ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction
Post-war Sarajevo: Heritage reconstruction in the Baščaršija quarter, including the Sarajevo City Hall/ National Library (Vijećnica) and the Gazi Husrev mosque
Table of Contents: 1. Details of the Expert(s) Completing this Report 2. Documenting the Status of the Heritage Resource and its Context Before the Event 2.1 Description, Designation and Recognition 2.2 History and Context 3. Documenting the Nature of the Traumatic Event(s) 4. Documenting Post-Event Appraisals 5. Documenting Actions, Timeframes, Resources and Costs 6. Documenting the Outcomes and Effects 7. Additional Comments
BiH : Bosnia and Herzegovina BCS: Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian SFRJ: Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Baščaršija- old Ottoman quarter [English pronunciation Bash-char-shi-ya] Vijećnica -Sarajevo City Hall/ National and University Library of BiH [English pronunciation: Vyech-Ni-tsa]
Reconstruction of the old commercial quarter of Sarajevo and of signature buildings such as the Sarajevo City Hall/ National Library and religious complexes is telling of the particular, complex predicaments of rebuilding heritage in a city that is multilayered architecturally, as well as socio-culturally after a human-driven trauma. The city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina witnessed significant damage to its built heritage during the 19921995 war. This report discusses war destruction documentation and post-war recovery in the dense commercial quarter, the Baščaršija, with a focus on the Ottoman-era Gazi Husrev mosque complex and on Sarajevo’s emblematic building, the Habsburg-era City Hall, the Vijećnica. The latter became an international icon of the destruction of cultural heritage and the pillar of a number of local narratives about the trauma of war and its implications. The story of Vijećnica also shows that heritage is also made through conflict, meanings get changed or strengthened, and the valuation of heritage can be at times increased by its destruction and by particular historic events. Documentation of the damage ranged from a lack of centralized data on the whole ensemble to detailed reports on the City Hall. Reconstruction in the city was a piecemeal process consisting in matching funders to sites by the fragmented local municipalities. Soon after the war, Baščaršija resumed to be the vibrant commercial heart of Sarajevo, with its pre-war atmosphere almost regained, but with an acute touristification and loss of parts of its intangible heritage (ie. crafts) as well as alteration of its built environment. The works on the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque were the source of controversies: the removal of 19th century decorations created a conflict in between those who argued that the erasure was motivated by religious purificators, often invoking the Saudi role in financing the first stage of the process, and those who argued this was a restoration of original conditions. The Vijećnica reconstruction took a very long time (destroyed in 1992, inaugurated in 2014) and consisted in a number of steps with different funders and conflicting views over its function. The architecture and decorations were recovered, but the National Library collections were lost. While the quality of works is generally praised in the community, the length of reconstruction, the lack of vision for the function, and contentious decisions- such as using it as a wedding salon, have undergone extensive criticism in the public. The reconstruction situations described highlight on the one hand how restoration practices in a post-war situation are read by parts of the public through political and conflict lenses and on the other that a lack of participatory processes on the social aspect of reconstruction (ie. functions ) can lead to alienation of heritage otherwise perceived as emblematic for a community.
Details of the Expert(s) Completing this Report
Gruia Badescu is a researcher affiliated with the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge. His research and practice focus on urban reconstruction after war and dictatorship. His PhD examined the relationship between architectural and urban post-war reconstruction practice and the process of dealing with a traumatic past, focusing on the experiences of reconstruction in Sarajevo and Belgrade. As a practitioner, Gruia has worked on integrated urban regeneration and heritage action plans for UNDP Romania, the EU Viva East (EU 2
Eastern Partnership) programme and municipalities in the Southeastern European region. He has researched post-war reconstruction in Sarajevo since 2008.
Documenting the Status of the Heritage Resource and its Context Before the Event
Description, Designation and Recognition
Location and setting
At the Eastern end of contemporary Sarajevo, where the valley of the Miljacka river widens from a series of mountain gorges, lies the old Ottoman quarter, the Baščaršija. It lies in a half-kilometre wide valley between steep slopes where residential neighbourhoods, the mahalas of Sarajevo, are located. While in the periphery of the contemporary city, it is still described as part of the city “centre”, as it has harboured a significant part of social life in the city, with its abundant eateries, religious buildings and cultural establishments. Among the more significant buildings that we shall discuss, the Gazi Husrev mosque lies in the core of the Baščaršija, while the Vijećnica on the Miljacka river bank, towards the edge of the Baščaršija.
Tangible and intangible attributes
The Baščaršija is a dense commercial quarter, typical of Ottoman urban centres that used to be characteristic of Balkan cities, consisting of a tight patchwork of streets and alleys among workshops, mosque s and churches, educational establishments (madrasa), Islamic tombs. While many of its buildings have been reconstructed at some point, it is the architectural ensemble that is praised for its value as heritage, a constituent of the city’s image and identity, and deeply connected with social practices in a dialogue of tangible and intangible heritage. Much of the Baščaršija consists of one-floor structures with continuous frontage that have served as crafts workshops and as commercial spaces. As such, the architectural environment is in close relationship to intangible heritage of craftmanship including in particular spaces for kujundžije – silversmiths and goldsmiths, kazandžije – coppersmiths; sarači – seddlars who work with leather to make saddles for horses and more recently bags, belts, wallets, sahadžije- watch makers, papudžije – slippers and shoemakers, etc.1 Crafts in brass and nickel, jewerly and silver goods, tailors and shoemakers have also been associated with the Baščaršija.2 Aside from production and repair of goods, now in retreat, the Baščaršija has been the place for shopping of these goods – and more recently, of various tourist paraphernalia. Baščaršija is also associated with the most important place in the city to have the staples of Bosnian food – among others, ćevapi, pita or burek, in food establishments called aščinice, ćevabdžinica, buregdžinice, several with a cult following to this day. Coffee drinking in Baščaršija, associated with sociability, particularly for middle aged and elderly men, is conducted in the low-ceiling coffeehouses of Baščaršija.
