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CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ITS MISUSE IN POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL CAUSES Presentations and discussion from the Public debate, held in Skopje on July 2, 2007, and summary of the Network meeting held in Ohrid, on July 3-4, 2007





CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ITS MISUSE IN POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL CAUSES (Presentations and discussion from the Public debate, held in Skopje on July 2, 2007, and summary of the Network meeting held in Ohrid, on July 3-4, 2007)

CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ITS MISUSE IN POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL CAUSES Presentations and discussion from the Public debate, held in Skopje on July 2, 2007, and summary of the Network meeting held in Ohrid, on July 3-4, 2007




Publisher: Foundation Open Society Institute - Macedonia Blvd. Jane Sandanski 111, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia For the publisher: Vladimir Milcin Editors: Marijana Ivanova and Nadica Stamboldzioska Supported by: East-East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program, Open Society Institute Part of the text translated by: Sonja Andonova Part of the text proofread by: Nadica Stamboldzioska Design and pre-press: Koma lab, Skopje Circulation: 300 Skopje, January 2008

CIP - Katalogizacija vo publikacija Nacionalna i univerzitetska biblioteka “Sv. Kliment Ohridski�, Skopje 930.85(4-12)(062) Cultural Heritage and its Misuse in Political and Ideological Causes : (presentations and discussion from the Public debate, held in Skopje on July 2, 2007, and summary of the Network meeting held in Ohrid, on July 3-4, 2007) / [ editors Marijana Ivanova and Nadica Stamboldzioska ; translation Sonja Andonova]. - Skopje : Foundation Open Society Institute - Macedonia, 2008. - 66 str. : ilustr. ; 16x16 sm ISBN: 978-9989-185-58-8 1. Ivanova, Marijana [urednik] 2. Stamboldzioska, Nadica [urednik] a) Kulturno nasledstvo - Politi~ka i ideolo{ka zloupotreba Jugoisto~na Evropa - Sobiri COBISS.MK-ID 71456010




CONTENTS

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About the SEE Heritage Network

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Public debate Cultural Heritage and its Misuse in Political and Ideological Causes

59

Network meeting

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Annex 1 – Membership Declaration







ABOUT THE SEE HERITAGE NETWORK WHAT IS SEE HERITAGE? On September 20-22, 2006, Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) from Sweden organized the Regional NGO Development Workshop on Public Awareness of Cultural Heritage Issues that took place in Zemaljski Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The participating organizations from the region initiated establishment of an informal network – the Southeast Europe Heritage, or SEE Heritage* – with following mission and vision:

Mission

Mission Southeast Europe Heritage is a network of NGOs which believe that cultural, ethnic and religious diversity is avaluable resource. We work towards protection and promotion of heritage as a tool for sustainable and responsible development.

Vision Vision SEE – region where people cooperate, understand and respect each other based on their cultural diversities.

* SEE also stands for “to see”, i.e. to see, to recognize, to acknowledge the heritage




SEE HERITAGE NETWORK MEMBERS Albania Albanian National Trust MJAFT! Movement Butrint Foundation/International Centre for Albanian Archaeology

Bosnia and Herzegovina Association to Protect Cultural Historical Heritage of Konjic Mozaik – Community Development Foundation Organization Kupreška visoravan

Macedonia Foundation Open Society Institute - Macedonia (FOSIM)

Montenegro EXPEDITIO – Center for Sustainable Spatial Development Notar – Centre for Preservation and Presentation of Kotor Documentary Heritage NVO – PROJEKTOR

Serbia Association for Rehabilitation of the Cultural Heritage ARCH - LUK Civic Association SUBURBIUM Europa Nostra - Serbia

Kosovo EC MA NDRYSHE 


SEE HERITAGE MEMBERSHIP DECLARATION The Membership Declaration was agreed and signed in Ohrid, Macedonia, on July 4, 2007, by 12 nongovernmental organizations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia (See the document in Annex 1).

ACTIVITIES OF THE SEE HERITAGE NETWORK

AGREED ACTIVITIES (to be held)

n September 20-22, 2006 – Regional NGO Development Workshop on Public Awareness of Cultural Heritage Issues, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. n December 8-10, 2006 – Regional NGO Development Workshop, Gjirokastra, Albania. n July 2, 2007 – Public debate Cultural Heritage and its Misuse in Political and Ideological Causes, Skopje, Macedonia. n July 3-4, 2007 – Network meeting, Ohrid, Macedonia n Promotional activities: leaflet prepared and distributed, web-site: www.seeheritage.org (in progress).

n February 8-10, 2008 – Network meeting, Kotor, Montenegro n February 9-10, 2008 – Public debate Devastation of Cultural Heritage, Kotor, Montenegro. n February 10, 2008 – Press-conference and Public presentation of cultural heritage of SEE Heritage member countries, Kotor, Montenegro.




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PUBLIC DEBATE CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ITS MISUSE IN POLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL CAUSES (Presentations and discussion) Skopje, Macedonia, July 2, 2007

INTRODUCTION he public debate Cultural Heritage and Its Misuse in Political and Ideological Causes was organized by the Foundation Open Society Institute – Macedonia (FOSIM) in cooperation with the SEE Heritage Network. It was supported by the Open Society Institute program EastEast: Partnership Beyond Borders, with an overall aim to strengthen the cooperation and to join the forces of the NGOs aiming to protect and promote the cultural heritage diversity as a common value of the region. The specific aim is to exchange experience, discuss and propose solutions and recommendations concerning the promotion and protection of the heritage, and specifically concerning the

problem of misuse of the heritage, as well as to raise the public awareness about the need to promote, protect and preserve the cultural heritage in the region. When it comes to cultural heritage conse­­rva­tion, restoration, promotion and sustainable usage, the governments in the region are focused on the public cultural institutions (museums, institutes, ets.) and their work. They are rather closed than open towards the participation of NGOs, inhabitants and even business in the area of promotion and protection of the cultural heritage. Governmental institutions do not envisage the importance of including other stakeholders except cultural institutions in the efforts to preserve and to promote the sustainable 11


usage and development of the cultural heritage. Therefore, the SEE Heritage Network aims to strengthen the cooperation among the officials and NGOs, offering its members’ expertise and knowledge in the field of cultural heritage promotion and protection to all interested stakeholders: governments, local governments, inhabitants, business etc. The SEE Heritage Network unites different expertise and knowledge of its members. The other identified problem is that the heritage becomes more and more a subject of abuse for “daily� political reasons, for ideological, religious and other motives. There are cases when political parties, religious and other groups in the region, misuse the heritage for promoting their agendas or to achieve the daily

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political aims. Historic facts or historic figures are abused in populist political speeches, or in pre-election campaigns, which often raise tension, emotional conflicts or even encourage hatred between different ethnic or religious groups. Having in mind the past conflicts and still fragile ties among the ethnic, cultural and religious groups in the region, such practices could cause dangerous situations. In such conditions, the heritage could become a point of separation and conflict among the peoples in the SEE region, instead of being a common value that unites and brings them together. Multiculturalism is misused instead of being an added value of the region. The SEE Heritage Network aims to provoke the public attention on this problem and to discuss how it could be prevented.


WORKING AGENDA

2.07.2007 (Monday) Public debate: Heritage and its Misuse in Political and Ideological Causes Cultural Centre Mala Stanica, Skopje 11,00 – 11,15 Welcome speech Vladimir Milcin, Executive Director,Fondation open society institute - macedonia 11,15 – 11,35 The age of nations: from academic discourse to cultural tourism Prof D-r Vjeran Katunaric, Faculty of Philosophy, Zagreb, Croatia 11,35 – 11,55 Economy of ethnisation: misuse of the ethnic component of cultural heritage Nebojsa Milikic, Cultural Centre REX, Belgrade, Serbia

11,55 - 12,15 The Ohrid Declaration (2002) and the relation among the cultural heritage and the “catastrophes” D-r Lazar Shumanov, Macedonian National Committee of ICOMOS, Skopje, Macedonia Moderator: Marijana Ivanova 12,15 – 12,45 Coffee Break 12,45 – 14,45 Plenary discussion End of the Debate Moderator: Marijana Ivanova

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DEBATE Marijana Ivanova n behalf of the Foundation Open Society Institute – Macedonia, I wish you all a warm welcome. This public debate on the topic Cultural Heritage and Its Misuse for Political and Ideological Causes is organized by FOSIM and the SEE Heritage network. This network is comprised of non-governmental organizations that work with cultural heritage in Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo Macedonia, Montenegro and, Serbia, and. Our idea is not only to promote the cultural heritage of the region, but also to protect it and preserve it, and to open issues that are important and significant to that end. This public debate is the first of a range of debates and forums that will plan to organize in future. We believe that the abuse of heritage is an important issue that affects the whole region. As you can see from our agenda, we have invited several speakers, experts from the region, who will present their views on this topic. First to address and greet you will be our Executive Director, Mr. Vladimir Milcin; he will be followed by Prof. Dr. Vjeran Katunaric

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of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, Mr. Nebojsa Milikic from the Belgrade REX Cultural Center, and lastly Dr. Lazar Sumanov from the Macedonian National ICOMOS Committee. I hope their interventions will stimulate a lively and interesting debate in which you can take part. I hope that we will be able to open issues which we can later discuss and expand upon. Our goal for this public debate is to produce a publication with opinions and recommendations that will be sent to relevant authorities: ministries, political parties, religious organizations, to all bodies which in one way or another abuse or can abuse cultural heritage. Thank you, and I now give the floor to Mr. Milcin.

Vladimir Milcin Welcome everyone - dear friends, and dear colleagues. In addition to being the Executive Director of the Foundation, by profession I am also connected to culture and cultural heritage. I am a theater director and I teach acting at the Faculty of Drama Arts in Skopje. I have the duty and the pleasure to extend my greetings to you, to thank you for accepting 15


the invitation to be here today, some of you tomorrow as well, in Ohrid. I wish you success in the work ahead. Before you begin, I would like to give you a short explanation why FOSIM decided to organize this debate, using the financial recourses of the East-East Program of the Soros Foundation Network. It is clear to us that this is a very sensitive question that involves different views. It is very topical, and becoming increasingly more so, in view of the fact that 2008 will be a year of intercultural dialogue in Europe. Since its founding in the Fall of 1992, when FOSIM defined its mission as internal integration of Macedonia as a precondition for accession into the EU, we have dealt with questions of culture in many of our programs. First, through a program that we had for a number of years in partnership with the King Baudouin Foundation from Belgium It was called Living Heritage and it supported dozens of local projects that were related to reviving cultural heritage, whether it be facilities, customs, folklore, music or dance. Its goal was to build the spirit of togetherness in the community through reviving, restoring and preserving cultural heritage. Furthermore, the Foundation was the organizer of a meeting and a debate that resulted in a publication on the topic of multiculturalism. In our Arts & culture and Publishing programs, 16

the Foundation supported the publication of books, CDs and CD Roms dealing with issues of cultural heritage. In our program for the support of the Roma, we supported projects related to the cultural heritage of the Roma community. The list goes on‌ Which brings me to the series of issues that, in a way, led us to this organizational effort. The so-called modern times on the Balkans – and when I say so-called modern, I mean the times reaching back to the Balkan Wars, have known different ways of abuse of cultural heritage. Starting from the destruction of cultural heritage, demolition of medieval religious facilities, regardless of the religion to which they are affiliated, incineration of religious facilities, and various interventions, such as erasing names on frescos and icons, destruction of gravesites and tomb stones, changing the names on tomb stones, etc. This is a practice


that began with the Balkan Wars, but regretfully, it seems to have shown itself resilient to the times, and is still practiced to this day. Why was, and why is this done? To incite ethnic cleansing, for example. By destroying churches or mosques, the people are pressed to leave that particular place or region. Also, to cover up ethnic cleansing, by erasing memory. Often, cultural heritage is used as in instrument in the name of so-called ethno genesis theories, that is, in the service of nationalism. In order to justify the right to exclusive ownership of an area, the signs of existence of all others in that area is wiped out. It happened that in the armed conflict of 2001, the nature of which is still being discussed and debated, more surreptitiously rather than publicly. Regardless of whether it was a war or not, we experienced the destruction of religious facilities with confirmed cultural value, dating from the Middle Ages, with unquestionable aesthetic values, like architecture, painting, etc. etc. Facilitates were destroyed – both Christian and Muslim. To this day, their restoration, in the cases where restoration is possible, is inexplicably being protracted. In this fashion, a part of the memory is being erased, memory which is also mine, although I do not belong to any religion – I am an atheist. I will finish with an anecdote, a true anecdote, which is a part of my professional practice.

