160 sites with a total of almost 1300 buildings or structures.  No review had been conducted for 20 years, and must be done and rulings issued to the owners of the buildings.  He said that the expansion of the construction of communal, residential and commercial buildings in the post-war period had resulted in greater damage and destruction to cultural properties, as was the case with the Hillfort in Šetići,  one of the largest sites with remains from the Roman period in eastern Bosnia.  The locals had pulled the walls down right to the foundations and used the stone to build private housdes.  It was the same with the Roman fort in Vidikovac, two Roman sites in  Zelina, the large catacombs of the former Roman quarry in Siga.  There were 30 prehistoric sites on which there were hillfort settlements, and 19 necropolises, of which 11 had about 300 tumuli or gravemounds from that period.  There were 12 Roman sites – one fort, three smaller fortifications, three roads, one quarry, a temple, and so on.  From the mediaeval period, there were Kušlat, the mediaeval fort of the Zvornik fortress, five lesser fortifications, 55 necropolises with about 900 stećaks of which five had very valuable epitaphs, but one had been destroyed by human negligence.

Ljiljana Ševo said that an Orthodox church had been built in the immediate vicinity of the Zvornik fortress where there had not been one before, which was detrimental in form to the national monument.  The Commission planned very shortly to enact a decision to designate the Zvornik fortress as a National Monument, which would define what fell within Protection Zone I and in the adjacent zone.

Before the meeting, a visit was made to the church and monastery of St George in Lomnica and the Papraća church and monastery.  After the meeting a visit was made to the church of the nativity of St John the Precursor or Forerunner (St John the Baptist) and to the Fortress in Zvornik.



The meeting in Bijeljina Municipality was held on 5 July 2003 at 10.00.  In addition to Commission members and staff, the meeting was attended by Slavko Blagojević, head of the division for economic and social affairs; Nada Babić, head of the division for social affairs; Dušanka Račanović, deputy public prosecutor; Dragan Božić, head of the division for returnees, refugees and displaced persons; and Vadim Kuznetsov, deputy High Representative and senior OHR advisor. The major, Dragomir Ljubojević,  was away on official business.

Amra Hadžimuhamedović told those present that the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH included 11 properties in Bijeljina municipality: the Town Hall, Catholic Church, Falconers' Hall, Semberija Museum, Vanek's mill, the Church of the Archangel Michael in Brodac, the Church of the Archangel Gabriel in Gornji Dragaljevac, the Church of St Elias in Janja, the Church in Novo selo, the Church and Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Tavna, and Jazbine 1 in Batkovići.  In addition, at one of its previous sessions the Commission had enacted a decision to designate the site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Atik mosque in Bijeljina as a National Monument.  She noted that there was excellent cooperation between the municipal authorities, the Islamic Community and the experts' group in the case of the Atik mosque, which was resulting in the preservation of the architectural heritage.

Slavko Blagojević assured the Commission that there would be the necessary levels of cooperation and all necessary technical assistant.  He said that almost 50,000 new inhabitants had moved into the municipality, and about 20,000 of the pre-war population had also returned.  The municipality had had to allocate funds to resolve accommodation, education and infrastructure problems, and as a result had not been in a position to provide funds for the protection of monuments.  He was of the view that the protection of cultural monuments should be resolved at the republic (Entity) level, and that the required interventions should also be an Entity responsibility.  He said that the Evangelical Church in Novo Selo was in the premises of the Semberija agricultural estate and that it had not been used since the end of World War II.

              Dragan Božić noted that the municipality adopted cadastral and regional plans pursuant to the law and that the sites of properties that had been designated as monuments under state protection had been preserved, with no building on those sites.

Before the meeting the site of the Atik mosque was visited.  After the meeting there was a visit to the Semberija Museum, the Catholic Church, Vanek's Mill and the Evangelical Church in Novo Selo. Secretariat members visited the mosques of Ahmed-beg Selimbegović, Dašnica, Krpić Ahmetaga, Mehmed Salih Vedžihi paša-Janjic, Novo Naselje.  On the way back the church and monastery of the Holy Trinity in Tavna was visited.


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