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European Heritage Award 2010 Celebrating Excellence awarded to The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Visit to the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural-Historical and Natural Heritage, Sarajevo


Members of the Commission visited the Cantonal Institute on 6 March 2003 at 14.00.  Those attending the meeting for the Institute were Velida Čelić Čemerlić, director of the Institute, Nedžad Kurto, chairman of the Management Board of the Institute; Munib Buljina, executive director; Jasmina Eminagić, lawyer; Lajla Uzunović, architecture expert. The meeting was also attended by Vadim Kuznetsov, deputy High Representative for BiH and Senior Adviser.


The Cantonal Institute gave a presentation to acquaint those present with the formation and operation of the Institute, the staff component, the activities they are engaged in, the projects they take part in and so on.  The latest know-how in the methodology of preserving monuments, documentation, methods of execution and so on is used in the Institute, which is an on-going process, but they require greater support for their work from the media, particularly as regards finding better premises and improved working conditions.


Members of the Commission expressed their pleasure at having attended such a high-quality and detailed presentation and made it clear that good quality collaboration with the Cantonal Institute is very important in the process of adopting decisions to designate properties as national monuments.  It was noted that the Cantonal Institute had been involved in the work of the Commission in its previous complement, and that it had made a major contribution to the collection of documentation.


The Institute director asked about submissions of documentation for properties for which petitions have been submitted to the Commission relating to buildings erected over the past few years, most of them memorials, for which the Institute has no details in its register.  The Institute expects to receive framework directions from the Commission on the way these properties are treated and the extent of documentation needed by the Commission to designate these properties as national monuments.  Amra Hadžimuhamedović explained that at its fourth session, held from 4 to 9 September 2002, the Commission had adopted the Criteria for designation of properties as national monuments, in which one of the criteria is Time Frame, where the upper limit is the end of the twentieth century.  No building built since 2000 can be the subject of deliberations by the Commission.  For the adoption of a decision on designation, complete existing documentation is required, which is gathered by the Secretariat of the Commission; it is here that the help of the Institute is needed, by providing the Commission either with documentation or with information on where the documentation can be acquired.  Given that many properties in Sarajevo Canton are on the Provisional List, the Institute is interested in knowing the time frame within which the Commission will be able to adopt decisions to designate these properties as national monuments and how the properties can be maintained until such time as the Commission adopts a final decision. The question of regulating the protection of the natural heritage was also raised. Amra Hadžimuhamedović explained that the sessions of the Commission are held every two months, and that the maximum number of decisions on the designation of properties as national monuments that can be adopted at any one session is twenty-five.  Buildings that are on the Provisional List of National Monuments are regarded as national monuments and the provisions of the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Committee apply to them.  The documentation that is attached to applications for rehabilitation should first be reviewed by the Institute, while approval is issued by the Federal Ministry of Regional Planning and the Environment.  The protection of the natural heritage does not fall within the Commission's remit, but the Commission's criteria include the category of cultural landscapes and parts of ensembles or groups.  Those present agreed on the importance of collaboration and constant contacts between the Institute and the Commission, and on the fact that in this way any lack of clarity can be eliminated.


The Cantonal Institute informed members of the Commission that in 1999 it had submitted to UNESCO a list of buildings in Sarajevo Canton that it believed should be on the list of national monuments of BiH, and that it had at that time provided basic documentation for these monuments.  The urban nucleus of Sarajevo is also on the Provisional List of National Monuments as a townscape that is the area covered by the Baščaršija regulatory plan.  The Institute requested the Commission to review the application sent to UNESCO in 1999 and to turn it into a petition to designate these properties as national monuments.


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