A few years ago in Skopje, I led a workshop with students of acting from Dresden, Paris and Skopje. The Skopje team was ethnically mixed; it included ethnic Macedonians, ethnic Albanians, ethnic Turks and ethnic Roma. The name of the workshop was “We and the Others”. Each of the groups had to bring to the workshop artifacts or objects they thought were characteristic of their culture, of their identity. The German group included a young actor, Martin, from Dresden, former East Germany. He brought in a flag staff ornament, a finial – one gilded eagle. The object was made of gilded plaster, but it was very important to him. During the session when the groups presented their identity, and how they experience themselves, Martin came forth, proudly carrying his gilded eagle and said: “This is mine, this is me”. What happened next? Ismet, a member of the Macedonian team, an ethnic Albanian yelled out: “No, that is mine!” They started arguing who the eagle belonged to. Then, Slavisa, also a member of the Macedonian team, and an ethnic Serb by origin, said: “No, no, that is mine!” And so they improvised for about ten minutes. Fortunately, the attempts to prove to each other to whom the eagle belonged developed with a lot of humor. The others joined in, and it so happened in the commotion that the eagle fell and broke. There was silence in the room. 17


Martin was in shock. He shrieked: “How will I go home?” Ismet and Slavisa then said to him: “Don’t worry, we’ll go and buy some universal glue”. They spent the day searching for universal glue good enough to glue the eagle back together, and devoted a lot of time to restoring this part of our common cultural heritage. Unfortunately, I do not have a decent video clip of this event. Had I had one, I would have showed it to, because it involved a lot of drama, and a lot of humor. Fortunately, a war did not break out. Frequently though, when cultural heritage is in question, this issue of “mine and only mine” and “because it’s mine and only mine and you have no right to it”, results in dramatic and traumatic situations, such as we on the Balkans have experienced in the past 15 years or so. I will finish up by stating my conviction that cultural heritage should be something that unites us and transcend us. The experience of the last 15 years shows that those who used cultural heritage as an instrument were stronger, and succeed in having it divide us. However, I believe that one of the goals of this network and the reason why it was established in the first place is just that: not to have cultural heritage divide us in future. Thank you.

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Marijana Ivanova Thank you. Now we will continue with the interventions of our speakers. I invite Professor Vjeran Katuranic to take the floor.

Vjeran Katunaric Thank you very much Marijana. First of all, I want to thank you for the invitation to take part in this interesting debate which is so much important for all of us, and I really feel honoured to speak before this remarkable audience. I would address the issue of the antiquity of nations, and a good pre-text for what I will speak about is given in the speech of Mr. Milcin. Although the majority of nations are born in the 19th century in the heads of politicians and intellectuals, and some of them are born in the 20th century, the idea that nations are much older than that constitutes the way of representation of cultural heritage in a variety of areas, from academia over popular imagination or myths of the past to museums and cultural tourism. Later I will try to explain why such zeal of representing a nation as older as possible exists. Let me now start with cultural tourism as an example of the area where the idea of the antiquity, of the oldness of nations, is used. A couple of months ago I was on a conference in Lisbon, and on the


way back in the airplane I met a group of Croatian tourists, who spent some 10 days making a round trip through the country. They were mainly pleased with what they have experienced as tourists in Portugal, except one thing. As one person said to me they were pretty much fed up with how the guides in Portugal presented their heritage. Namely, they were speaking, actually reiterated again and again, how old the country is as a whole, and how old the cultural flagships are. Still, the cultural tourism way of representing the antiquity of nations, which is not specific for Portugal only, of course, is, I would say, a banal form of the idea which until recently was a key element of the ideological arsenal of waging wars between nations or ethnicities, where one must include events of the former Yugoslavia spanning from the beginning of 1990~`s with the wars in Slovenia and Croatia to

the year 2000 with the turmoil in Macedonia. Thus, between, on the one hand, the academic debates on the issue how old nations are, which I would address shortly, and the representation of the antiquity of the nation for the sake of contemporary cultural tourism, on the other hand, a huge historical battlefield of national identities exists where national elites waive or used to waive their ideas of oldness and the related myths of origin. Of course, cultural heritage on the whole cannot be ascribed or reduced to the national cause. Nevertheless, policy and practice of nationalistic reading of the heritage is something what happens so often, as if all what was valuable and made by the past generations represent a groundwork for the coming of contemporary nation. To borrow a sentence from autors of a book on heritage who said that heritage is the part of the past which we select in the present for contemporary purposes. In other words, heritage has less to do with the past then with the present. Let us say few words about the academic argument how old nations are. There are namely two strains in this debate. One is the so-called primordialism. Primordialists are authors who claim that nations are very old, that their origins can be traced to medieval times, even earlier then that, and their 19


position is, not incidentally, quite similar to nationalism. On the other hand, the so-called modernists argue that nations are born not earlier than the end of the 18th century, but mostly in the 19th century. Moreover, they see their opponents, the primordialists, as Trojan horse of nationalism in the academic world. Still, the arguments of the academic primordialist about the antiquity of nations represent a far cry of notorious myths of origins of particular nations which circulate among fans of nationalism from the inception of nationalism. And let me mention briefly some of the myths of several European nations. With this I want to illustrate one of the central characteristics of these myths, which is exclusiveness. In other words, and as Mr. Milcin said a while ago, we are not only that old from the time immemorial, we are also a distinguished people who lived ever since at a distance, apart from the others. The Spanish myth of origin has to do with Goths, the Gothic people which connotes the meaning of God or God-like. The myth says that Spanish people were originally blue-eyed and light-skinned like Swedes. Similar to this is the old French myth on Franks, where Frank basically means ‘free man’ that is opposite to ‘slave’. The English myth is focused on Anglos and the region of Anglia. Anglos were tribe who lived together with Saxons and Germans, 20

but who allegedly stem from the biblical Sem, which is to say that they have Semitic origin. The Italian myth, which lived its momentum in the age of fascism, is based on the equation between italiniata and latinita, where the Latin root is Christianised by turning the old Roman cult of Romulus or Quirinus into the cult of St. Peter, the first Christian bishop. The German myth of origin is, unlike the others, located outside the contemporary Germany, in the area where Carolinghan dynasty reigned. This is the reason why, for example, the portrait of Charlemagne or Charles the Great was made by Albrecht Dürer and not, let us says, Jean Fouquet. Likewise, the term Deutsch, German, designates the language spoken in the epoch of Charlemange. Germans were taken as Urvolk that is archaic people who has no origin in other people, in other words this volk, this people, is self-made, self-generated, like God in theology or like absolute freedom in the liberal Enlightenment. In other words, it is completely free to do whatsoever, for it is self-generated. Finally, let me add a note from the European periphery, i.e. my country, where a recent version of the narrative of the Iranian, i.e. non-Slavic, origin of Croats circulates both in academia and media. Some enthusiastic philologists joined by couple of biogenetic scientist argue that Croats are not originally


Slavs but a people Harahvati. I am a Croat, but not of the Iranian origin of course (or, not necessarily, for we all seemingly originate from Africa, as the contemporary theory of human dispersal argues). I don’t know is there a contemporary Macedonian equivalent to such a master narrative. I only remember when I was the Council of Europe rapporteur for cultural policy of Macedonia some five years ago, that an early draft version of the Macedonian national report contained a narrative of the origin of the Macedonians which was in some aspects similar to the myth of distinctive origin, and for which I requested from the host, from the editor of the national report at that time, to remove that part for the sake of its good reception before the Cultural Committee of the Council of Europe, especially because of the respect for some idiosyncrasies that might be expressed by the Greek representative in the Committee. For the end of this reminder of the issue who is the oldest among peoples, I remember one author who said: “When the question who is the oldest is at stake, then surely the oldest are monkeys”. Well, the next question is what messages are sent by contemporary national museums as the main institutions of heritage. To be sure, the myths of the antiquity of nations, which I mentioned earlier, are not literarily

incorporated into contemporary national representations of cultural heritage of European countries. However, the bottomline of the myths, which is ethnocentric, is carried into the contemporary dealing with cultural heritage. This is how, for example, the prominent Italian expert on national museums, Simona Bodo, sees the situation: “Museums and other heritage institutions across Europe have a static, essentialist notion of heritage, which is primarily seen as received pre-patrimony to safeguard and transmit by keeping majority and minority cultures communities apart and by generally treating the latter, the minorities, as traditionally unchanging and thereby exotic. They sometimes end up reinforcing stereotypes.” These two messages are conveyed by the museum heritage or heritage institutions nowadays. Firstly, cultural heritage is something which is delivered from a distant past and is safeguarded by from generation to generation, and the second message is that the majorities and minorities are separate, and as such brought into the contemporary time. The idea that binds these two qualities, that is transferability and separateness of heritage, is the appropriation, the possession. It means that the heritage is either “our” or “their”, it can by no means be shared, commonly shared. This way the elements of heritage are nationalised. These elements are 21


language, literature, history writing, and a variety of artefacts – from paintings, cultural monuments and architecture, to flags, seals and public building, and finally, cultural tradition and practice such as folk dances and music. The national appropriation of heritage is organized in two ways. One way is the so-called centripetal paradigm. Here the nation claims its right of possession of the historic core, the old core. The core, according to such understanding, consists of homogeneous central community and of heterogeneous peripheral communities or minorities. Accordingly, the role of the central community is emphasized, while the others are demonised. The other way of appropriation is the so called conglomerate paradigm. In this case the nation fosters the state cohesion and the nation consists of heterogeneous communities. Nevertheless, it wants to create a unified picture by incorporating cultural symbols and by assimilating the particles in the predominant or elite cultural framework. Here, in this case, the elite must not be recreated only from predominant, i.e. from central national or ethnic community, but it keeps dominant position in the society by adopting joint elements and ignoring or eliminating the foreign elements. What 22

is essential in these modes of appropriation of heritage is its nationalistic underpinning of pre-national past. Although the national make-up is, as I said, created relatively late, i.e. in 19th or 20th century, it readapts itself as historic cocoon, as if it existed as such for thousand years and is unlocked eventually in the modern era. This historical fantasy is both antievolutionary and antibiblical, I would say, for humankind, the kind of Homo sapiens, as I stressed earlier, happened to grow out from a few families in central Africa some hundred thousand years ago, hence we stem, at least genetically, from the same flock. This evidence, as well as the evidence that the paths of peoples always being in the move, are necessarily intertwined and in a good part common, is disliked by nationalists. They created an idea of national culture as distinct, separate and self-generated. Nevertheless, the truth is different, and let me take once again the examples from my country. The creators of the national projects were pretty much non-nationals. For example, Ljudevit Gaj, the founder of the first Croatian grammar, was a Slovene. Then, the composer of the first Croatian national opera, Vatroslav Lisinski, is a Jew, and his original name is Ignac Fuchs. Next, the composer of the national anthem is a Serb, Josip Runjanin.