Svetlana Bajić and Marica Filipović, “Old and New Crafts,” in Evaluation of Cultural Heritage in Baščaršija with a Special Accent on Traditional Crafts as Authentic Elements from This Area, ed. Mevlida Serdarević (Sarajevo: Association for intercultural activities and saving heritage in BiH / AIASN, 2010). 2 Mevlida Serdarević, “Evaluation of Cultural Heritage in Baščaršija with a Special Accent on Traditional Crafts as Authentic Elements from This Area” (Sarajevo: Association for intercultural activities and saving heritage in BiH / AIASN, 2010). 1
The Baščaršija is also associated with the Sarajevan practice of the korzo, the daily walk through the centre, a social pastime of urban residents which has included the Baščaršija streets, particularly Ferhadija, the continuation of Sarajevo’s main avenue deep in the Baščaršija. In the Baščaršija and its surroundings, the proximity of religious buildings belonging of a variety of creeds has been hailed as emblematic of the city’s cosmopolitanism and diversity, with frequent references in official descriptions and tourist brochures of the juxtaposition within a few hundred meters radius of a honey-coloured Orthodox church, a neo-gothic Catholic cathedral, a Moorish-looking synagogue and several towering minarets, side by side, a Jerusalem of Europe, a place where all major monotheistic religions meet. Yet in the Baščaršija itself, the majority of structures are associated with the Ottoman time and the Muslim faith. For instance, the Gazi Husrev Bey Complex in Sarajevo, considered one of main Ottoman complexes in the Balkans has included a mosque , a madrasa and a Quranic school, a khan, a soup kitchen and a hospice, as well as a library, public baths and two tombs.3 At the edges of the Baščaršija stand the sixteenth century Old Synagogue (today, the Jewish Museum of BiH), and Old Orthodox Church (Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, 1539) and a larger, nineteenth century Serbian Orthodox churches, revealing the coexistence of religious communities in Ottoman times.4 The latter, the Cathedral Church built in the last years of Ottoman rule (1874), symbolizes a new, improved status for the city’s Orthodox population under the nineteenth century reformist sultans. Beyond Baščaršija, replacing an older Catholic church lies the Catholic Cathedral (1889). Sarajevo has been a heterogeneous city since its creation, hosting a Muslim Slavic speaker majority (later described as Bosniaks), with Christian Slavic speakers (later described as Bosnian Serbs, of Orthodox faith, and Croats, Catholic) and Sephardic Jewish minorities living in distinct quarters (mahala).5 The Baščaršija served as a common commercial quarter of meeting during the Ottoman times, and the main commercial and free time centre of the city in the 20th century.
From the ensemble of low-rise commercial and religious complexes marked by vertical minarets stand out a number of newer structures. One, located at the edge of the Baščaršija, is the Habsburg-era Vijećnica. While initially built as a city hall, the Vijećnica is associated with its later role as the national and university library of BiH, thus was one of the most important cultural places of the city. Before its wartime burning, the National Library held 155,000 books, including 7000 manuscripts of rare books, unique special collections and archives, including the libraries of national cultural and educational societies "ProsVjeta", "Napredak" and "Gajreta", manuscripts of local languages written in Cyrillic and Arabic script, the music collection and graphic collection of BiH. It served the role as the national collection of record of the books, newspapers and journals published in BiH since the middle
nineteenth century, as well as the main research collections of the University of Sarajevo, including all doctoral dissertations. All were lost in the wartime fire of 1992. 6
Official or broadly accepted description
There is no official description of the Baščaršija. However, it is represented in various publicly-funded brochures and websites as a pillar of Sarajevo’s identity as a uniquely cosmopolitan city, with the built heritage of the
Nihad Čengić, Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti: Estetska Metamorfoza Kroz Stoljeća i Posljednje Konzervacije Originaliteta (Sarajevopublishing, 2008). 4 Robert J. Donia, Bosnia and Hercegovina : A Tradition Betrayed (London: Hurst, 1994). 5 Robert J Donia, Sarajevo: A Biography (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2006). 6 Andras Riedlmayer, “From the Ashes: Bosnia’s Cultural Heritage,” Islam and Bosnia: Conflict Resolution and Foreign Policy in Multi-Ethnic States, 2002, 98–135; Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik,” n.d., http://old.kons.gov.ba/main.php?id_struct=6&lang=1&action=view&id=2860. 3
Baščaršija reflecting the proximity and interaction of ethnoreligious groups. Cosmopolitanism is one of the main markers of representation of Sarajevo in public documents. The trope of cosmopolitanism and harmony, relying both on the built heritage of Sarajevo and the intangible heritage of social practices, is at the core of the message for the inscription of Sarajevo’s old city to UNESCO World Heritage Status, which also insists on the city’s uniqueness. While this is no official description, the proposal for UNESCO, with all its shortcomings, encapsulates the vision of the city from both before the war and after. While the realities of post-war Sarajevo were different, in terms of both demographics and social practices, this remains at the core of the understanding of the old city:
(Proposal for UNESCO WH, January 1997) “According to the criterion (v) Sarajevo - Open city is unique example of traditional human living and settling. Beauty of a city is possible not only with numerous architectural monuments but also in interpretation of synthesis of living harmony and in preservation of varieties, and Sarajevo is such, unique, unrepeatable and united open site, the world city. Previous included also criterion (vi) according to which living tradition makes this city unique and universal. Sedimentared polyvalent architecture of the city makes the place unique with pioneer courage of inhabitants to satisfy their progressive collective needs. Avantcourierly developmental technical accomplishments and elements of artistic styles, and various cultural-ethnic belonging of individuals were unionising during the time, as synthesis/community formed it according to the attitudes and way of living of the Valley's inhabitants. Spiritual-cultural life ennobled purity of architecture by simplicity of its articulation, and inhabitants by understanding of other and will for common and mutual benefit creative life. Dynamic spatial genesis of linear-radial city center in urbomorphological, structural, functional, artistic and ethnic-cultural sense united physical elements of structure of phenomenon of city openness. Transposals of architectural riverbanks facade and blocks, vertical dividing of structures incorporates vegetation in slope parts of city of seven boarding hills. Pluralistic society, culture, mundane opinion, religions, phenomena of site and will of people to preserve these phenomena during millenniums isn't known. There are no places which are so rich in diversity of culturological-phenomenal character in simple natural environment, geography of landscape and power of genius loci. Institutions-guardians of pluralistic society and multiculture of Sarajevo phenomenal symbolise especial attributes within activity which intensive development of own models existing has been continually following grammar of culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are the most complexed spiritual nucleus and symbolic matrix of Golden Valley authentical expression.”7
