Fethija Mosque in BihaŠ
During a visit to the Fethija mosque in BihaŠ on 9 May 2003, the Commission to Preserve National Monuments ascertained that illicit buildings works were being carried out within the monument, which were causing grave damage to it. The building, which was originally a Catholic church, dates from the early fourteenth century, but has been used since 1592 as a mosque and is one of the most important buildings of the architectural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina; few monuments provide clearer historical evidence of continuity and change in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The works under way have destroyed the floor of the mosque, the mahfil and other interior features. A concrete floor has been laid and two rows of massive concrete pillars have been erected. This means that an entirely new structure is being erected within a seven hundred year old building.
There is a similar case of destruction of an archaeological site at Petkovica in Zavala, where the archaeological remains of two churches are in a burial ground where steŠci, Catholic graves and Orthodox graves stand side by side. The Catholic Church has cut a road across the burial ground, brought in building materials, and plans to build a new church on the foundations of the church of St Peter, which are under protection as archaeological remains.
Given that these destructive actions are a grave breach of the provisions of Annex 8 and the law on its implementation, and that those who are carrying out these works are consciously and deliberately breaking the law, the Commission will demand that all legally available steps be taken to prevent further damage and destruction, and will in both cases seek the help of the international community in preventing and punishing the destruction of the heritage. In this regard, a request will be sent to both the Reis ul ulema of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Papal Nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina for an urgent meeting with members of the Commission.