Press conference following the 6th session
Dubravko Lovrenović, Commission chair, told journalists about the decisions taken by the Commission at its latest session:
1. Adoption of decisions to designate 11 properties as national monuments:
o The movable property known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, property of Bosnia and Herzegovina, housed in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, FBiH
o The movable cultural property of a Collection of 22 incunabula, the property of the Franciscan Monastery in Kraljeva Sutjeska, Kakanj municipality, FBiH
o The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Musa pašina Mosque in Dušanovo (Nova Kasaba), Milići municipality, RS
o The historical monument of the Mehmed-paša Sokolović bridge in Višegrad, RS
o The historic site of the Stolac Old Town, FBiH
o The archaeological site (Paleolithic site) of Badanj in Borojevići near Stolac FBiH
o The archaeological site of the Hellenistic town of Daorson in Ošanići near Stolac, FBiH
o The historical monument of the Catacombs in Jajce, FBiH
o The architectural ensemble of the Fortress in Jajce, FBiH
o The historic (antique religious) monument of the Mithraeum in Jajce, FBiH
o The architectural ensemble of St. Mary’s Church with St. Luke’s Bell tower in Jajce, FBiH
o The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Ćuprijska (Hadži Alija Hadžisalihović) mosque in Stolac, FBiH
o The site and remains of the historic building of the Podgradska Mosque in Stolac (also known as the Mejdan Mosque, mosque in the Mala čaršija, the Hadži Salih Buro mosque, the Zulfikar-kapetan mosque and the Ali-paša Rizvanbegović mosque), Stolac municipality, FBiH
o The architectural ensemble of the Uzunovićka Mosque (the Ismail-kapetan Šarić Mosque) in Stolac, FBiH
o The historic urban site of Počitelj, Čapljina municipality, FBiH
o The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Čaršija (Sultana Esma) mosque and ancillary buildings of the fountain, residential building, mekteb (Muslim religious school) and graveyard in Jajce, FBiH
o The historic building of the Dizdar or Women’s Mosque in Jajce, FBiH
o The historic building of the Sinan-Bey or Okić Mosque in Jajce, FBiH
o The historic structure of the Bridge in Klepci, municipality Čapljina, FBiH
o The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Hadzi Ali-Bey Lafo Mosque and harem (courtyard) in Mostar, municipality Mostar- Jug, FBiH
o The architectural ensemble of the Moša Danon's Tomb with its surroundings and havra in Krajsina, Stolac municipality, FBiH
o The historic ensemble of the St. Peter and Paul’s Church, with the cemetery, judicial chairs, courtyard and walls in Ošanići near Stolac, Stolac municipality, FBiH
o The architectural ensemble of St. Nicholas Church in Trijebanj, Stolac municipality, FBiH
2. The Commission concluded that National Monuments be nominated for international donations as follows:
o Old Town – the Fort in Stolac,
o Fort in Jajce,
o Bridge of Mehmed-pasha Sokolović in Višegrad;
3. Review of the condition of endangered monuments on the Provisional List of National Monuments and proposed protection measures to be taken
4. The problem of the large number of petitions submitted to the Commission over the recent past
5. The budget review and the effects of funding constraints on the Commission's operations
6. The conclusions of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on reviewing the Report on the operations of the Commission in 2002
7. The international campaign to protect three national monuments launched by SIDA
8. The Omerbegović house project in Jajce
9. The views of the Commission on the Atik mosque in Bijeljina
10. The visit to the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Sarajevo
11. Visits to Tešanj and Banja Luka municipalities
12. Handover of post of chair of the Commission
He mentioned that, at the meeting with Entity Ministers of Physical/Spatial Planning/Regulation, Vice Ministers responsible for issuing of rehabilitation permits, and urban-construction inspectors, it was concluded that enactment of the law on the protection of National Monuments at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be very useful. It was stated that the attitude of property owners frequently was non-compliant with the regulations in force and impeded rehabilitation of monuments, and one of ways of solving the problem seemed to be exactly the enactment of the aforementioned law.
It was pointed out that, in the course of the Session, an urgent circular letter had been transmitted to Government of the Republika Srpska, Government of Federation of B&H and Council of Ministers of B&H, with the request that initial funds be provided for rehabilitation of piers of the Bridge of Mehmed-pasha Sokolović.
Media representatives got acquainted with the information that the Commission, whilst visiting municipalities Trebinje, Ljubinje and Ravno, had discovered a great number of monuments at risk, perhaps imperiled by total destruction, and that the Commission would undertake activities within the scope of its authorities to have legal measures of protection enforced on the monuments.
Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed to the Atik Mosque as a positive example of the attitude of local authorities, RS authorities and the owner of the property (Majilis of IC in Bijeljina to have been engaged in protecting archaeological finds at the site of the plot and thus discovered stratification of the plot). She informed the media representatives on the views of the Commission that archaeological research was not a precondition and might not prevent rehabilitation of objects having been destroyed in war actions, as well as that interruption of rehabilitation works caused by archaeological research should not last more than a week. In case the finds were of great importance, they should be sent to the Commission and the interruption might last longer, it is the subject decided by the Commission only.
Ljiljana Ševo mentioned the monuments at risk (Old Town in Stolac, the Church of St. George at Sopotnica) and laid stress on Uzunovićes Mosque in Stolac and Church of St. Nicolas in Trebinje being in very bad state of conservation, but having exceptionally valuable decoration. Interventions were urgently needed on the objects being the reason for the Commission to appeal for provision of funds to cover the urgent measures of protection, and later for the rehabilitation works and reconstruction of the two exceptionally valuable monuments.
Zeynep Ahunbay emphasized that decisions by the Commission be binding for municipalities and owners of the object, people are expected to meet the requirements set by the Commission.
Members of the Commission answered the queries related to enactment of the Law on the Protection of National Monuments for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission procedure of decision-making on designation of properties as the national monuments (concerning properties on the Provisional List and those having been petitioned for), providing initial funds for the execution of research and reinforcement of damaged piers of the Bridge of Mehmed-pasha Sokolović as well.