Vijećnica is often described as the symbol-building of Sarajevo or the most emblematic building in the city.
Type, layout and morphology
Baščaršija’s layout and morphology are related both to the natural context – a widening river valley in a mountainous setting-, its urban roots in the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent transformations during Habsburg rule, Yugoslavia and post-1991 Bosnia. Sarajevo was intended to be a model Ottoman city, with a concentration of mosque s and a bazaar (čaršija) in the centre- Baščaršija- amidst residential mahalas on the slopes.8 Streets are narrow, with both urban accessibility (ie. intersections and connections) and permeability (ie. block size) high. Angles generally come at 90˚, different from a organic medieval town morphology of sinuous streets.
“Sarajevo - Unique Symbol of Universal Multiculture - Continual Open City,” UNESCO World Heritage Tentative Lists, n.d., http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/906/. 8 Donia, Sarajevo. 7
West of the Baščaršija, the architectural landscape consists of three-four floor buildings dating from the Habsburg time, and the small Turkish-coffee shops and bazaars give place to cafés and posh shops. This reflects the legacy of the times when the Habsburgs administered the city. Austria-Hungary invested great sums of money in Sarajevo to make it a showcase of ‘European’ rule for the peoples of the Balkans. 9 The transition is sudden and is marked by a change in the height and character of buildings, yet it is seamless, constituting together the Old Town of Sarajevo. It is important to mention that the Baščaršija also comprises Habsburg era buildings (eg. Vijećnica), just as Ottoman era mosque s and other structures (eg. cemeteries) exist in the so-called Habsburg quarter. Further West, the cityscape is dominated by modernist collective housing associated with the large expansion, industrialization and modernization of socialist Yugoslavia. Structures from socialist Yugoslavia and post-war independent BiH exist around Baščaršija, such as for instance Papagajka on the other side of Miljacka. Both South and North of the Baščaršija, on the slopes, lie residential neighbourhoods consisting mostly of single family houses, with the perspective from the valley dominated by roofscapes of red tiles and forested mountains. Changing scales, the two buildings discussed have a different relationship to the Baščaršija, and their type and structure reflect the period that they originated in. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque
complex is well integrated in
the structure of the Baščaršija, with an open space in front of the mosque that functions as one of Baščaršija’s signature public spaces and its thirty-six metre minaret and a clock tower as landmarks. The mosque itself is square in plan, and has a central dome of cca thirteen meters in diameter and twenty-six meters in height. The central prayer hall has a qibla iwan covered by a semi-dome. The hall has two wings and five cupolas covering a portico supported by marble columns and closed on the sides. The portico façade includes a mihrab and four windows. The mihrab is ornamented (muqarnas), with the qibla wall surrounding it is covered with painted decoration. A two-story gallery (mahfil) is at the right of the main entrance. To the left, there is an enclosure (maqsura). The madrasa is organized around an arcaded square courtyard, with individual domed cells, as accommodation for students. In place of the original stone khan constructed together with the mosque lies today Hotel Europe.10 The Vijećnica was a disruption for the system of streets of the Baščaršija and dwarfs the surrounding one-floor buildings. It is oriented with the façade to the river – and best seen from above the river and the hills, in what became a staple photograph of Sarajevo. Towards the Baščaršija, it shows it other sides, without a dynamic, active frontage. The building has a basement, ground floor, mezzanine and two floors. From the outside staircase one is led to a spacious entering hall, from with access to the monumental staircase and the state-rooms on the first floor. The building is also comprised of offices and service rooms. In the exterior, from the rows of twocasement windows stand out the windows of the state-rooms.11
Original purpose and changes of use The Baščaršija emerged as a commercial centre harbouring also religious, educational functions. It is associated with early Ottoman Bosnian figures, such as Gazi Husref Beg who built in the 1530s-1540s a large mosque complex, as well as commercial buildings, caravanserais (han), a covered marketplace (bezistan), a kitchen for the poor (imaret),etc.12 It largely remained as a centre of Sarajevans’ free time, while it was recently displaced by shopping malls and has been undergoing a rapid process of touristification since the 2010s. 9
Mary Sparks, The Development of Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo, 1878-1918: An Urban History, 2014. Čengić, Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti. 11 Nedžad Mulaomerović, “Sarajevo Town-Hall Interior Works and Functional Use,” in Savremene Percepcije Kulturnog Naslijeđa Austro-Ugarske u Bosni i Hercegovini, ed. Vjekoslava Sanković Simčić (ICOMOS National Commitee in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016). 12 Donia, Sarajevo. 10
The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque was commissioned in 1531 by Gazi Husref Beg to be the prominent mosque of Baščaršija, with associated functions, including two turbes (burial chambers), a mekteb (Islamic school), a hanikah (hostel with a school for young dervishes), and a sadrvan (water fountain.13 It maintained its functions as they were intended, with some changes (eg. the madrasa was turned into a high school in the 1960s).