The central question is why the reinvention of the past or antiquity is so important for nationalists? I understand that purpose of reinvention of the past and nationalistic appropriation of the heritage and its antiquity is actually a strategy of seclusion and/or conflict with others. This stand is twofold: it is eschatological and mono-perspective. By eschatological I mean the belief that nationstate represents the very purpose and the very end of the history of a people. Hence, the supranational arrangements, including the European Union, are temporary, provisional or problematic. It is mono-perspective as well, since nationalists see only one view as legitimate, as only true. Usually the bearers of the truth for them are either religious leaders or national political leaders, not scientists, not experts. Such an acquisition of truth

comprises recent events as well. One example, again from my country, is the argument between the International Hague Tribunal and some Croatian politicians as to whether war crimes were committed in the recent wars in former Yugoslavia. The nationalistic version is that nationals or patriots could not commit atrocities, for they allegedly have only defended their country. In a deeper semantic level of this “truth� lays the image of the container or cocoon: if one of its inhabitants is being charged, then, by the same token, all are considered charged or guilty together with the whole national cause under which the war was waged. Now, last question which I want to answer in this speech is how to achieve commonly shared cultural space? Let me turn to the issue of the use of heritage in the cultural tourism industry. My impression, when reading various publications enlightening the foreign passengers and tourists about country’s cultural heritage is that they deliver essentially the same message they did before the national audience, constituency, and that they by addressing foreign people, just want to expand their audience. However, the new part of the audience, to my mind, is not that large. In general, it seems pretty much disappointing that cultural tourism makes 23


only 2,5 % of the total number of tourist visits. To that one must subtract not a small number of cultural tourists who actually never ask any question as a follow-up to what they usually hear from their guides. These customers look sincerely boring with the information they receive and they are really not receptive for the national myth, for they seem to be fed up with their own national myths, like it was probably the case with the Croatian tourist in Portugal which I mentioned in the beginning of my speech, or as a late Croatian sociologist said: “One can have many loves in his or her life, but only one revolution.” It is similar with myths, I guess. Yet, the passage from nationalistic appropriation of heritage to a really cosmopolitan, i.e. plural, but also commonly shared, culture is quite narrow and full of notorious and at the same time bad historical alternatives. Ladies and gentlemen, the historical alternative to nation is empire, and to nationalism is imperialism. It is a world that Immanuel Wallerstein has described as consisting of a few states in the core and a vast but stateless periphery. As another author says: “We are cut off of a global, i.e. common past, the global culture is memory-less”. Also, some experts for international education in heritage warn us about the danger which is that by relinquishing the nationalistic discourse of the 24

past on behalf of the internationalist discourse we often succumb to the cultural imperialistic discourse. Honestly speaking, visits to British Museum, Louvre, Metropolitan and similar remarkable museums and heritage institutions most often saturates the quantity of needs for cultural heritage among tourists from around the world. The most remarkable historical sites in the world are mainly products of imperial history and obviously our culture stemming from imperial peripheries cannot compete with imperial centres in the tourist markets. Hence, the question is: is it possible to make history and present more common and equitable for their participants? When I say this, I have also in mind the notorious problems with UNESCO’s world heritage list, where some countries or nations are underrepresented. One of the exits from this zero-sum game of nationalism and imperialism might be the creation of the socalled third spaces in culture. This is actually a product of the new cultural activity emblematic for the cultural dialogue, which is already mentioned by Mr. Milcin, interculturalism. Yet, this is a new topic which I don’t want to smuggle into our debate on heritage. I can only add to this that in the creation of the third space most probably a hermeneutic of openness within layers of traditional culture is to be recovered. In all our traditions there exist customs or rituals serving to bridge


our ethnic boundaries and similar barriers. These customs are such as “kumstvo” (it is less likely possible to translate this word in English as “godfathering”), brothering, good neighbourhood, the reciprocal felicitation of religious holidays, etc. This is valuable part of our heritage as well. For example, unlike this, in contemporary immigrant countries in Europe, where new, yet strenuous, relations between majorities and new minorities are created, without the existing of bridging ties, and this is one of the reasons why EU has proclaimed year 2008 year of intercultural dialogue. What is needed now is that a bridging social and cultural capital must be invented, since it doesn’t properly exist or is still very weak in the European cultural space. To conclude, in order to reinforce the memory to the common past, actually it covers peaceful and cooperative periods of time in the areas of the former Yugoslavia, for example, it must somehow be reintegrated into the new spaces of culture dedicated to a future which will be commonly shared, yet in a non-imperialistic way. Similarly to the diligent work of restorers, renovators of tangible and nontangible culture, the museums of the future should preserve the evidence of proximity of different communities living in peace, the proximity which was wiped out from the collective memories of the different nations

due to their forceful confrontations which on their hand created an illusion of the past and heritage as being intrinsically and exclusively only national. Thank you.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you, Professor Katunaric. Now I give the floor to our second guest, mr. Nebojsa Milikic from the Cultural Centre REX from Belgrade.

Nebojsa Milikic I’m Nebojsa Milikic, I work in Cultural Centre REX in Belgrade. My job could be described with a term that is quite out of usage today I’m afraid – a cultural worker. But there is one more good term as well – an art worker, since I participate also in visual art exhibitions as an artist or as an organizer or producer. So, I would like to thank to organizers for giving me opportunity not only to come and speak, but to speak in the given context, after the introductions of professor Katunaric and also by Mr. Milcin. Since I’m not supposed to be strictly objective, but more subjective in a moment of transfer of my experiences and thoughts, I would like to first give some hints about possible problematic of today’s notion of cultural heritage. I will also go through some illustrations that might be of possible importance for this debate. Let’s just mention 25


the cultural heritage of modernism or if you prefer socialist modernism, for example in architecture. This is the building of Army Headquarters in Belgrade, very famous building projected by Nikola Dobrovic one of the most important architects from periods before and after Second World War. He is also famous for building some ultra-modern villas in the surroundings of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

These two Headquarter buildings are his masterpiece. So, these two buildings are considered his masterpiece and of course they are part of modern heritage in Serbia and also of former Yugoslavia. They were bombed during NATO intervention in 1999 and why I present them here is only because immediately after the bombing there was a petition by some very prominent architects, people of ‘enlightenment’, of an emancipated attitude 26

towards political and ideological situations. There was a petition for protection of this building and kind of regretful comment on its destruction - because it was part of the cultural heritage. So, my question would be: What layer is important for us, the layer of historical and architectural heritage and cultural value or the very truth of the function of that building in the moment of its destruction? So, was that the headquarters of the Army that was employed in ethnic cleansing in Kosovo at that moment? So I just want to point out how complex the notion of cultural heritage can be and how complicated it could be to understand why the privilege of its value, the cultural or historical value could be misused into given political situation. The next example would be also related to modern heritage and architecture. This is the suburb of City of Iasi, Northeastern Romania. The city was developed after the Second World War in the course of an emancipation project, the huge project of the industrialization of the country. It is in one of the suburbs, in Northern Tatarasi where I suppose that today’s students of architecture could be brought to understand what the idea of modernity in architecture was in the 20th century and how this idea was mostly happily employed into development of the cities of Eastern or Southeastern Europe. So, I wouldn’t say that this is the most beautiful place in the


world, but anyway it is just properly projected and realized suburb of one, let us say, average city in Europe in the 20th century. So, if something is not missing there it is air and sky. Let me show the project of one foreign foundation that is implemented in the Northern Tatarasi. It is not that important which foundation it is, for example I cooperate also with that foundation. So, important is that project was focused to this part of the city in order to, kind of, culturally rethink or reorganize the everyday life and functioning of the local community. The project had its activities also in the field of visual arts and as a result of one survey with the inhabitants of this suburb organizers decided to paint the big mural in one of quite devastated walls. The chosen motives for that painting were the sky with birds bringing babies, some underwater motives with divers etc. So, that was the outcome, and I just suppose that this is also a problem since here we have this layer of reconstruction of the very notion of community imposed on the layer which tells us that this community existed also before, that it had some setting for development of its identity, that had some amenities at disposal for its proper functioning etc. And, I think it could be interesting to take these layers into consideration when it is about nurturing or interpretation of heritage. So, these are two

quite opposing examples but nevertheless they both might be of interest. And the third example would be the photo documentation from The Youth Entrepreneurship Fair in Belgrade, also supported by local government and some foreign foundations, where young people were invited to show their creativity, their ambition to participate in the production and marketing of goods, after making a plan for small business with their products. I will just go briefly through photos. My subjective view to this manifestation was that it was charged to the incredible extent with ethnical spirit. Most of the displayed products were souvenirs. These are photos, so I leave you to judge for yourself if I am right, but most of the products are at the level of souvenirs. If one knows that it is about getting closer to the participation in international market, that it is about being competitive and creative, that it should also be about acquiring new technologies one could say that it is a quite regressive outcome. In a sadly spontaneous way it presents the community of young people through the kind of statement as:�OK, let us be natives, let us reproduce our ethnical identity, let us exchange it through souvenirs with people that have to trade something else�, and then all these lap tops and all the technology is just there as a mere decoration, a surplus that one couldn’t see a proper 27


function for. So, after two of these fairs we seriously warned our colleagues in charge for this Fair (they are colleagues since I am the Youth-Related Programs coordinator in the Cultural Centre Rex), but in vain, since all this choreography was reenacted for the next Fair. So the issue is also, could the NGOs that run alternative initiatives in the field of work with youth, in the field of art or any alternative cultural or activist sphere be criticized properly, could they be evaluated from the point of view of possible outcomes of their projects in the broader cultural and political field? And in the next example I would like to comment on the complexity of the issue of heritage and also of the treatment of cultural and also ethnic component embedded into cultural heritage in this very moment. So, there is one art project in Tbilisi in Georgia, where several artists from Western Europe, most of them from Holland, participated in order to produce site specific works. So, the proposal and also almost realized project by one Dutch artist was to collect and preserve street stands, the ones that were used in the streets of Tbilisi by street sellers in order to capture the moment of Georgia’s economical development. So, there is a very clear message by the author, presented in this illustration of progressive development of Georgian economy as seen in the construction and modeling of 28

street stands. Artists’ project was in fact to take the original stands from the owners. She offered them to give in turn the new stands, identical copies of existing originals. Indeed, she produced in Tbilisi the very exact and solid copies of stands and she managed to exchange them with few street sellers. The final phase of the project would be the inclusion of all these objects in the collection of The Museum of Ethical Heritage of Georgia. So, in the pictures we see these objects, these are the stands that street sellers exchanged. Although they were not too optimistic that she could provide them with equally functional copy, they were satisfied and there is now an example of the collection of original stands, waiting to be enlisted by the museum, which is currently in the serious budgetary crisis. Ok, that was her project, which opened our discussion. I will present it here to illustrate my notion of complexity of projects that introduce the qualities of ethnicity into the setting of economical relations and development. This is why my title is the economy of ethnicization. So, if you know the project of Gunter Van Hagens who used to replace tissues of human corps by plastic materials. His exhibitions were amongst most visited recently in Western Europe. This is how we started our discussion, because she similarly replaced the old stands, the original


materials with the new ones. Second step of our discussion was guided by the analogies with the post Second World War reconstruction of Gdansk, Poland. The question was: Is that old Gdansk or is that the new Gdansk? From what we can see today in Gdansk downtown maybe not even 5% existed after the Second World War. What would be the message of such a reconstruction? Or maybe such a construction? What is its political or ideological consequence? This is the issue as well. Then the discussion shifted easily to the work by the artist that cast models of a dog, in fact of a dog’s fossil found in Pompey. His exhibition challenged the very notion of an original trace, of an original remnant of the past. In fact, his exhibition was provoking the discourse and the culture that is hyper producing huge number of such models. All standards, all reliable methodologies of interpretation of history, whether narrative, factual or strictly political, are challenged by this single art work. And this is why I suppose that art production is very interesting in this matter. As opposed to scientific production which obviously presents and analyzes certain problem, each art work spread rumors, each bears its dormant content which passively but still clearly and substantially reflects on former and present political and ideological screens. So, any activity, any policy that relates to

