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Meeting with the Society for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Values of Jajce


            The meeting was held in Jajce on 08 July 2004 at 14:00. The meeting was attended by the Commission members, Mirela Mulalić Handan, Executive Officer, Damir Bačvić, technical coordinator, Slavko Malić, president, and Enes Milak, secretary of the Society for Cultural, Historical and Natural Values of Jajce. The Mayor of Jajce Municipality was not able to attend the meeting due to the previously scheduled session of the Municipal Council.

            Amra Hadžimuhamedović pointed out that it was necessary to take thorough and significant actions on display of waterfall and historical centre, which was very neglected and jeopardized by new, unsuitable interventions. She emphasized the significance of the Society for Cultural, Historical and Natural Values of Jajce and support given to them by the Municipality, projects realized by the Municipality, enabling restoration the sight of Jajce, using limited resources, and living in a modern way. The Commission participated in heritage protection in Jajce by adopting individual decisions and decision on proclamation the historical centre a national monument and it warned the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on its obligation to earmark resources for protection of heritage in Jajce. Within the scope of its authorities in the area of international cooperation, the Commission proposed to the European Council a pilot project of integration of heritage into development plans of Jajce. That pilot project would be implemented within Regional program for culture and natural heritage of Southeast Europe - line C.

            Tina Wik informed that the current activity of Cultural Heritage organization was restoration of Omerbegova house in Jajce, and that Cultural Heritage expected cooperation with Jajce Municipality and the Society, if there was a need.

            Zeynep Ahunbay pointed out that other municipalities should have followed an example of Jajce Municipality and formed similar societies for protection of cultural heritage. She suggested publishing of pamphlet or similar material in Bosnian and English languages, in order to promote the significance of historical centre of Jajce to all visitors, as well as joining of local young people for cleaning and display of significant localities in the town.

            Slavko Malić emphasized that the Society expected a more aggressive approach of the Commission concerning applying the Law at the State level. A guidebook for cultural monuments of the town is in preparation, containing the part of Šipovo and the river basin of the Pliva River - what would be the beginning of the cooperation between the Entities. After the guidebook, the town monograph will be printed on high quality paper, minimally in two languages in order to continue editions, provide important information for the large number of tourists from Austria, Netherlands, and Germany who visit Jajce.

            Enes Milak drew attention to the significance of adopting the decision on proclamation of the historical centre of Jajce a national monument. The history of Jajce and building of structures was thoroughly pervaded with the waterfall and it was high time for that ambiental ensemble to be protected. Mr. Milak also informed about issues related to heritage protection in Jajce and about activities that had been taken by the Society concerning the same matter. The Society organized two exhibitions referred to the endangering of waterfall, and they expect the waterfall, as a natural phenomenon of Jajce, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Europe, and World, will be preserved and protected. He mentioned that the medieval Jajce town was one of the most preserved medieval towns in Balkan region. The Papaz tower and the Citadel are in such a condition that they even jeopardize human lives. External parts of platan placed on the Citadel are collapsing, and internal area is overgrown by vegetation. Powder magazine from the 16th century is located inside the Citadel. The powder magazine is a sub-dome structure, with wooden roof, which is damaged and leaks, whereas the bastions and bases are extremely endangered by vegetation. According to the expert opinion of the architects from Mostar, Dubrovnik and Split, this structure can collapse within the following two or three years. Last year the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina approved 30.000 KM for the protection of the Old town of Jajce. However, those resources, which are transferred through the Institute for Protection of Monuments within the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, have never become operative, so the measures of protection could not been taken. Restoration of Esma Sultanija mosque was suspended due to the lack of money, although 257.000 KM was provided by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 43.000 KM by the Islamic Community. The dome is not finished yet, and since the mosque had been built with autochthonic stone of low hardness when moist, collapsing can be expected with the first rainfalls. Part of the mosque wall was protected last year applying extensive measures; however, some parts were damaged. The Catacombs in Jajce may be the only in Europe carved into the natural rock, and they should be referred to as the mausoleum church. Jajce was characterized by the buildings of the Museum of the Franciscan monastery and of the Museum of the second AVNOJ session (National Antifascist Liberation Council of Yugoslavia), which should be reconstructed.

            Slavko Malić pointed out that supervision over the restoration process of Esma Sultanija mosque was conducted by the architects from the Institute for Protection of Monuments within the Federation of B&H Ministry of Culture and Sports, however there was no local supervision, meaning there was no control of the funds.

            Dubravko Lovrenović mentioned that the Commission has no funds available for the reconstruction of national monuments, but that it might approach the relevant state and entity institutions with a recommendation that funds be allocated for the protection of the monuments at greatest risk, and might also approach foreign donors. He expressed the hope that the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina would continue with providing of funds for reconstruction of the Museum of the second AVNOJ session and the Museum of the Franciscan monastery, as well. The reconstruction of Esma Sultanija mosque was not performed within the time schedule enabled by earmarked financial resources. Therefore,  providing of financial resources is a matter of urgency, in order not to endanger the works executed up to day. 

            Tina Wik stated that the new main designer, responsible for execution of all works and control of funds consumption, should be nominated.

            It was resolved that the Commission would contact the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, in order to actualize this idea and request a prompt intervention on completion of reconstruction works on Esma Sultanija mosque.

            Amra Hadžimuhamedović mentioned that besides the Decision on proclamation of historical centre of Jajce, the Commission had adopted 20 more decisions on proclamation of individual properties, giving detailed information on type of structure, accompanied with thorough historical, architectural and photographic documentation, and that all documents had been prepared in the English language. She suggested all decisions on proclamation of properties from Jajce Municipality to be published in the monograph of Jajce Municipality, which would represent the Commission's contribution to heritage presentation in Jajce, and the Society would bear the printing costs.

            She mentioned «The Memorial of Killed Defenders in Jajce» in the vicinity of  Čaršijska mosque, with symbols of crucifix and Croatian coat of arms. Concerning the fact that it was located in the Čaršija (downtown) and contained national symbols, which did not represent all citizens of Jajce, and that the Commission had adopted a Decision to designate the historical centre of Jajce as a national monument, she suggested taking of measures for removing of crucifix and a monument out of Čaršija,  all in accordance with the law.

            At the suggestion of Dubravko Lovrenović, it was resolved that Dubravko Lovrenović and Ramiz Mehmedagić, the Federal Minister of Regional Planning and Environment, schedule a meeting with the bishop Franjo Komarica in Banja Luka in order to get support for easier implementation of the law pertaining to this concrete issue. Dubravko Lovrenović and Ramiz Mehmedagić will try to have this meeting until the Commission’s 16th session. The Commission shall discuss the results of the meeting and proposals on following steps concerning this concrete issue, on the 16th session.

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