Vijećnica, a signature building of the Habsburg period in Sarajevo, was built in pseudo-Moorish style in 1896 on the order of minister Benjamin Kallay, administrator of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With the arrival of the AustroHungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878, Mustajbeg Fadilpašić, mayor of Sarajevo, argued for the need to construct a building which would host the Magistrate and the City Council. Architect Alexander Wittek started the project and the construction in 1892 but, after being interned as mentally ill, he died in 1893, with the works finalized by Ćiril Iveković. The original function of Vijećnica was the headquarters of the town’s government, the City Hall, used between its opening on April 20th 1896 until 1910, when it became the seat of the Bosnian Parliament. The City Hall function resumed after the First World War. However, from 1948 to 1992, it functioned as the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Museum of the City of Sarajevo.14 Today, the building has a contested identity and function, between City Hall annex, museum, and possible future National Library.
Materials, building techniques and structural solutions
Stone masonry and woodwork were used for the creation of most of Baščaršija’s structures. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque complex is made of stone and marble and features extensive decorations (eg. delicate latticework on the marble minbar; muqarnas, painted decoration of the qibla wall). A seventieth century clock tower was replaced by Austrians by a new one, featuring a British clock. 15
The Vijećnica is built from bricks (of “Austrian bricks), produced in Sarajevo, on stone foundations, with the ceiling structure of brick vaults and the aula consisting of stone pillars, stone bearing arches and steel careers. Stone and plaster of Paris feature in the spaces of the entering hall and monumental staircase, as well as in the staterooms, harbouring plaster-of-Paris decoration on walls and ceilings. Offices and service rooms did not feature decorations or stucco-work. Columns of the first floor gallery are made of pink granite (from Rosa Baveno, Italy), with the capitels made of limestone from Visočani (quarry near Dubrovnik), or of stone from Korčula (both in Croatia).
The façade was executed in two-colour terra nova, mortar stucco-work and decorative faience elements. Joinery, both interior and exterior, involved work in oak wood.16
Both the types of stone and wood used for the construction of the structures discussed are abundant in contemporary BiH, therefore there are no problems in terms of accessibility, quantity and sustainability. Brick is still produced. However, a 1999 report on the Vijećnica highlighted there is insufficient historical data on the sites
Čengić, Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti. Mulaomerović, “Sarajevo Town-Hall Interior Works and Functional Use”; Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 15 Čengić, Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti. 16 Mulaomerović, “Sarajevo Town-Hall Interior Works and Functional Use”; Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 13 14
and locations of the stone used in the construction of the City Hall, especially in the aula (eg. uncertain data refers to granite pillars that are delivered from Austria, marble stairs from Hungary, etc.). The granite and limestone used in capitels at the Vijećnica are found in territories now outside of borders, but commercial relations exist. In terms of costs, it must be mentioned that after a period of relatively generous international funding for reconstruction, both state and private BiH are facing significant economic difficulties.
Stonemasonry and woodwork have had several generations of craftsmen in BiH, but this was affected first by the modernization of the 20th century and by the wars when people with such skills have fled. Furthermore, the lack of involvement of traditional stonemasons in rebuilding several historical buildings after the war has further atrophied the skills being passed to a new generation.17 There is no policy of supporting such traditional techniques, and many craftsmen turned to other types of work or continued to leave the country. There is a “House of the Craftsman” in the Baščaršija today, but it acts more of a tourist attraction rather than to support local craftsmen.18
Baščaršija has been recently listed (2014) as a national monument of Baščaršija under the title “Historical City Area of the Sarajevo čaršija” after the sustained efforts of the Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments to list the whole area, in the category architectural ensemble.19 The limits of the National Monument are the Isa-Begova zavija and the Šeher-ćehajin bridge on the East, the Ferhadija mosque in the West, the Emperor's Mosque and Konak in the south, the Old Orthodox Church in the north and the Kovač mahala in the northeast, which make the listed area somewhat larger than the historic Baščaršija.20
In the protected area of Baščaršija also lie 25 listed monuments, including the categories historic buildings (eg. Vijećnica), historic monuments (eg. Sahat kula), architectural ensembles (eg. Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque ), urban ensembles (eg. Old Orthodox Church), archaeological areas (Tašlihan), group of objects (eg. Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque vakuf), natural-architectural ensembles (Isa-beg zavija), ambiental area (eg. Kazandžiluk, Male Daire and Luledžina Ulica).21
The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque complex has been listed as a local monument in 1950, then in October 1962, it became part of the Register of Immovable Cultural Monuments. In 2006, it was listed as a National Monument in BiH in the category architectural ensemble.22 The Vijećnica was listed as a local monument in March 1968, and is a national monument, category historic building also since 2006. 23
Both buildings were registered in the
Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina ("Official Gazette of BiH", No. 33/02). According to the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission for the Preservation of National Mustafa Hrasnica, Amir Čaušević, and Nerman Rustempašić, “Structural Assessment of Stone Masonry Building from Ottoman Period in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 2012. 17
Commission member, personal communication.
Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Sarajevska Čaršija, Historijsko Gradsko Područje: Nacionalni Spomenik,” n.d., http://old.kons.gov.ba/main.php?id_struct=6&lang=1&action=view&id=3821. 20 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika. 21 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika [Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments], “Spisak Nacionalnih Spomenika Na Području Općine Stari Grad,” Opcina Stari Grad, n.d., http://starigrad.ba/userfiles/file/dokumenti/Nacionalni_spomenici.pdf. 22 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gazi Husrev-Begova Džamija, Graditeljska Cjelina: Nacionalni Spomenik,” n.d., http://old.kons.gov.ba/main.php?id_struct=6&lang=1&action=view&id=2897. 23 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 19
Monuments, established in relation to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton 1995), the Commission followed a decision to place the City Hall in Sarajevo on the Provisional List of National Monuments under serial number 510, while Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque under serial number
The Old Town of Sarajevo, including Baščaršija is on the tentative list of BiH for World Heritage.25 Following the war in BiH, an urgent nomination file for the historic centre of Sarajevo has been prepared with the financial help of UNESCO. In January 1997, the Sarajevo file has been sent, but in December 1999, UNESCO decided not to inscribe the Old City of Sarajevo, while the Old City of Mostar in Herzegovina had been inscribed.26 BiH maintains the Old City of Sarajevo on its tentative list for World Heritage.
The national listings mentioned above refer specifically to Baščaršija and the selected monuments. The UNESCO tentative nomination refers to the entirety of the centre, including Baščaršija and the Habsburg quarter.
Unlike in the case of previous listings, The Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments has not attached a reasoning for its designation of Baščaršija as a national monument. 27 However, at the press conference following the listing, the Commission’s President Ljiljana Ševo emphasized the urgency of the listing, in order to protect this “unique space”, a “historical document of [Sarajevo’] development”, from the onslaught of numerous unplanned buildings, with a height, dimensions or purpose that endanger the character of the area.28 Commission member Amra Hadžimuhamedovic further added, “changes currently taking place are drastic: the upgrades of Baščaršija - they are completely inadequate and they go towards the destruction of the historical urban landscape, and responsibility should be taken by anyone who has a store or any object”.29
For Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque, the official listing document reads [translated from BCS]: “Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on the proclamation of a good national monument ("Official Gazette of BiH", No. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission made a decision as in the disposition. The decision is based on the following criteria: A. Timing; B. Historical value; C. Artistic and aesthetic value; C. I. Quality of processing; C. II. Quality of materials; C. II. Proportions; C. IV. Composition; C. V. Value of details; C. VI. Value of construction; D. Readability; D. II. Testimony about historical changes; D.III. The work of a significant artist or builder; D. IV. Testimony of a particular type, style or regional manner; D. V. Testimony of the typical lifestyle in a given period; E. Symbolic value; E. Ontological value ;E. II. Sacral value; E. III. Traditional value; E. IV. Relevance for rituals; E. V. Significance for the identity of a group of people; F. Ambient value; F. I. Formation relation to other parts of the whole; F.II. Meaning in the structure and image of the city”30
Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gazi Husrev-Begova Džamija, Graditeljska Cjelina: Nacionalni Spomenik”; Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Sarajevska Čaršija, Historijsko Gradsko Područje: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 25 UNESCO World Heritage Centre, “UNESCO World Heritage Centre - Tentative Lists,” UNESCO World Heritage Centre, n.d., http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/state=ba. 26 UNESCO, “Cultural Heritage,” in Convention Concerning The Protection Of The World Cultural And Natural Heritage World Heritage Committee Twenty-Third Session (Convention Concerning The Protection Of The World Cultural And Natural Heritage World Heritage Committee Twenty-third session, Marrakesh, Morocco, 1999). 27 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Sarajevska Čaršija, Historijsko Gradsko Područje: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 28 “Sarajevska Čaršija Nacionalni Spomenik BiH | Al Jazeera Balkans,” , http://balkans.aljazeera.net/vijesti/sarajevska-carsijanacionalni-spomenik-bih. 29 Zvjezdan Živković, “Obnova Baščaršije na štetu autentičnosti,” Radio Slobodna Evropa, April 23, 2011, https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/sarajevo_bascarsija_obnova/9502621.html. 30 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gazi Husrev-Begova Džamija, Graditeljska Cjelina: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 24
For Vijećnica, the report states [translated from BCS] “The most important cultural and historical values of the City Hall can be characterized as follows: - One of the first buildings confirming the importance of Sarajevo as the administrative and administrative center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the significance of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the period from 1878-1914 - The Hall is the most valuable representation of pseudomoorish style in this region and was created as a result of the search for an autochthonous architectural style on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina; - One of the two largest objects of the Austro-Hungarian period in Sarajevo (alongside the building of the National Government). It is distinguished by the representativity and artistic richness of facade and interior aula, as well as the spatial and visual experience of the interior; - The town hall has been a memory location since its inception. Its appearance and direct environment were an appropriate framework for the pictures and photographs to mark the city’s beauty and the most important moments in the city's development; - The symbolic significance of the City Hall grew after destruction as an attempt to destroy the cultural identity of the state and people, and its reconstruction is a symbol of resistance to the forces of destruction. ; Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming a good a national monument ("Official Gazette of BiH", No. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission decided as in the enacting clause. The decision was based on the following criteria: A. Timing (good from prehistory to 1960);B. Historical value; (a link between a building, a whole or an area with a historical personality or a significant event in the history); C. Artistic and aesthetic value; i. Quality of processing ,ii. Material quality,iii. Proportions, iv. Composition, v. The value of the details, i. Value of construction. D. Readability (documentary, scientific, educational value) i. The work of a significant artist or builder, ii. Testimony of a particular type, style or regional manner. F. Ambient value i. The ratio of shape to other parts of the whole, ii. The meaning in the structure and image of the city, iii. An object or set of objects is part of a whole or area. G. Authenticity i. Shape and design, ii. Position and accommodation in space, iii. Spirit and Feelings, iv. Other internal and external factors. H. Uniqueness and representativity i. A unique or rare specimen of a particular type or style”31
There are several works discussing the attributes or value of the Baščaršija as a whole, and Vijećnica and GaziHusrev Beg mosque . Several are written in BCS by local scholars.32 Others are written in other languages (ie. English, French, Turkish, etc.) and range from work in urban history to those in architecture and heritage. Ayverdi discusses the importance of the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque architecture.33
and Baščaršija for broader Ottoman and Islamic
Robert Donia underlines the importance of the Baščaršija as a place of meeting in Ottoman, as in
modern Sarajevo.34 By examining how the Baščaršija emerged largely unaffected by the modernization drive of 1950s socialist Yugoslavia, Alić and Gusheh highlight the special role of Baščaršija in both Sarajevo and SFRJ.35 The fundamental role of the Vijećnica as part of Sarajevo’s identity, 36 in the construction of Sarajevo’s and Bosnia’s modernity,37 the value of its architectural heritage and its collections 38 as well as in understanding the specificity of urbicide as a form of war against common city life is underlined by multiple authors. 39 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika. Čengić, Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti; Husref Redžić, Studije o Islamskoj Arhitektonskoj Baštini (Biblioteka Kulturno Naslje\d je., 1983). 33 Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi, Avrupa’da Osmanlı Mimari Eserleri Yugoslavya III. Cilt, 3. Kitap (İstanbul: Bilmen Basımevi, 1981). 34 Donia, Sarajevo. 35 Dijana Alić and Maryam Gusheh, “Reconciling National Narratives in Socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Baščaršija Project, 1948-1953,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 58, no. 1 (1999): 6–25. 36 Nadia Capuzzo Ðerković, “Le rôle des expressions mémorielles dans la (re)constrution urbaine et identitaire. Le cas de Sarajevo.,” in Mémoire et histoire en Europe centrale et orientale, ed. Daniel Baric et al. (Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010), 289–96. 37 Maximilian Hartmuth, “Between Vienna and Istanbul : Imperial Legacies, Visual Identities, and ‘Popular’ and ‘High’ Layers of Architectural Discourse in/on Sarajevo, c.1900 and 2000,” in Images of Imperial Legacy: Modern Discourses on the Social and Cultural Impact of Ottoman and Habsburg Rule in Southeast Europe, ed. Tea Sindbaek and Maximilian Hartmuth (Berlin: Lit, 31 32
Particularly local research on the history of sites has guided the listing. Each designation contains information as well as a list of scholarly literature.
Popular recognition and competing meanings
The Baščaršija has been until recently the core of urban sociability in Sarajevo, undisputed for the practices of korzo, its foodscapes and shopping (now lost primacy to shopping malls). The Vijećnica is the symbol of the city, appears on many materials to promote the city, as well as plays the most important to a global audience to remind of the Siege of Sarajevo and the war, with the iconic image of its fire.
The majority of Sarajevo’s population today prizes Baščaršija and the Vijećnica as city symbols. Notwithstanding the divisions existing between pre-war Sarajevans and the war-displaced arrivals, which mark other meanings of places and processes,40 the Baščaršija is popular for most. However, according to my research, the Baščaršija is perceived by many Bosnian Serbs living in East Sarajevo (the part of Sarajevo found in the Republika Srpska entity of BiH) as a space that was “lost” to a Muslim majority and practices, with some interlocutors pointing out that the Baščaršija always has a more traditionally Muslim character. The Vijećnica, with its “oriental” character can be deemed by some Bosnian Serbs as a “Muslim” heritage. Overall, there is a tension between a general appreciation of the major increase in tourists to the Baščaršija, particularly from the ME, and a perception that the Baščaršija stopped being for locals and is the realm of an increasingly visible more conservative Muslim groups.
In post-war BiH, heritage policies and practices can be often contested by different groups. In the Baščaršija, one small issue that is sometimes mentioned is the relatively newly enforced custom to prevent the consumption of alcohol in the proximity of mosque s (which are many), which creates a tension between the entertainment uses of Baščaršija and its view as a place of central sociability in a relatively secular city and the religious practices and more conservative view of the character of the area. The Vijećnica is also a contentious site- we shall discuss later the contested scenarios for its use.