preservation, divinization or other standardized approach to cultural heritage could be or even should be also understood or analyzed in that way. Our discussion then jumped to The Old Bridge in Mostar. The question was as expected: Is it The Old Bridge now? So we have the known problem, the one mentioned also by professor Katunaric, the language problem: Is it the old bridge or the new old bridge? What that oxymoron could tell us? We remember the famous statement of one of the leaders of Bosnian Serbs after the bombing of Dubrovnik: “No one should regret it because they will build an older and nicer Dubrovnik!”. So, I think that all these issues are worth considering, of course, maybe it is not that important to pay our attention all the time to that possible consequences of relations to history and heritage. Anyway, this example is interesting, this is an original Irish pub, completely dismantled, transported from Ireland and then carefully reconstructed, rebuilt as The Irish Pub in Tbilisi, Georgia. And, of course, this is the activity that could be easily connected and related to the table above the restaurant Europe in Tbilisi, where the word Europe is a little bit more extended eastwards in geographical and cartographical terms. And of course, I am trying to touch upon only the most relevant European traumas. In order to analyze and understand 29


the focused work of the Dutch artist in Georgia, we also have to rethink the work of the German artist who gradually relocates entire cellar of his house in München-Gladbach to the local museum. So, he dismantles and takes away part by part of his “original” cellar, the walls, ceilings, the floor and transfers that particles to the local museum reconstructing an entire old/new room. And then when you think through this long-term process activity, when you think about psychological and relational moments that appear in the family or any other immediate surroundings of the artist, we easy come up with the fact that many people in München-Gladbach, many German people were once moved here from the Sudet area in Czech Republic. This work also “serves” the dilemma of possibility or impossibility, of capability or incapability of an individual, or a community to transfer or replace its identity as embodied in architecture or other “hosts” of culture or cultural heritage. It is here that we again have to recognize how the word ‘place’ is important. In contemporary philosophical dictionary it stands not only for a physical place but also for the location and the position of an individual or a community in its contemporary cultural and political surroundings. So, all the given examples are the possibilities to understand how the issues 30

of cultural heritage, of the reinterpretation of the past in today’s references are charged and stratified.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you. We have just heard two interesting and unusual views on heritage, the origin of nations and the use of ancient to modern art heritage I now invite Dr. Sumanov to speak to us on this topic, from the point of view of the most recent and still topical events of Macedonian history.

Lazar Sumanov Thank you. As my colleague Marijana mentioned, I come from the National ICOMOS Committee of Macedonia. My contribution to this public debate will touch upon something that happened and something that should happen. The topic of my presentation is the Ohrid Declaration of 2002, and the relations between cultural heritage and disasters. Let us accept the postulate that cultural heritage throughout its existence in the past, the present and in the future, was, is and will be exposed to the activities of man and nature. The activities of man can be advantageous, but they can also be threatening and destructive, even disastrous. Frequently, these activities are much more destructive and damaging


than natural hazards, especially the so-called “man planned disasters”. These are activities planned and conducted by man, which are a threat to cultural heritage. The premise is that cultural heritage is permanently exposed to a closed, cyclical and continuing process divided in three phases. As most of us, I call the period before a disaster happens - phase A; phase B takes is period during the disaster; phase C - the period after the disastrous activities have taken place. The first phase, the phase before the disaster has taken place, is the preparatory phase, i.e. the prevention phase. In my own experience and from the experience gained by working on the protection of cultural monuments, I believe that this is the most important phase. If the activities in this phase are intensive and the planned obligations of all involved stakeholders are fulfilled, than the effects of the disaster are diminished, and less efforts and means are necessary for overcoming the consequences of the destructive activities in phase B. Phase B can be momentary: an earthquake, explosion, avalanche, fire, etc; it can transpire in the course of several days or a month, as in the case of floods, typhoons, hurricanes, the time duration during which heritage is used for different means – such as military propaganda for example; and, it can be long lasting – I will mention war, military conflict, lack of

care, irregular maintenance, spatial and urban planning. There is a world wide tendency to qualify spatial and urban planning under the term “man planned disaster”, indicating damages and disasters planned by man through urban and development spatial planning. Nonexistent or lack of care of the part of a society and its citizens for cultural heritage is also a significant component to this activity, albeit nonmaterial. One can say that phase B – the phase of duration of the disastrous activity– is a test phase. During this phase, all activities of phase A are put under a test. The higher the level of quality and intensity of phase A, the lesser the damages in phase B i.e. the disaster phase. After the activities have ended, phase B is subdivided in three segments. Immediately after the disaster ends, and in the long term there are activities with a momentary, protracted or enduring effect. On the basis on long standing experience, it can be concluded that phase B infringes upon phase A as a preventive phase prior to man made or natural disasters. Thus the whole cycle is brought to a full circle, and a new one begins. This was the prologue to the main topic of my discussion today – the Ohrid Declaration on Cultural Heritage Protection during Armed Conflicts was adopted at the end of 2002. In view of the events of 2001 in Macedonia, and 31


the armed conflict that transpired at that time, an urgent regional workshop was held on the topic of dangers for cultural heritage during armed conflict, organized with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Culture and several non-governmental international and national institutions. This event, attended by over 100 participants from the countries of the Region, UNESCO, NATO, as well as other international associations, ended with the adoption of the Ohrid Declaration that encompasses the three segments: before, during and after the disaster. It proposes activities that should be taken prior to an armed conflict of longer duration, but also preparations for earthquakes, for example. A society must also prepare for other kinds of disasters, natural as well as man made. As you can see, phase A involves a number of activities that have to be realized on a national, local and regional level. During phase B, the phase of armed conflict, the protective matrix has to be applied and the model of societal behavior implemented – how the parties to the conflict will behave toward cultural heritage. Therefore, this is something that is done in the preparatory phase; if we achieve higher level of preparedness, there will be a much lesser level of destruction when the di32

saster happens. After the end of such activity, i.e. disaster, a National Crisis Council should be set up, to prepare a priority list for the protection of the endangered cultural heritage. As you know, endangered cultural heritage can be classified according to the level of destruction, and than adequate measures must be taken. The role of religious leaders is also noted in particular. During the conflict, the leaders of all religious communities in Macedonia signed a public document appealing to the population of the Republic of Macedonia to act with much greater care and respect towards cultural heritage. From the point of view of what happened, and what should be happening – I want to share with you a short story, and a presentation of the activities that took place in Macedonia in 2001. Documented through photographs, I want to show you what happened, what activities were undertaken on a national an international level, and what we should in future so as to avoid similar reoccurrences. We cannot prevent such things from ever happening to us again, but we can be ready, with activities of our own, to ensure that the least possible damage is caused to cultural heritage if this were to happen again. Unfortunately, in 2001, the cultural heritage in Macedonia was a target and a factor used


for various purposes. The church St. Atanasie in the village of Lesok was blown up. It is a church dating from the beginning of the 20th century, part of the monastery complex St. Atanasie in Lesok. Sarena Dzamija (Aladja Mosque) was set on fire in August. In the course of the armed conflict, Matejce Monastery was taken by the NLA. They used it for their own purposes, which regretfully resulted in the destruction of frescoes from the 14th century. The international community in the Republic of Macedonia attempted to remedy these disasters as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I would like to mention as an example the church of St. Atanasie, in the Lesok Monastery, which was reconstructed with the help of the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR). EAR fully financed the reconstruction of the church, and thus attempted to revive co-habitation in the Republic of Macedonia. EAR financed the reconstruction of two facilities – one Orthodox Christian and Muslim. Two villages in the vicinity of Tetovo – Neprosteno and Lesok – were the recipients of this efficient financial

support for reconstruction i.e. restoration of facilities damaged in the conflict. Here is the the story of the St. Atanasie Monastery – before and after – through photographs.

On the left side, you can see the facility and the reconstruction phase which took over two years. The works were carried out by the Bureau for Protection of Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Macedonia. The public should be aware that Albanian citizens of Macedonian origin from the village of Pustec in Albania – otherwise known as well renowned masons – worked on its reconstruction. This is the east facade of the church in the working phase and in its final phase, after the completion of the work in a period of two years. In 2005 the facility was handed back to the Macedonian Orthodox Church. This is a segment of the northwester part of the facility after the explosion and its destruction, and the reconstruction activities that were carried out in that area. 33


This is the northeastern part of the facility during the reconstruction phase, various phases of reconstruction and the final outcome. This is the church as you will see it today if you visit the Lesok Monastery. In the course of 2006, the painting of the frescos was fully completed, again with the support of the European Agency for Reconstruction. As I already mentioned, the monastery St. Bogorodica in the village of Matejce was occupied by the NLA. While they held and used this religious facility, the frescos were damaged – with graffiti painted with markers, but also with engraved graffiti, as we can see on the picture on the right. During the conflict, the Macedonian National ICOMOS Committee was exceptionally active – it established contacts with OSCE units, units from the Ministry of Culture, with the European Community; we attempted as much as we could, to inform the parties to the conflict that damage should be kept down a minimum. What happened then? Perhaps grasping the enormity of the damage they caused, NLA fighters attempted to clean up the frescos themselves, to remove the graffiti; in doing so they completely removed a layer of frescos, thus causing even greater irreparable damage. The parts that were not “cleaned up” in this fashion were conserved and brought back to their primary condition 34

by the Bureau for Protection of Cultural Monuments. These are photographs from the monastery of Matejce, taken by NATO Ambassador Eiff, who was the only one who could visit the monastery during the time of the conflict. No one else had NLA permission to visit. As you can see, the apses of the church were used as a hospital and headquarters. Also during the conflict, the mosque in Prilep was set on fire and burnt down, as a reaction to an event which caused the death of several Macedonians. The reconstruction of this facility is still ongoing. We have seen the consequences of what war and armed conflict can do, but what of yet another factor – lack of care, i.e. irregular maintenance of cultural monuments? . On these photographs we see a facility – how it looked 20 years ago and how it looks today, after the disaster caused by lack of care. On the left side you can see a photograph of the house of Bidikov, in Kratovo from 1985. In 1995, a project was prepared for the conservation and rehabilitation of this facility; the project included covering the house with protective paper, a temporary protective roof so as to facilitate the realization of the project. Unfortunately, this is how the situation stands from 1985 to 2007. This shows the extent of


damage a man planned disaster – lack of care can produce. Whether this is done on purpose or not – time will tell. This facility continues to remain in very poor condition. This is a part of the interior and how it looked in 1985, and how it looks in 2007, after maintenance activities were not concluded. So, what is the message we want to send? Or to say it differently, what can we, as a nongovernmental organization, do to contribute to avoid disasters such as these; or, in the case they do happen, what can we do to be prepared to alleviate their effects? As you can see, 2001 did happen. We have now entered 2008, and we go back to the premise that everything goes round in a circle – after seven years, phase B has once again become phase A. That means, we are in a preventive phase for the next activity, the next disaster – be it a war, or lack of care, or new urban plans… this means, either preventive, high level readiness for defense against disasters or raising awareness as stated in the activities listed in the Ohrid Declaration. How can we raise the awareness of all of us, owners, users and decision-makers on a local and national level? We made some proposals after the conflict, we made forecasts; we proposed certain activities. After the conflict, we felt it was important to act among the whole population, especially preschool and school children and the elderly,

who are an important source of education for the young in these areas, to convey to them the importance of cultural heritage; that this does not belong only to them, but to all of us. Furthermore, we set as a target a group teenagers and students, local self-governments, central authorities and institutions. We planned awareness raising activities to be first implemented on the territory engulfed by the conflict, and than on the whole territory of the Republic of Macedonia, with the help of the central and local authorities, national and international, government and non-governmental associations and foundations. One of the messages that I am trying to send with this presentation is to use cultural heritage as a bridge of understanding. My colleague from Belgrade showed you the Mostar Bridge linking the two banks of the Neretva River; this is also a symbolic representation of something that brings us together, and not further apart. Whether this is the old bridge, or a new-old bridge, or an old-new bridge –this is a dilemma, and not just a current one. This is a philosophic idea, or a conservations philosophy, if you will, because this is a UNESCO monument. I hope we have reminded our society, especially the institutions, the owners and users of heritage that something we do not want to happen can befall upon us yet again. In the 35


case that it does – we have to make sure the consequences are as slight as possible. In order to carry out this kind of project, we ask for your suggestions, your support and opinions whether this is realistic and doable. I believe it is, and it can be done. Thank you.

on this hot day, from Bitola, Ohrid and Kratovo. The floor is now open for discussions. Does anyone wish to make a contribution, a comment, or present a personal point of view? Please, first introduce yourself and the institution where you come from. The floor is yours.

