Sessions of the Commission

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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)


 Visits to the Municipalities of Srebrenik and Gradačac


The visit to the Municipality of Srebrenik was held on 05 November 2004, at 09:30. The meeting was attended by the members of the Commission and its staff, and Sejfudin Suljić, the Mayor; Osman Suljagić, newly elected  Mayor; Samir Muratović, the Head of Department for Regional Planning, Dwelling and Communal Services and Reconstruction; Muhamed Jašarević, the Head of Department for Social Activities, Displaced Persons and Refugees; Zijo Nurikić, the Head of Department for Surveying and Real Estate Affairs; Edin Mutapčić, director of the Public Society Centre for Culture and Media, Srebrenik; Osman Mujkić and Amir Ibrić, local journalists.


Amra Hadžimuhamedović said that at the Commission’s 17th session, the Commission adopted a decision to designate the architectural ensemble – the Old Srebrenik Fortress as a national monument, entitling the property to permanent protection regime. Besides that, the Commission had received 38 petitions to designate the properties from the Municipality of Srebrenica area as national monuments, so that these properties enjoyed provisional protection, until the final decision of the Commission had been adopted, or at least one year following the petition submittal, whatever came the first. The Federation of BaH Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment is responsible for these properties, pertaining to issuance the relevant permits. Considering the fact that a great number of petitions refer to newly built mosques in Srebrenica (total of 475 petitions for new mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Commission would, at the 18th session, adopt a general decision for all those structures (in the case the structures are built at completely new locations, where there is no harems or other elements from the past, the Commission shall adopt a decision not to protect those structures as national monuments, and the responsibility for their construction and care would be delegated to the municipality).


Drawing up of the Law on Cultural Heritage for Bosnia and Herzegovina is underway. Expert discussions are presently conducted, after which the public discussion is foreseen, and the Commission expects the Law to be adopted in the following year. The Law would bring some changes into the institutional organization and the mode of financing (considerable funds are expected to be allocated for protection of the heritage at the level of BaH; this would make a step forward towards implementation of the Commission’s decisions).


Sejfudin Suljić informed on the budgetary funds of the Municipality of Srebrenik amounting to 6,500,000 KM. In this year, the Municipality allocated 25,000 KM for landscaping around the Old Srebrenik Fortress. Considerable funds are needed from the state, federation, and canton to protect the heritage, primarily for the Old Srebrenik Fortress, where 10-day events are being held yearly, but the responsible persons from the relevant institutions do not respond to the entreaties form the Municipality.


Edin Mutapčić stressed that the Centre for Culture and Media in Srebrenik allocated 10,000 KM for archaeological excavations at the Municipality territory, and 5,000 KM for organization of the gallery collection. He said that the old town symbolizes the whole Municipality of Srebrenik, and that it was visited by great number of foreign tourists and delegations formally visiting the Municipality. Local community is ready to allocate a part of the funds, but it needs help from other institutions. He informed on the period form 1977 to 1981, when the works at protection of the Old town were executed. The design was prepared by the Institute for Protection of Monuments of Culture in 1975, the historical grounds were set by Đuro Basler, and the main architect was Ferhat Mulabegović. He was of an opinion that the Old Srebrenik Fortress should be nominated to enter the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, because it is among the best fortified and preserved towns.


Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed out that the lack of the funds for rehabilitation of the Old Srebrenik Fortress might be regarded as an advantage, exemplifying Gradačac, where the funds were invested in interventions at the Old town with walls and the Husein captain Gradašćević tower, which were not adequate according to the Commission, thus depreciating both the structure and the ensemble. She said that no property from Bosnia and Herzegovina entered the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.  One of the reasons is that it is necessary to prepare very detailed planning and design documentation, management plans and the similar documentation, in order to nominate the property to enter the UNESCO World Heritage List, all requesting expert team, extensive and long work, and considerable financial funds, due to which Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to candidate neither the historical city centre of Jajce, nor Stolac. Documentation for Mostar and Sarajevo was prepared, but was assessed insufficient by the UNESCO Committee. The Municipality may start the procedure, but it is necessary to earmark funds amounting up to 100,000 KM, out of which 25,000 USD may be donated by UNESCO upon a request.


Edin Mutapčić said that the Municipality contacted Vesna Krešić from the French organization Cultural Heritage without Borders, who prepared design documentation and nominated the Old Srebrenik Fortress to UNESCO, but the Municipality failed to obtain an official confirmation that the old town is the monument important for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The representatives of the Municipality expressed their aptness to submit petitions for more valuable properties to the Commission, such as the mosque in Rapatnica, the mosque in Sovići, the mosque in Ćojluk, the Šejh Sinan mosque, and domed burial site (turbe) and the mosque in Ćifluk. Close to the Old town there is a šehitluk with four preserved nišans bearing diverse motifs. In 1958, Zdravko Kajmaković recorded two localities with stećak tombstones (Metljike locality at the area of Ćehaja, where the representatives of the Municipality found no stećak tombstones, and Mrećeve locality, close to the Old town, which is not thoroughly investigated yet). The Closet city (Orman grad) in Gornji Hrgovi was recorded as well. Not long time ago the Italian Museum from Genova requested to perform archaeological excavations, but according to the law, the leader of excavations may be only the responsible museum where all materials would be processed. 


Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed out the readiness of the Commission to give at the disposal of the Municipality, without recompense, all documentation and photographs drawn up and collected in the procedure of designation of the Old Srebrenik Fortress as a national monument. The Commission has a library, and the establishment of the documentary centre is in progress, so it would be useful from the part of the Municipality to give at disposal all documentation related to the historical centre of Srebrenik.


Samir Muratović said that the greatest number of petitions for the properties from the Municipality of Srebrenik territory referred to newly built structures and that the Municipality should have had been informed on provisional protection regime for those properties, and on the Federation of BaH Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment responsibility to issue the permits.


After the meeting, the participants visited the Old Srebrenik Fortress, the Ćojluk and the old bey’s house in Špionica. Members of the Secretariat visited the mosques from the petition list.


The meeting in the municipality of Gradačac was held on 05 November 2004, at 14:30. The meeting was attended by the members of the Commission and its staff, and Ferhat Mustafić, the Mayor; Hajrudin Hasanbašić, Assistant Mayor; Emina Omeragić, the Head of the Urbanism Department; Nermina Hadžimuhamedović, the Head of the Social Activities Department; and Fadil Hadžimuhamedović, Assistant Mayor.


Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed out that drawing up of the Law on Cultural Heritage at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina was in progress, which was to be prepared in cooperation with the Council of Europe, and proposed extension of responsibilities and authorities of the Commission, being the only governmental institution responsible for protection of the heritage. At the Commission’s 17th session, the Commission adopted a decision to designate the architectural ensemble of Gradačac old town and the architectural ensemble of the Husejnija (Husejin-captain Gradaščević) mosque as national monuments. The Commission received 18 petitions to designate the properties form the Municipality of Gradačac territory as national monuments. Those properties, together with the properties from the Provisional list of national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoy provisional protection regime for a one-year period, starting from the date of petition submittal to the date of adoption of the Commission’s final decision, whatever comes the first. In the case the decision to designate the property as a national monument has not been adopted within the one-year period, the decision to extend the provisional protection regime period for another year is being adopted. Having an insight into the documentation, it was found out that the properties, for which the petitions had been submitted, were newly built buildings, situated at locations with no historical value, and met no criteria set by the Commission in order to be designated as national monuments. At the Commissions 18th session, the Commission would adopt a general decision for all new buildings, and declare the preliminary protection regime for those buildings null.


Ms. Hadžimuhamedović informed that the Commission’s documentation, including the plan-library, photo-library and library would be at disposal to all staff of the documentary centre, in accordance with the Rulebook on usage of documentation of the Commission.


Tina Wik informed that the NGO Centre for Promotion of Civil Society from Gradačac nominated Gradačac old town for the European Union project, and asked for 50,000 Euro. If the funds were earmarked, the heritage would be integrated into development of tourism in Gradačac.


Ferhat Mustafić accentuated the significance of existence of such a governmental organization as the Commission to Preserve National Monuments. He said that the Tuzla Canton, entity and BaH institutions poorly financially supported the Municipality of Gradačac, when it came to the funds to be allocated for protection of the cultural and historical heritage and the structures of a great significance to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, the criteria for distribution of funds for protection of heritage to municipalities were not adequate. In the previous four to five years, the Municipality of Gradačac earmarked 1,000,000 KM for rehabilitation of the Husein captain Gradašćević tower. The funds collected as voluntary local tax from the citizens of Gradačac were used to rehabilitate the tower in 1968. Underground channels under the tower were never archaeologically investigated, nor the walls destroyed during the war rehabilitated. Applying the budgetary funds amounting to 20 – 70 % of the project value, the Municipality participated in all projects co-financed by international investments, aiming to motivate the investor to allocate larger sums to protect the heritage. Every year the Municipality allocates 300,000 KM for protection of the heritage, out of which a sum of 40,000 KM is being applied for cleaning of the Husein captain Gradašćević tower. Budgetary funds for the year 2004 amounted to 6,500,000 KM.


Asked by Emina Omeragić regarding classification of the heritage, Amra Hadžimuhamedović informed that this was the issue to be avoided in contemporary protection of the heritage. The only classification system to be applied was the class of the properties designated as national monuments, which are protected as heritage through the planning documentation. The Commission decides on the endangered heritage, and the List of Endangered Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina presently numbers 32 properties. For six properties from the List, the Commission asked for larger funds amounting to from 250,000 to 300,000 KM, and for the rest of 26 properties - 50,000 KM for each.


After the meeting, the Husein captain Gradašćević tower and the Husejnija mosque were visited.

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