2.2 History and Context
History of construction and interventions in the site
2011); Sparks, The Development of Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo, 1878-1918; Jan Boněk, Jiří Kuděla, and Branka Dimitrijevic, Karel Pařík: Architekt Evropského Sarajeva (Eminent, 2012). 38 Andras Riedlmayer, “Erasing the Past: The Destruction of Libraries and Archives in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” Review of Middle East Studies 29, no. 1 (1995): 7–11; Riedlmayer, “From the Ashes”; Aleksandar Stipc̆ević, “The Oriental Books and Libraries in Bosnia during the War, 1992-1994,” Libraries & Culture 33, no. 3 (1998): 277–282. 39 Martin Coward, Urbicide: The Politics of Urban Destruction (London; New York: Routledge, 2009); Gruia Bădescu, “Post-War Reconstruction in Contested Cities: Comparing Urban Outcomes in Sarajevo and Beirut,” in Urban Geopolitics. Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities, ed. Camillo Boano and Jonathan Rokem (Routledge, 2017). 40 Gruia Bădescu, “Dwelling in the Post-War City Urban Reconstruction and Home-Making in Sarajevo,” Revue d’études Comparatives Est-Ouest 46, no. 04 (2015): 35–60; Anders Stefansson, “Urban Exile: Locals, Newcomers and the Cultural Transformation of Sarajevo,” in The New Bosnian Mosaic Identities, Memories and Moral Claims in a Post-War Society, ed. Xavier Bougarel, Elissa Helms, and Gerlachlus Duijzings (Aldershot, England; Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2007).
The Baščaršija originated in the fiftheenth century, when Isa-Bey founded the Ottoman town. Most significant and lasting structures from the early times are from the sixteenth century, including the Bezistan, the Gazi Husrev beg mosque (1531), the Old Orthodox Church (mentioned 1539), Old synagogue 1581. After transformations in the late Ottoman period (eg. construction of the new Orthodox Cathedral), it underwent small changes also during the Habsburg period. In order to avoid the dismay of the local elites, still overwhelmingly Muslim Slavs, the Ottoman quarter was not destroyed, and a new quarter modelled on the architecture of the Vienna Ringstrasse was built. As most Ottoman cities, Sarajevo did not have any walls to be torn down, nor was the location in the tight river valley appropriate for a Ringstrasse, but the stylistic vocabulary borrowed from Vienna’s. Thus, the Regional Government Building was built in a Neo-Renaissance style and the Catholic cathedral in a neo-Gothic style. NeoOrientalist/Moorish styles were used for several cultural buildings, as well as for the City Hall in the Baščaršija, in order to connect the new quarter with the city’s past. The clustering of religious buildings representing all of the city’s faiths in the city centre was continued in Habsburg times, as the administrator of the province, Benjamin Kállay, considered that an emphasis on religion will downplay the increasing secular nationalism of Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs in the city, who began to identify with their ethnic counterparts in Croatia and Serbia.41 The Habsburg conservation policy, expressed in the 1893 "Building code regulations for the capital city of Sarajevo", favoured preserving "significant heritage" only and led to transformations such as the repainting of the ornaments in the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque in 1885 while it did not favour the maintenance of small-scale structures, some being replaced with housing.42 At the edges of Baščaršija, new buildings emerged, such as for instance Hotel Evropa, supposedly the first “Western” building in Sarajevo, built at the beginning of Habsburg rule by the Sarajevo Serb Jeftanović merchant family on a design by Czech born Karel Pařík. The building’s transformations echoed the urban history of Sarajevo and the Baščaršija. The hotel was first damaged in July 1914, during anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo following the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It was reconstructed and remained in the Jeftanović family until the owner’s execution by the Croatian Ustasa in the Second World War. It was later nationalized. In the socialist times, a new wing in functionalist style has been added on its eastern end, facing the Baščaršija. 43 Such transformations affected other structures and led to the compilation of the Regulation Plan for Baščaršija in 1975 authored by heritage professionals who advocated for the area’s “purification”, which implied returning Baščaršija to its end of 19th century image. The Plan implied demolition of Austro-Hungarian era-structures in the Baščaršija, on the ground that their scale and architectural character were clashing with the Ottoman imagery. Nevertheless, much of this plan has not been realized, so Baščaršija is still characterized by architectural diversity. 44 However, as late as the 1980s, Austro-Hungarian architecture was considered a “foreign body” in the architectural heritage of BiH, which led to an adequate protection and maintenance only for representative buildings related to public administration, cultural institutions and religious buildings.45
As for the two buildings discussed:
Donia, pp. 60-65. Alić and Gusheh, “Reconciling National Narratives in Socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 43 Gruia Badescu, “Traces of Empire: Architectural Heritage, Imperial Memory and Post-War Reconstruction in Sarajevo and Beirut,” History and Anthropology, forthcoming 2018. 44 Vjekoslava Sanković Simčić, “Degradation of the Austro-Hungarian Architecture in Sarajevo,” in Savremene Percepcije Kulturnog Naslijeđa Austro-Ugarske u Bosni i Hercegovini, ed. Vjekoslava Sanković Simčić (ICOMOS National Commitee in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016). 45 Sanković Simčić. 42
Gazi Husrev Mosque complex- a chronology46
1531- construction by Ajem Esir Ali, architect from Tabriz.
1755 – restoration and repainting of the interior of the mosque
1772 - renovation of the old fountain (sadrvan).
1861-1862. – reconstruction and expansion of eastern gate of the mosque ;
1885 – levhe (calligraphy) done by Muhammad Rekam Islamovic;
1886 – after the 1879 fire, mosque is repainted over new plaster (old plaster removed from walls). This
decoration remained until the 1990s. Courtyard was modified and ablution fountain received Rococo influences.