Marijana Ivanova

Kole Mangov

My thanks to our speakers. Now, we can begin our debate. I believe the debate began already during the coffee break, and now we can continue. As I have said earlier, we were able to hear many interest views on the topic we are dealing with today. Three totally different views. Professor Katuranic presented an academic discourse from the point of view of age of cultural heritage, age, origin and creation of nations, leading up to cultural tourism. Mr. Milikic spoke about modern heritage and modern art, which is, in fact, cultural heritage we are creating today and leaving to future generations. Dr. Sumanov, on the other hand, spoke of the Ohrid Declaration and how it impacts the protection of cultural monuments, in particular those that were subjected to abuse and degradation during the Macedonian conflict. I believe this is a very good starting point for our discussion. Many of us here are a part of institutions that work with culture, and I am grateful to you for coming

My name is Kole Mangov, and I don’t belong to any particular institution. What is done is done. What weighs my conscience is that we as Macedonians are being negated by Tatar Bulgarians, Helen Greeks, somewhat by the Serbs and somewhat by the Albanians. I think that this should have been emphasized in some way. Because, what are we doing with our cultural heritage in Greece? They are destroying everything. I have photographs of icons and of frescos inscribed in our alphabet. It is my view that these photographs should be used in the right way. There is another secret heap of photographs from Greece from 1990, in color, taken by an expert and art historian, an assistant at the Faculty. You touched upon a point that intrigued me. You said that they want the Slavs to be Tatars. I am from Aegean Macedonia, and I don’t know Greek. According to the Greek propaganda, we are Greeks who spoke Greek before we spoke Slavic. But this is not so, we are ancient Macedonians

36


– this is something I have known since I was eight years old. As for the events of 2001 – I wish to turn your attention to that fact that Albanian mosques are not Albanian – they are Muslim. A Muslim mosque was not destroyed by people from the military, but as a protest against the killings. Macedonian churches and monasteries, on the other hand, were destroyed by armed forces. How all this is linked to Albania – and it is linked – can be seen in the Platform for Resolving the Albanian National Question of the Albanian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It should be read, it should be made a topic on discussion for which conclusions should be reached. As for the Serbs, well, they took the Prohor Pcinjski Monastery from us, it is no longer ours. This is what I had to say. Thank you.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you. Well, this also raises the issue of the heritage of a people within certain borders and beyond. Would anyone else like to comment? Please, take the floor.

Ramadan Ramadani My name is Ramdan Ramadani from Forum weekly magazine. I would like to ask Mr. Sumanov if there are any records of or publi-

cations on all cultural heritage in Macedonia, and how damaged or well maintained it is.

Lazar Sumanov Thank you for your question. I can inform you that while I was employed at the Republic Bureau for Cultural Monuments Protection in Skopje, and after 2001, a team from the Bureau together with Tetovo Museum and Kumanovo Museum went out and took made a complete inventory together with a UNESCO team, i.e. the Venice UNESCO branch. Therefore, such documentation does exist in the Bureau, which is now the National Conservation Center. I believe it has not been published, but it is a public record, which it is the work of a public institution. It contains records of all damages, not only of cultural monuments, but also of religious facilities not on the list of cultural monuments – both or Islamic and Orthodox provenance that were sued for various attacks.

Marijana Ivanova If you allow me, I would like to ask a question of the representative of the Ohrid Musem, although this can pertinent to other towns in Macedonia as well. How does the public, the citizens, look upon the abuse of the heritage, 37


in Ohrid, i.e. the degradation of some of its parts, such as the Orhid old town bazaar, which is used for profit and business? We can all see that more and more, Ohrid is losing its spirit – starting with the replacement of the old stone pavement with new marble plates, to the new neon commercial fixtures and Coca Cola signs on the old houses. Are the people reacting in any way? Do you know anything more about this?

Jordan Trca My name is Jordan Trca, Director of the Bureau and Museum, Ohrid. I am very happy to respond to this question. We did react when the old stone pavement was being replaced; however at that time, we did not have a legal instrument that enabled us to act. At that time, I was also President of the Municipal Council. There were reactions to the urbanization of the buss station as well, by way of a petition. The Bureau for the Protection of Monuments had no way to intervene, because the Law on Protection of Cultural Monuments was changed in the exact four articles that provided for intervention, such as halting the constructions works. These works were carried out by the local self-government. There is indeed, major urbanization in Ohrid, an incredible number of unlawfully constructed buildings. 38

The situation is beginning to change with the opening of the Office for Protection of Cultural Heritage. We now operate as a Bureau, i.e. a Conservation Center, dealing exclusively with the conservation of cultural heritage, preparation of conservation basis for the general urban plan, which has already been passed in Ohrid, and for the detailed urban plans. With the passing of the new Law on Protection of Cultural Heritage the situation has changed. A few years ago, from 1999 to 2004, not only in Ohrid, but in the whole country, we did not have the legal means to prevent such violations of the integrity of cultural heritage. If you ask me as a citizen of Ohrid, then I will respond that I think that the people of Ohrid reacted very weakly. There were no reactions in the media, nor reactions by intellectuals; only an editorial column here and there, a letter or two in the newspapers, but no organized action. Our Mayor did not meet the Deputy Minister of Culture at the time, who came on the occasion of the replacement of the old pavement. I remember the statement that the Mayor gave at the time: “So what, this pavement is not that old, the stones are ‘only’ 50 years old?! We may well decide to change the pavement every 50 years, once it gets patina”.


Something really worthy of condemnation was done. There were reactions to the front page news that Ohrid status as a City of UNESCO may be re-examined, that there will be some repercussions, but notwithstanding all this, the municipal authorities carried out the intended changed of the pavement of the old town.

Furthermore, it is my deep conviction that the town is also facing another incredibly great problem, in particular the old part of the town. Lots of people with money, especially from Skopje, are buying old buildings in the old town core and making changes to them. We now have buildings which absolutely don’t correspond to the old, traditional Ohrid architecture. The local population is under pressure, and in these times of transition, they really have no other means of securing their existence, other than selling their property. We are experiencing a really intense process

of construction, expansion and extension of buildings, in areas where this is not allowed, only going up in height. Some buildings, even if they get the necessary permits, are constructed without respect for the approved technical documentation. Unfortunately, the Bureau for Protection of Cultural Heritage does not have a branch office in Ohrid yet. The people know this, and there are daily occurrences of violation of architectural heritage, of the old traditional Ohrid architecture. Also, as a Director of an institution that should directly care for this heritage I have to admit that we are not very efficient. This is particularly the case with the inspection services, which are now under the authority of the Mayor. We all know that the Mayor, that is to say, all mayors, are very much interested in getting reelected. This means that if they get into a disagreement with the people, the people will not vote for them. I believe that Ohrid, and its protected architectural town core must have a special inspection service. This means special urban inspections. I hope this will be resolved with the new Law on Protection of the Old Town Core. We have prepared the documentation; I believe the Law will be passed soon, and that there is still a chance for us to preserve that which is left of the authentic core of Ohrid. Thank you. 39


Marijana Ivanova Thank you. We have discussed with Professor Katunaric that something similar is happening in Croatia – that tourism is developing at the expense of the heritage of Dalmatian towns.

Vjeran Katunaric: You have two schools, so to speak, of experts. One is in favour of commercial use of the ambience belonging to the heritage, like for example historical cores of cities like Zadar, Dubrovnik, Split etc. Of course, the intervention into this space is always a sensitive issue how far you can deal with it without making damage on it. The other school is more for the conservation. The experts of these schools say that there must be a distance between the object itself and the activity in the surrounding. There are also some problems which are published in the media and they are presented as scandals. For example in Split in the old town core there were some interventions, some interpolations of the new buildings allegedly without permission and without taking advice of the official institutions. So, there are some doubts that there is corruption in the local authorities who allow such practice in the old part of the city. Well, on the other hand, you have towns like 40

Osijek which has large old part called Tvrdja where the works on reconstruction were not gone too far and there is a lot of investment needed to recreate the whole zone. Also, you have some problems which arise with the expansion of tourism, especially in Dubrovnik which is the most renowned site, historic site in Croatia, and very often, I may say, tourist sector, especially hotels and restaurants, as a service sector, uses the opportunity of the massive visits to Dubrovnik to tremendously raise their prices. For instance, when the American marines, that was several years ago, came to visit Dubrovnik, with their ship, battleship, simply rushed in Dubrovnik and then all of a sudden the prices of beer went up for ten times, so it was impossible for anyone, supposedly except the marines, to buy this beer. Then, the question was why the beer is such expensive, on the account of what? Obviously on the account of exploitation of the core of the historical, heritage value of Dubrovnik. So, of course, there is always debate about the principles of dealing with this combination of utilitarianism as tourism on the one hand, and the intrinsic value of the old city core on the other. One of the solutions is the cultural rent or heritage rent, how much this rent should be, is it enough to cover the expenses which are created during commercial


use of the space. There is a general tendency to incorporate the old cores primarily into the offer of the tourist industry. The old cores are populated with new shops. It is difficult to say how much this would be profitable for the interest of the preservation of heritage. The most of the means given to the preservation of heritage is given by the Ministry of Culture. Ministry of Culture is the main protector of the cultural heritage and this is something which is a routine, and lion’s share of the budget for culture goes to that particular purpose. I cannot assess how much Croatia has expanded the tourist industry output thanks to the cultural heritage, certainly, some people, some tourists, come to Croatia especially to see Dubrovnik, but most of them do this during the summer (tourist) season. And in winter, spring or autumn, I am afraid no heritage site in Croatia would be so much interesting to tourists so far like Venice or Rome, Vienna, we have no such around-a-year tourist visits. I don’t know how is in Macedonia, but I believe you share the same problem.

Marijana Ivanova We have three-four people who want to join the discussion. I believe Mr. Ljatif Demir was the first to ask for the floor. Mr Demir, you have the floor.

