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)



Visit to the Brčko District


The meeting in the Brčko District was held on 06 November 2004, at 09:30. The meeting was attended by the members of the Commission and its staff, and Branko Damjanac, the Mayor; Zdenko Dević, the Head of Sub-department for Urbanism within the Department for Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development; Slađana Mitrović, Officer in the Sub-department for Urbanism and Spatial Planning within the Department for Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development; Gordana Lukić, Officer for protection of the monuments in the Sub-department for Public Buildings within the Department for Public Works; Slavo Lakić, deputy Prosecutor in the Brčko District Prosecutor’s Office; and Edin Agić, the Head of the Business Department of the OHR in Brčko.


Amra Hadžimuhamedović emphasized the significance of Tina Wik’s work and the Cultural Heritage without Borders, as the only organization that integrated Bosnia and Herzegovina’s heritage by applying and meeting the highest heritage protection standards, employing the local staff as much as possible and educating the young staff. She drew attention to this with regard to planned accomplishment of the official cooperation between the Cultural Heritage without Borders in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Commission in the forthcoming period. Upon the Commission’s initiative, Brčko was set as a priority focus in the program of the Cultural Heritage without Borders.


Ms. Hadžimuhamedović said that there was an issue of division of authorities between the departments in Brčko.  The Department for Public Works is in charge of issuing construction permits, the Department for Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development is in charge of issuing the planning approval, whereas it issues approvals to rehabilitate, conserve or restore, for the national monuments. After the Azizija mosque in Brezovo Polje and the Kočića house in Brčko cases, when the planning approvals were issued notwithstanding the decision and consent from the Entity Ministry of Spatial Planning, it was agreed to follow the procedure which proved successful in the case of the Savska mosque in Brčko, when the Commission was handed the design documentation for rehabilitation of the building for approval. The Commission had substantial remarks regarding the design, and decided that changes and amendments in the design documentation be made at the meeting with the designer and the Department for Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development of the Government of the Brčko District.


The Commission was satisfied with the fact that the tender procedures were announced for preparation of the design documentation for rehabilitation of the structures in Brčko, making the funds for protection of the cultural heritage earmarked in the budget for 2004 possible to spend. The Commission would pay special attention to the Town hall project, because it is the only building constructed in the semi-Moorish manner in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a representative building originating from the Austro-Hungarian period. Before the war, not much was invested into its adaptation and the change of purpose, during the war it was luckily not destroyed, and now all conditions are met for it to be preserved in its original condition, with many preserved original elements, thus being an important document of the cultural memory. She proposed to actualize the issue of rehabilitation of the Brčko Town hall with the assistance of Ms. Sonja Moser-Starrach, ex Head of the Council of Europe Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, because of the possibility for the Austrian Government or certain Austrian towns to participate in the Town hall restoration.  There might be a possibility of using a representative part of the Town hall as the Museum of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy on the Balkan. The Islahijeta building is intended to be used as a bank, although it would be better to use the whole building for the purposes of the Youth Centre, which would make possible the usage of numerous existing stores. The building does not have a significant architectural value any more, but it would be important to preserve the environmental one.


Ms. Hadžimuhamedović emphasized the buildings of the Consulate of Turkey in Srpska varoš (the Serbian town) and the Gradaščevića tower in Bijela. The building of the Consulate of Turkey is in a very poor condition and under decay. Zeynep Ahunbay would present the issue to the Ambassador of Turkey in Sarajevo, checking for the possibility to use the building in the purpose of the cultural centre, or in some other appropriate purpose in order to be saved from further decay. The Gradaščevića tower in Bijela is an exquisite building with very beautiful interior and surrounding area, but due to its isolation from the development courses, it is being devastated. It would be good to use the area as a camp for the students from the region, as an art colony or for the ethno festival, in cooperation with the Ethnological Museum of Brčko, or in whatever other purpose, in order to be preserved and actively used.


Zdenko Dević said that the Government of the Brčko District applied well-established standard procedure covering all phases of execution. The documentation was being revised, and there was no possibility whatsoever for the Department for Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development to approve the design or commence the execution of the works if any objection existed regarding discrepancy between the design and the Commission’s decision or the planning approval.  However, there was a problem of design documentation revision body, as well as the execution of the works supervision body, since it is not known whose responsibility that would be. 


Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed out that the Law on Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments should have rendered impossible all obstructions of implementation of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely, it should have made the procedure of rehabilitation of destroyed or damaged buildings as simple as possible for their owners. After the Law was enforced in the Republic of Srpska, the revision was established, namely, the need of the employer to ask for an opinion from various institutions. After that the High Representative imposed amendments to the Law on Regional Planning of the Republic of Srpska, defining the regulations as not relevant for the national monuments, with elucidation that the employer had no obligation whatsoever. The employer’s responsibility was to submit documentation as per the Law on Implementation of the Decisions, and in the reconstruction cases, it was responsible to submit the main design, while in some other cases the report might be satisfactory. The authority was liable to obtain all necessary approvals, which it deemed necessary to pass relevant resolutions, within the period of 30 days, and to its cost. In another words, if the Government of the Brčko District considered the opinion to the design documentation necessary, it might obtain it. Considering the specific status of the Brčko District, and considering the fact that there is no an appurtenant establishment for protection of the cultural, historical and natural heritage, the Commission to Preserve National monuments should give its opinion to design documentation. Having in mind that the Commission establishes the protection measures, the Department for Urbanism, Real Estate Affairs and Economic Development should forward one copy of design documentation to the Commission, immediately upon receipt. The Commission would give its opinion, revise, and decide on necessity of additional specific revision, and ensure the issuing of the approval within one month. The cooperation between the Commission and the Department should be effective in all cases when the Department is submitted the request. For all structures for which preparation of design documentation is in progress, and for all relevant phases, the plans should be furnished to the Commission, upon which it should give its opinion, namely, the Commission should monitor the implementation of measures regulated by the decision.


Gordana Lukić said that the Commission regularly inspected the design documentation, while the revision was performed by the natural or legal person elected by the Government of the Brčko District and the Commission, in the case the revision was determined necessary. The Commission followed through the building from adoption of the decision to designate, and issuing the permit, to completion of the works.


Asked about the supervision of the execution of the works, Amra Hadžimuhamedović informed that the investor chose the supervision body, and the supervision of the implementation of the measures regulated by decisions of the Commission should be executed by the expert from the Commission. The supervisor would have a specific role of supervising specific works and methods, recipes, testing, analyses related to the protection of the heritage; there are very few experts in Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified and educated in all the named. The Commission would propose the experts from the Cultural Heritage without Borders to perform supervision to some extent, of all procedures, projects, execution of works, and to perform all those tasks within their programme of the institutional strengthening. In the future, all young expert staff from the Brčko District, herewith educated by the Cultural Heritage without Borders, might establish a separate department within the Commission for implementation of Annex 8. Final acceptance and issuance of the usage permit are organized according to the legal procedure, and the Commission might propose one member of the Commission for the final acceptance committee.


Gordana Lukić said that, in accordance with the law, there was a supervision of designers and a supervision of employers, implying the supervision of young experts unsubstantiated, and an extra charge of the Brčko District Budget. It was agreed to discuss the supervision issue technically in more detail at one of the following meetings.


Amra Hadžimuhamedović said that the Commission’s aim was to help Brčko in managing these tasks by the presence of the Cultural Heritage without Borders, so that all projects be managed and supervised by their organization, from specifying methodology to be applied, over designing, to the works on the site, in compliance with the best state of the art of theirs.


Gordana Lukić informed that the contractors were chosen for the execution of the works on the Azizija mosque in Brezovo Polje and the Kočića house in Brčko. For the building of the Islahijet the employer allocated certain minor funds, insisting on the works to be performed by the company “Inženjering” for the allocated amount, due to which the works had had to be reduced.  Five contractors submitted their offers, none of which proved satisfactory.


After the meeting, the following buildings were visited: the Consulate of Turkey, the environmental ensemble Srpska Varoš, the Town hall, the Orthodox and the Catholic Church in Brčko and the Gradaščevića tower in Bijela.


Meeting with Ms. Susan Johnson, the Brčko District Supervisor / November 6, 2004

BiH jezici 
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