Ljatif Demir My name is Ljatif Demir, I am the Executive Director of the Roma Cultural and Educational Center DARHIA from Skopje. I will link my question to two things which Mr. Milikic and Mr. Sumanov pointed out. Mr. Sumanov said that one of the risks for cultural heritage is lack of adequate treatment – lack of care of a society for that cultural heritage. The second thing, which Mr. Milikic said when speaking about the exhibition of cultural heritage in Belgrade – that it was quite curious too see various ethnic communities came forth with their own characteristic heritage. This of course, is not unusual in a democratic country that has experience in caring for the cultural heritage. However, it is evident that in Serbia, and in the region, not much thought is given to the cultural heritage of smaller communities, which means there is no policy about this cultural heritage; the conflicts in these countries have shown that power should always be in the hands of the larger communities. This is the source of this so-called abuse for political and ideological purposes. We are all pleased about the restoration of the two churches which Mr Sumanov told us about, but what about the mosque in Prilep? When will the mosque be restored? Yesterday,the TV station A1 informed in the news that a mosque in the 41


Roma neighborhood will be build to replace the other one, which is in no way connected to the old mosque that was in the center of the city. My question is – when do you think, as experts in this field, the cultural heritage of the smaller communities will begin to be treated as part of the overall cultural heritage of the country, not only as “something to be given to the smaller communities, so as to keep them happy with the state.” We know that such abuse can appear as a basis for various conflicts in the region. Perhaps Mr. Milikic can tell us how things stand in Serbia. I know, for example, that there is a wonderful museum of the smaller communities in Zrenjanin, with exhibits of artifacts, traditional dress and housing of the 19th century.

Nebojsa Milikic I don’t know exactly if I was understood properly when it was about the exhibition that you mentioned. So, in that exhibition young people were offered to do small business project, and up to 50% of these projects were focused on the reproduction of their folklorebased identity. No one asked them to do so, this is just how they see themselves - as a folklore based community. So, for me this is one of the outcomes of policies in culture that are employed in Serbia, but also elsewhere 42

in Europe. I don’t say they are good or bad, I just indicate that they might be or should be of our interest. When it is about heritage or cultural identity of smaller communities, well yes, in Vojvodina this is part of, let us say, cultural policy of entire region because the constitutive element of Vojvodina identity is multinationality and multiculturalism. When it is about other communities and minorities, I saw some manifestations and I was not very happy with that. I have to say that the issue of Vlach or Romanian minority in Eastern Serbia, not in Vojvodina, in Vojvodina they are Romanians, but in Eastern Serbia they express themselves as Vlachs or Romanians or Vachs, so what is the state policy towards them? In fact, they are segregated. What they can be given funds for is exactly the manifestations of their ethnical identity. And, when it is about their inclusion in the system of general education, for example, they don’t have the primary education in their native language, there are big problems, and then, it seems, this is how policy of isolation functions: “OK, this is your ethnical origin, practice it for yourself, this is your culture, keep it for yourself, and don’t ask for anything else!”. And this is very problematic, since if we just glance a little bit wider around, who promoted that type of cultural segregation at national


level, only few years ago? It was unfortunately Jean Mary LePen. He was the one to lobby for not mixing of cultural identities, for keeping oneself community identity separated and always well recognized in a kind of ghetto, more exactly a cultural ghetto. So, it is a big problem, you know, we have to be aware of that aspect of the problem as well. And especially when it is about Roma community in Serbia and Belgrade, this is a pure disaster, and this is shame because most of Roma kids cannot manage to go to school, while some of the experts would say that Roma families are not willing to send their kids to school. But let us put this question: Is there any parent who wouldn’t like his or her kid to go to school, get educated and find a proper job? Of course not. But Roma kids are humiliated in our schools because they are oppressed with the system of communication that they are not up to at all and state is not taking care of that. So, this is a big problem, and I have to say, this is a big regression. I have to say that, twenty or even fifteen years ago most of Roma kids went to school, they could leave it after 4th or 5th grade, but many of them also continued to further grades. Now, it is really a rear case, it is very bad. And we cannot see that as one separate problem, we have to see it in a broader context, to think why it is like that, what is the

reason for that. We had an exhibition in our Cultural Center that addressed the notion of Roma community in Belgrade and we called the exhibition Belgraders, that was the title. But then, immediately after that, you had, like, in the street slang people referring to Roma people like Belgraders. So, this is so deeply rooted in the cultural context, in its matrix, that you don’t have, I mean there is hardly any issue that you won’t start debate from. After that exhibition, for example, what we saw as a kind of success was that Roma were given a status of national minority and since then they had this special census when they can enter Parliament, and they entered the Parliament at the last elections. So, this would be the group of answers to your questions, I don’t know if this is enough but we could discuss latter as well.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you. I give the floor now to Mrs. Lejla Hadzic from Sarajevo.

Lejla Hadzic My name is Lejla Hadzic and I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina. As you know, Bosnia and Herzegovina was a case of mass destruction when it comes to cultural heritage aspects. So, 43


what basically stroke me was the presentation of Mr. Nebojsa Milikic where you basically said that or asked yourself, what is the message of post-war reconstruction in the case of Gdansk. And of course, the whole Poland was the same case. Basically reconstruction, looking at the post war reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where reconstruction is pretty much the same language as destruction, it just has different omen so it is talking in the recognizable language to the people who destroyed it. And now my question so to say or intention is like, we had a very aimed destruction during the war. Now we have a bit soft destruction, monuments not to be supported or supported because they belong to another national group or whatever. And my question is how we can build that message of peace, because that is… I think in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the whole region, I think 2004 was the last event in Kosovo, I mean, what can you really do when you have extremely valuable monument and a group of people with armors and dynamite, what can you really do, what message to say to people, to give to people to understand that they can’t really do what they are doing, because Dr. Sumanov is all the time talking about risk preparedness, yes, it is excellent, but what can you do against the dynamite? And I’m wandering if there is a message, is there some 44

kind of a formula we could build all together to be transferred to people, to be so to say build in peoples’ minds, so they don’t use dynamite, they rather use words or they use something else to fight each others when it comes to monuments. Because the way I see it, I mean, in the whole region we have this issue of dynamite and you can’t do anything against it. So, that is my question.

Nebojsa Milikic The question is what was happening in Gdansk in the Second World War and why it was destroyed? If we don’t answer that question how we can think of its reconstruction as of a broader cultural enterprise? What was reconstructed there? What I know from Mostar, I don’t know so many people from there but I know a few, the old bridge is not having the same function as it had before. We can discuss which function should have been reintroduced in the rebuilding of old bridge, but this is not the same bridge, not because it is not the same group of stones, but because it is not the same function. So, is it artificial project? Shouldn’t it be? In discussion that I presented


here, my proposal concerning The Old Bridge would be to build it exactly like it was before, but to make it invisible so that it radiates a message of incapability of one community or two communities or all communities in its surroundings to reinvent the mode of life that was present there. And then, what is that object for there, what is the reconstruction for? To hide the problem or to open the space for discussion and better understanding? So this is how it also goes with other reconstructions. In Belgrade one cannot stand that speech any more, it is so overwhelming, I mean no one mentions contemporary situations. I think 90% of people in Serbia are not capable of understanding what the problem today in Kosovo is. There is no language generated to deal with and explain this. There is only the endless story of reconstruction and preservation of cultural heritage. And this is maybe why I am especially interested in understanding all the aspects. So, when it comes to dynamite, it is late, it is of course late. It is job of the state to take care of that, and of broader international community maybe. But, let us think how it comes to that? When there is an inquiry and at the end you see that the heritage of Old Bridge is managed today by a bunch of bullies, they are delegates, represent of something, let us trace this something, let us see what is there, because then we will be

ought to creatively reconstruct it, not just to stick to this fetishist way of reconstruction and to desperately try to make it “like it was before”. It is definitely not like before. So making it “like it was before” is a problematic act itself or it can be problematic, I don’t know. In Warsaw, for example, we have a quite different situation then in Gdansk. It is not as in the whole Poland is the same situation, due to everything that happened in Warsaw ghetto it is not the same situation when it is about reconstruction of the old Warsaw and also of the Warsaw ghetto - when compared to Gdansk. And also in Belgrade with things that have recently happened. These issues are complex and I just wanted to work out that complexity on the example of an art-work that focused to seemingly irrelevant objects. Too complex issues reappeared from that work. And I think we should care about that complexity. That is all.

Lazar Sumanov Thank you for your question regarding risk preparedness. One of the messages I am trying to send through my presentation is that the risk for preparedness is long-term and pain-staking work for all of us. It awaits us every day. Every day we have to remind owners, users, and decision makers on a national 45


and local level, of the meaning of cultural heritage. The idea of the program we propose for a period of three years is exactly this – to present the value of heritage, which is not mine, or your, or ours here, but of the whole world. We must succeed in raising the awareness to that level – and this is not the work of one session, this has to be done day in and day out. We are but human beings, and we act like humans; very often we forget. Believe me, six years after the conflict we have all forgotten; the same happened after the Skopje 1963 earthquake. 10 years after, no one talked about the earthquake. This earthquake caused enormous damage to the city, and the money that came after the earthquake caused equally irreparable damage to cultural heritage as the earthquake. I said this in my presentation. Oftentimes, “man planned disasters” are more dangerous and more horrific than natural ones. This is why I will say once again that it is very important to remind stakeholders of the significance of cultural heritage, why we need it and so on. This is something we all have to do every day, especially the institutions that are paid for that purpose, but also non-profit, national and international institutions and organizations. My colleague asked about museums? I believe we have here colleagues from the Museum of Macedonia who can answer this question. Why shouldn’t there be a dedi46

cated related to the life of the smaller ethnic communities in the Museum of Macedonia in Skopje? This is an excellent suggestion, which should be accepted and incorporated in related programs.

Aleksandra Kapetanovic I am Aleksandra Kapetanovic from NGO Expeditio from Kotor, Montenegro. I have one comment related quite a lot to the topics that Lejla and Mr. Sumanov now launched. I think that crucial for the understanding of heritage, for respecting it and avoiding misuse and not adequate interventions, in general, is to recognize all values of heritage. Failure to recognize all values of heritage is a common problem of both experts in that field, and citizens who use that heritage. I think that it is really very crucial to be aware of all those different values that all of us can recognize in the heritage. Experts have one point of view, local government has another point of view, local community another one and tourists that are coming can recognize some other values. That can cause misunderstandings, because it is not necessary that the others are recognizing the values that we have already recognized. Therefore, I think it is really crucial to raise awareness about all those different values. Very important are also personal values,


emotional and symbolical, that all of us can have. Mr. Milikic was talking about the bridge in Mostar. It is true that after the reconstruction we do not have the authentic material that was in the old bridge, but that bridge had very strong symbolical value for local people. Of course, it always depends what type of values different social groups recognize, and when they recognize them what is the way they see their protection and enhancement. But, anyhow we should respect that. I think it is crucial to speak will all stakeholders, all those that are using the heritage, and to see what their perceptions of the values are. And then, if we are aware of all these values then of course it is necessary to respect them, including also others values. That usually can be conflict situation, because different values can be in conflict, but we need to work in that direction - to respect the values of the others that maybe in a certain moment are not the same that we see. There are tools also to work in that field, and that is a process.

Jelisaveta Mihajlovic My name is Jelisaveta Mihajlovic, I’m coming from Europa Nostra - Serbia which is country representation of Europa Nostra, panEuropean federation for heritage, the only one existing at the moment in Southeast Europe region. I just want to point at some case studies in Serbia because we started to speak about misuse of heritage in this region and specifically in Serbia. Last couple of years I spent as freelancer in heritage planning and conservation, and I did several studies and valorisations for various cities. Here, I just want to point out at one case study which is quite interesting in this context, which is Uzice, former Titovo Uzice, where I worked from March last year on a Spatial Development Plan and now Master Plan which is about to be finalized this month and adopted officially, while spatial development plan is already adopted. Well, as you probably know, we have main square there which represents and glorifies Tito the same as in seven other cases in ex-Yugoslavia. The reason why the city has become so important is definitely Uzice Republic, the first free territory during the Second World War and that is the main value which marks this area, and this city. The day when Tito died, just to picture the situation and how people value this city, spontaneously 47


they started Kozara kolo dance at the main square. Could you imagine that now, neither did I when I started to work on the study of values and significance for the city. Well, the problem that pertains there is that Monument Board does not recognize this valuable square in the centre of Uzice, Partisan Square, at all, and they want to change it and under development of pressures it started slowly to decay. In 1989, Tito statue has been removed. Now, we decided to make another study of the values and actually when the study was adopted through Spatial Development Plan they couldn’t do anything more so we managed even to stop building parking beneath this square. What was also very important since there are remains of Turkish square beneath nowadays square and they wanted to destroy even those. This is maybe good example to present the differences existing, on the one hand, in official statement of Monument Board in Serbia, and from the other hand, what local population wants to do as well as local government. Of course, I don’t want to open some other case studies from Serbia at the moment, so I would stop here. Thank you.

Lejla Hadzic I would like just to send a small message after our work in the region. Basically what struck 48

us, when we with our partners formed the SEE Heritage Network, when Expeditio produced the leaflet with the 12 photos, and what struck us basically is you can’t really see from which country the photos are coming from. I mean, it is quite evident that we share common heritage and we share the values, and it is very simple basically we give this to a common citizen and we so to say introduce him/her the values of its own heritage. And that is exactly, I mean just a continuation of what Sandra was talking about recognition of values.

Lazar Sumanov Let me just add, that even the best references and the best conventions will be in vain, unless there is human contact. Person to person. I think this is something we are forgetting. We have an excellent law, but no implementation. What is the link? This is it. This is what non-governmental organizations need – all employees must establish personal contact. I will give you an example: while I was working on my PhD in New York, my mentor went to the bank every day to take some money out. He never used his card. I asked him why not, when the whole world uses these cards. This is what he said to me: “No, Lazar, I don’t want to talk to a machine, I want to talk to a person. I want someone to say good afternoon to me


when I go to the bank, and I want to say good afternoon to him. How may I help you? I would like to withdraw some money. Then, thank you very much and I leave”. So, let us not forget this human element. From my experience I know that even the best references that gather dust are of no avail unless there is human contact. I remember I lived in a neighborhood with Turks, Serbs and Jews. I knew Turkish at that time when I was a child. Why shouldn’t that be the case now. We are all here, but I say to you again – where has the man gone? Man can do anything, but he can also destroy everything. Therefore, we have to nurture Man, we have to give everyone a chance, because the owner, the decision maker, the user, they all have the same rights. Even those not yet born have the same rights, because we have to leave this heritage in their belonging. This is my message – keep the contact, contact is irreplaceable.

Gjuner Ismail I will attempt to speak as little as possible as a man involved in culture, because I want to warn of yet another context. Almost six years separate us now from the tragic events of the armed crisis, or war – however you want to call it. Of course, when we speak about political or ideological abuse of cultural heritage, it

is inevitable to recall the Macedonian example of abuse of cultural heritage in 2001. We thought what we saw on our television screens as live feed from the wars in the former Yugoslav regions was something that was happening elsewhere. I have to say we were not very serious and even naïve, not to look deeper into the indicators that could give rise to such tragic events, or could have been a sign for the onset for such tragic events here. In Europe, the question of cultural heritage abuse in the explicit and raw form we saw in the former Yugoslavia was closed in 1945. It was somehow closed in Europe then, and from then onwards Europe does not know of the things which we here know and saw. When we look at the Macedonian events, we will see that these events and especially the abuse of cultural heritage for political goals followed one rule. No mosque was spontaneously set on fire. No church was destroyed as the result of two sick minds. No cross placed on an Islamic monument was accidental – and the list goes on. This is a “recipe” that involves provoking a flow of events, a spiral that is very difficult to get out of. What is it that I want to say? There are people of the profession, the expert public, people like Dr. Sumanov, and many others whom we are fortunate to have here today, who are 49


aware of the ignition power of each destroyed monument. But this is insufficient, especially in the context of pre-armed crisis, armed and other crisis situations. So, it is quite clear that the people of this profession must warn all others stakeholder on a decision making and political level of the dangers involved. It is very important for them to keep their eyes open. This means that they should not only nurture culture and a civilized attitude towards cultural heritage, but also react very quickly when they see an attempt for instrumentalization of cultural heritage, including its abuse. If not, we will be thinking and talking about cultural heritage through the prism of dynamite. We must not be naïve. After all, we live on the borderline of civilizations; where there is a church, there is also a mosque. And believe me, there are others who talk about this in a more “qualified” fashion, with different “recipes” in mind. This is my contribution to your work. Thank you.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you. Is there anyone else who would like to say anything? Mr. Ljatif Demir again.

Ljatif Demir What we cannot grasp, and this pertains to Macedonia, Serbia, and to an extent to Bos50

nia and Herzegovina, is something that Serbia and Croatia have already understood. For this to happen, everyday work is needed, as Dr.Sumanov points out. Both Croatia and Slovenia have established departments for cultural diversity. Following the recommendations of the Council of Europe, one such department was opened in Rijeka, another in Ljubljana, and they both have three or four year education programs on cultural heritage. I mass of educated young people is being created, who will later become the direct, day-to day executors and lobbyists for the protection of heritage. The Department in Rijeka has been operational for two years now. I have been fortunate to visit it twice to speak about the specifics of Roma culture. And true enough, the opinions of people have changed in comparison to those of three-four years ago. And, Croatia did have a conflict, one we thought would never end.


Marijana Ivanova Thank you. Does anyone else have a comment to make? Or opinion? Mr. Josko Katelan from Montenegro.

Josko Katelan My name is Josko Katelan. I come from Kotor, Montenegro. I’ll give you slightly different example of the political misuse of cultural heritage which happened in Montenegro some 15 years ago. Namely, back in 1992 there was a new law passed on the establishment of archival organization, completely new scheme, there was one central office established in Cetinje and 21 departments all over Montenegro. But what happened at that time was that the historical archives in Kotor and historical archives in Herceg Novi and one section of the historical archives in Budva were somehow completely missed in this new organization. Namely, the needs of this special heritage which is the written heritage which was written back in the 13th or 14th century was somehow doomed to disappear because they didn’t understand the need for special humidity and temperature to be respected in the storage room and all these things. They simply, all the time were thinking, and they are still thinking, only about current records created in the recent times in the 50’s or 60’s and somehow

forgot about this very precious heritage. And we all know that without this special reference that we find in the written heritage, we cannot speak about anybody’s culture or origin, or tradition, or anything. So, this was one big problem which happened. Another thing that happened at that time is that they also destroyed the professional title, they simply deleted the name of archivist as a profession. Now you cannot find any archivist in Montenegro anymore, there are no more archivists, we are all some special advisors number one or number two which is like public servants are nominated in Montenegro. So, this is an example of how they made a big mistake with simple political decision.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you, Mr. Katelan. Dr. Sumanov, would you like to respond?

Lazar Sumanov I will go back to Man again. Man builds and Man destroys. We spoke a little bit about the situation in Ohrid. But this is not the case of Ohrid alone, this is the situation in all institutions, I would say all towns that have cultural heritage. I would like to turn for a moment to the people working on the protection of cultural monuments. This is a very important 51


point, because if we want to have good protection of monuments, we have to have a substantial, well trained professional service. For years now I have been speaking on public debates about the importance of getting institutions for protection of monuments, museums, libraries, archives and the Cinematheque of Macedonia out of the so called administrative ghetto. For ten years, these institutions have not had the right to employ new people. And what is the result? The institutions are getting older and weaker. I was particularly pleased when recently I heard that this administrative ghetto was broken with a Government decision contrary to the recommendations of the IMF, for the employment of 185 new people in the opera, theater, philharmonic orchestra and the folk ensemble Tanec. So, the shackles are starting to give in. The National ICOMOS Committee is planning to hold a debate in support of this decision, and to ask that protection institutions also receive the same treatment. Thank you.

Marijana Ivanova Thank you. Any other comments? Professor Katunaric, the floor is yours.

52

Vjeran Katunaric Let me just add a note as to what was discussed, among other things, about the bridge in Mostar and its high symbolic value. First of all, I would say that year 2008 which is proclaimed by the European Union as the Year of Intercultural Dialogue, is in a way alarming. It is an alarm for Europe as a whole because what we witness recently is a mushrooming of parallel worlds, and not of interactive communities. It is, I would say, basically the same situation in the core of Europe as well as in the periphery of Europe. Now, to go back to the case of Mostar’s Bridge. I accidentally was there last year as a tourist and I visited Mostar and passed across, over the bridge, from one to the other coast of the river Neretva and I have a strong impression that this bridge serves only for tourists for going from one side to the other side for shopping, buying some souvenirs or drinking coffee. The both parts of the Mostar are pretty much symmetric, I would say, they are pretty much the same, as I cannot see anything specific in terms of atmosphere, architecture, the whole ambience. If we try to look, to translate this situation into categories which are today on the agenda of the European Union, and the category or imperative number one is to build bridges, but not only physical bridges, but


also bridges in human heads. And obviously this presence of the international community in the city of Mostar was a cultural hardware for communication, but there is no cultural software. It is ourselves who must create, build up this software. This is why I argued in favour of making of a third spaces, where people from both sides will meet, whether this will be new generations with new ideas and some living cultures activities, I really don’t know, but this is on the agenda of the whole Europe to have really an interactive multicultural societies instead of this parallel worlds which as you know explode from time to time, strongly explode. It seems that these parallel communities serve as container of a kind of dissatisfaction which merges with hatred. This hatred is accumulated also from generation to generation and then it makes boom. We must find ways at least visualize, imagine these socalled bridging cultural capital or bridging social capital. The same thing, as in Mostar, may be seen in Kosovska Mitrovica, with the river Ibar as the ultimate border between the two communities, and there is no passing to the other side, except for international troops. And some attempts were made, especially under auspices of the Council of Europe, with some exhibitions as cultural events aimed at bridging the communities, to bring at least some people from both sides into contact, but

it didn’t work. So, bridges are there but we are not there.\

Aleksandar Stanojlovic My name is Aleksandar Stanojlovic, I come from the Civic Association Suburbium from Serbia. This morning I saw big cross on the top of the hill above Skopje and that made a bad impression on me. And coming here I saw new minarets of the new mosques in the surrounding villages and that also made a very bad impression on me. And last year in Mostar I saw very, very high tower of the Catholic Church, it is very close to the bridge and that left a very bad impression of the city to me. And later the same day I saw the new Islamic centre in the western suburb of Sarajevo and that also made a bad impression on me. And I see every day new-Byzantine churches build in my region of Vojvodina that makes me very sick looking at that. So, I think that this meeting should also give answer to these new symbols of something which can not be translated into English and that is the word “inat” (spite).

Kaplan Halimi I’ll have comment and question for Professor Katunaric and Professor Sumanov. Is it true that ethnic groups in the Balkans especially in 53


Kosovo and Macedonia are afraid from each other and they make a distinction “we and the others”? Also they make the distinction at the culture and cultural heritage where they divide our culture and their culture. Is this separation coming from the fear and prejudice that ethnic groups have in these states? How can reconciliation happen and these different ethnic groups can live and protect their culture and cultural heritage in Kosovo and Macedonia having in mind the wars that happened in this region?

Vjeran Katunaric Let me give another comment to what you said. This mutual frightening is very important, I mean, crucial, of making these antagonistic groups and polarization. We have other situations in which sometimes we are prone to forget or suppress from our memory as well as our imagination. Take for example, as far as I know, Kosovska Kamenica, was at least a place where Serbs and Albanians decided to stay and prolong to live together. Thus, they demonstrated that a common life is possible. And why they chose the way of common life? Why the others didn’t? This is the crucial issue. Maybe even Kamenica is not the only area in Kosovo and Metohija where two communities continue to live together in proximity. 54

Anyway, this is evidence that common life and interaction is possible, and that violence is not inevitable.

Jelisaveta Mihajlovic Well I would like to add something and it also refers to what Nebojsa said before. After year 2000, Serbian government didn’t really have understanding of the situation in Kosovo and of course, most of us in Serbia didn’t understand what actually is happening there. And the main political goal was territory, and then in year 2005, in November, Europa Nostra decided to come and visit our government and to tell them: “Well people, you have culture there” and then our politicians started to speak: “Well, Kosovo and cultural heritage, cultural heritage and Kosovo...” and it went on and on, and I apologize since we are now using cultural heritage as a goal, since it is really to blame Europa Nostra. But I wanted to add something else. During European Heritage Days, in September this year, at Kosovo there will be three debates organized by Europa Nostra and local partners in Pristine, Kosovska Mitrovica and Prizren and it will be organized by Voice of Partners Kosovo, CBM from Kosovska Mistrovica and some other local partners. Europa Nostra, and two professionals from Europa Nostra will come to debate and


have round tables entitled Heritage in Danger, Identity in Danger trying to put cultural heritage on regional level and discuss it, so I hope we will have conclusions and I will gladly forward this and of course information to you and any other details, so that you could come and participate. Thank you.

Lejla Hadzic I just wanted to say basically in Mostar case it is very difficult to have reconciliation between the communities when you have communities where people made crimes, so it is very difficult to make reconciliation until one of them die and the other try to forget or we do it in some different way. All Bosnia is the case like that. As long as the crime-makers from the other community or the community that live in Bosnia are alive, reconciliation will be very difficult. That’s why this bridge in Mostar is just physical, and not really transcendental or metaphysical issue. But I’m not against reconstruction, I think all Mostar people at the time when reconstruction was made, and it was made by a person from Croatia, and Croats were in a way identified as destroyers, people were proud of the bridge being reerected, but real reconciliation won’t be done until we demystify our crimes and we face our

own crimes, as well as the others do the same, and that will take time, I think. \

Aleksandra Kapetanovic I would like to add one more example of a kind of political misuse of cultural heritage. There are of course religious and political values that we recognize in heritage, and political and religious misuses are the strongest one. But there are also other types of misuse of heritage, maybe more “soft” one, like the one that we are facing now in Montenegro, and I see real danger in it. In our case, it is also the political influence. Government does not have a clear vision how to develop and how to protect its own heritage. They just let uncontrolled development that very soon will destroy the most significant part of our heritage, i.e. the whole cultural landscape. The Russians and Englishmen with lot of money are baying real-estates, and without inherited feeling for the values of the area they are just building whatever they want, but the biggest problem is that the state does not give them strict guidelines. I also see that uncontrolled development as one big potential threat for the misuse of 55


heritage. I don’t know what the situation in other countries is, but in Montenegro we are facing with that problem. I think that this should be also one of the topics that we need to discuss in future, when we are speaking about awareness, about use of heritage and what we evaluate in it, what we need to preserve and how to enhance it for future generations.

Marjana Ivanova Thank you. Mr. Ljatif Demir, please be our last speaker.

Ljatif Demir I can hear once again that two wrong directions are being taken when dealing with abuse. One, this is is still a makeshift effort. There is always a non-governmental organization, one institution or another that would like to work on this matter, and this is how things are done. But, this means that there is no systematic solution to the problem of cultural heritage. My second point is one which is very obvious in the region – when two peoples had a conflict about the abuse of cultural heritage, this conflict will be resolved by trying to get these two peoples to get to know each other better, getting them to preserve their cultural heritage. However, no one in the region sees that solving the problem of cultural heritage between 56

those two larger peoples that were in conflict, without regard for the smaller ethnic communities, creates another enormous problem that just keeps growing. In ten years, we will find ourselves in a situation where the smaller ethnic communities will ask for protection of its cultural heritage. If cultural heritage is to be preserved, it is to be preserved equally for all, regardless of the size of the communities. What did our colleague say about Mitrovica? There, the problem will be treated between the Albanians and the Serbs, because they are in conflict. It is obvious that no one in Kosovo is looking at the fact that there are also smaller communities there, who also request that their cultural heritage be preserved. There are Roma, Askala, Egyptians in Kosovo. The same is happening in Macedonia. Also in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a situation of conflict between the Bosniaks and the Croats, this problem is only resolved between them. Where Croats and Serbs have a conflict, only their problem is resolved. In Bulgaria, for example, only the conflict between the two largest communities, the Bulgarian and Turkish community is being resolved. Here lies the problem. We cannot understand that our countries have multiethnic, multicultural societies, and that everyone should take equal part in building the state. I believe these are the main problems. In Macedonia, we have found ourselves in the quan-


dary of talking about a bi-national state. Five years later, we are once again talking about cultural decontamination. The same things are being talked about again, after five years. We have not made progress, we don’t have a system.

Marijana Ivanova We have had a very diverse discussion, which I will now attempt to summarize. We heard very different views and opinions on the topic of our discussion today, starting from one that the cultural heritage of one ethnic community is being refuted beyond its border, even when that community extends beyond it. Than, that heritage is abused for the purpose of development. Not used, but misused. We were talking about tourism. We also talked about sustainable tourism. We spoke about the lack of care of the society towards heritage, about culture and the disregard for the culture of the smaller communities, and we somehow focused on the human factor. We emphasized that it is necessary to understand heritage, to respect it and to avoid its misuse. We discussed the fact that people have different values, and that in fact, cultural heritage has different values for different people; that different groups of people have different understanding of culture – local authorities have one understand-

ing of culture, and the tourists have another. Central authorities and politicians see it in a third light, while ordinary citizens in yet another. We spoke about bridges in a literal sense of the word, and in its symbolic meaning, as a link between cultural differences and a way to bridge over cultural capital. We discussed how we can avoid abusing culture, and use it for reconciliation between communities. We talked about awareness, awareness raising and lastly, Mr. Ljatif Demir mentioned the problem of the makeshift manner in which these measures are taken; that the state does not have a system, a concept, a strategy for protection and use of cultural heritage. The SEE Heritage Network will continue to work in the upcoming two days in Ohrid, and if you allow me, we would like to devote one more, perhaps shorter session, to talk about this topic again and to try to formulate a small list of recommendations that would be sent to the governments of the countries where we come from. In closing today’s debate, I would like to thank you all, once again, for finding the interest and the time to take part in it. I wish you much success in your work devoted to the protection and proper treatment of cultural heritage.

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NETWORK MEETING he SEE Heritage Network meeting started with a welcoming of the new members: Europa Nostra – Serbia (Serbia), Projector (Montenegro) and Butrint Foundation (Albania). Afterwards, each of the representatives of the NGOs briefly reported what is new in the region and what are the current activities they are implementing. Then, Lejla Hadzic from CHwB ofiice in Bosnia and Herzegovina presented the follow-up activities after the last Network meeting in Gjirokastra, Albania.

Web-site

Ohrid, 3-4 July 2008

The NGOs’ representatives agreed that the regional web-site will be in English and all other six country home pages will be on English and on the local languages. On the main page there will be a text of the SEE Heritage Network vision and mission, an interactive map and the following links: About the network; Program; Projects, activities and events; Network members; Photo gallery; Donors; Links; Contacts; Support us, and Subscribe.

Creation of the web-site was one of the main activities in this period. Ivana Lushic from CHwB presented the work done so far. The draft design of the web-site was made by Arber Veliaj from Mjaft, Albania. The structure of the web-site includes one regional web page and six country home web pages: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

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The mission and the vision of the Network will be always on the site, as well as the main headline of the news. There will be several latest news listed and archive where all other news will be available. In the link About the network, there will be the background of the network and reports from the previous Network meetings. On the main page there will be links of different institutions and organizations (ministries, institutes etc). The countries will be represented by little flags or by international abbreviations (like MK, CG, SR etc)

gallery and Contacts of NGOs of each country. At the first page of each country there will be also the text of vision and mission. The NGOs agreed that there will be one coordinator per country who will be in charge of the web-site. The discussion was developed around the issue of local languages. Finally, it was agreed that only one official language will be used for the country page. However, wishing to make the web-site accessible to as much visitors as possible, the NGOs agreed that on the main page the links About the network and News should also be available on all local languages spoken in the region.

Membership criteria

On each country page there will be news from the country. All country pages will have the same structure: Home page, Map of the country, Basic information on the country, History of the country, Cultural heritage, Heritage conservation, Protected areas, News, Photo 60

The issue about membership and about new members of the Network was also part of the discussion. It was argued whether members should be also individuals. It was agreed that only NGOs can be members, and apart of the membership, there should be established a group of friends and supporters which should include organizations and individuals.


The agreed criteria of membership are: the NGO should actively work with cultural heritage issues; and it should come from the SEE region (regarding the political, not geographic definition of the region). It was agreed to create an application form for NGOs to apply for membership in the Network. The form should contain a letter of interest and small set of questions that should help the selection. It was agreed to form Application/Evaluation committee which will decide upon the applications for membership. Members of the Committee will be one representative of each country (not each NGO). The mandate of the members of this committee will be from one meeting to another. Each coordinator elected as member of the Application/Evaluation committee will coordinate the NGO-members within its own country. The Committee should consider the coordinator’s opinion for the applying organization coming from his/her country.

It was agreed that the approach towards new members should be both active and passive - meaning that anybody could recommend a NGO for membership, and also NGOs can apply by themselves. The question whether the Network will be formal or informal was also risen. It was agreed that the Network should remain informal (should not be registered as legal entity) but should have a formal structure and principles that should be respected by the members.

Membership Declaration The NGOs’ representatives discussed the text which was first called Manifesto, and agreed to rename it into Membership Declaration. In this document, which has declarative character, the member NGOs are expressing their shared ideals, and their common vision and mission.

The decision making process will be based on majority voting. The voting and the processing of the applications will be via internet.

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The text of the Membership Declaration was revised, everybody agreed on it, and the document was signed, in a small ceremony, on July 4, 2007 (see the text of the Membership Declaration in the Annex 1).

Strategy and Program of the Network The representatives of NGOs discussed the draft version of the Network working program. It was agreed to prepare also a Strategic plan. The representatives of the NGOs worked on this document in working groups and adopted a draft version. It was agreed that purpose of the SEE Heritage Network work is protection and promotion of the cultural and natural heritage in the region. The main expected results of the work of the Network are defined: 1. Improved and regionally enquired network of NGOs dealing with the cultural and natural heritage 2. Improved management of cultural and natural heritage 62

3. Improved influence of decision makers 4. Improved outreach towards the general public The NGOs representatives also defined the main activities of the Network: 1. General activities (SEE heritage network meetings, web-site and mailing list, promotion of SEE heritage image, exchange of information between network members and outside partners) 2. Practical or project oriented activities (regional maps, exchange of volunteers in between NGOs and outside partners, cultural tourism, creation of the collection of photographs, introduction of cultural and natural issues in school curricula, research and mapping of industrial heritage) 3. SEE Heritage network capacity building activities (trainings, PR and strategy planning, organizational skills development, manual of organizational aspects i.e. applicable rules in a manual form) in order to precise the purpose, target groups, expected results the Drafting committee was selected. It should further develop the Strategy and Working program and prepare them for a discussion at the next meeting of the Network.


Future activities The next meeting, to be held in Kotor, Montenegro, in February 2008, was discussed at the end of the session. It was agreed that NGOs Expeditio and Notar from Montenegro, in cooperation with the other Network members, will define the topic of the meeting and its agenda.

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ISBN: 978-9989-185-58-8

Cultural Heritage and its Misuse in Political and Ideological Causes  

Presentations and discussions from the Public debate, held in Skopje on July 2, 2007 www.seeheritage.net