1912- original stone han was torn down during the Austrian siege; Hotel Evropa expansion took over the
1997 – reconstruction after war damage with Saudi support, new roof; contestation of whitewashing of
2001-2002. Conservation and restoration work in and around the mosque : After the mosque walls found
no traces of earlier paintings, Austro-Hungarian paintings were not restored, except on the entrance portal;The current calligraphy of the Bey Mosque was done by Hazim Numanagić, and the ornament was made by Nihad Čengić, Hazim Numanagić and Nihad Babović; mihrab, minber, mahfil and entrance portal restored. Restoration works were performed by Nihad Čengić; changing wooden beams with new concrete beams, which were then hidden in the wooden board
2002- fountain (sadrvan) dismantled and reconstructed after cracked water supply system was replaced.
Vijećnica 1880s- Mustajbeg Fadilpašić, mayor of Sarajevo, argued for the need to construct a building which would host the Magistrate and the City Council; area chosen is the former Mustaj-pasha mejdan (square), on the right bank of the Miljacka River; demolition of two hans and a private house (locally important story of cult status of the moving of the house on the other bank, now the house of spite, Inat Kuća, one of Sarajevo’s signature traditional restaurants) 1891 – First design by Karol Parik, similar to Hansen’s unrealized project for the Copenhagen Parliament (1885), with a combination of Byzantine and Islamic elements on the façade (which governor Kallay does not like as he associates them with Serbian revival architecture) 1892-1893- Second design and beginning of work under Alexander Wittek; dominant influence Islamic architecture from 15th century Egypt and Spain (eg. windows inspired by the burial mosque of Sultan Kait-Bej in Cairo); Wittek falls ill and dies; 1893-1896- Ćiril Iveković finalizes design, keeping the Moorish and Egyptian influences. This is not only related to similar patterns in some of Vienna's architecture in the nineteenth century (eg. synagogues), but also as a reflection of the new administration’s will to symbolically suggest both a continuity and a revival of the culture of the local, Muslim elites.
1948- adaptation for new role as a Library Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gazi Husrev-Begova Džamija, Graditeljska Cjelina: Nacionalni Spomenik”; Čengić, Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti; Michael Sells, “Erasing Culture: Wahhabism, Buddhism, Balkan Mosques,” Updated Version 2 (2003). 46
1992- destruction in fire
1995- sinuous reconstruction (see below)
In Baščaršija, ownership was historically related to the vakuf (Islamic endowment), with a mixture of ownership today. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque is owned by the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque vakuf.
The Vijećnica has been a public building, however, there is an ongoing dispute between the National Library of BiH and the City for ownership and use today.
The construction of the Habsburg quarter changed the vicinity of the Baščaršija. Contemporary interventions change the character of Baščaršija, often leading to public outcry (and one of the reasons for Baščaršija’s listing in 2014).
The Baščaršija is in a generally well maintained state today, and so are the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque
Vijećnica, which saw its opening in 2014 after more than two decades since its destruction. It is inhabited, with some residential uses, while the dominant functions in the Baščaršija are commerce and services.Vulnerability for the Baščaršija relates to construction that clashes with the character of area (corruption-related), and to the rise in tourism that has affected its image and uses. Vulnerability for Vijećnica is the uncertainty in relationship to its use in the present and future.
Social and Economic Setting
The Baščaršija area is relevant and used my most Sarajevans. In the proximity of the Baščaršija lie a series of traditional mahalas, regarded as more conservative. Gentrification and transformation of housing in tourist accommodation have affected the communities.
The reconstruction of the Baščaršija took place in a city that has significantly changed socially. Post-war Sarajevo inherited not only a devastated urban environment, but also a different population profile than the pre-war city. From a multicultural, heterogeneous city of 50% Muslims, 30% Serbs, 8% Croats, and 10% self-declared Yugoslavs47, the urban area of Sarajevo today consists of two cities with a high geographical segregation of population. More than 87% of the population of the City of Sarajevo today is Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim). The increase in the proportion of Bosniaks is motivated on the one hand by the flight of Serbs during and after the siege, but on the other by the arrival of a large numbers of war-displaced Bosniaks, particularly from Eastern and Northern Bosnia. Many of them chose to remain in the city as the war concluded rather than returning to their pre-
Fran Markowitz, Sarajevo: A Bosnian Kaleidoscope (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010).
war homes, a significant part of which now located in the Republika Srpska. While at least 240 000 pre-war inhabitants left Sarajevo-proper, departing in exile to Western countries, to Serbia or to Republika Srpska, 90 000 internally displaced persons took their place.48 In 2013, the City of Sarajevo counted almost 370 000 people, while the pre-war city had around 510 000. The reconstruction of Baščaršija thus occurred in a city dominated by one of the pre-war group.
Aside from war and reconstruction, recent decades in BiH were also marked by an impoverishment of the population because of the general economic instability, large scale closing of economic actors. BiH is marked by a state of pessimism, with an occasion outburst of hope (such as during the protests of 2014), but the socioeconomic conditions, as well as the general mood is still bleak.
A complex system of territorial and administrative units influenced heritage reconstruction in Sarajevo through complicated procedures between levels, conflicts of interests, and moving across levels to push a certain decision. Post-Dayton Bosnia can be described as a consociational arrangement 49 mired in multiple levels of bureaucracy that have an impact on city-making and heritage processes.
The entities have their own
government, which is responsible for most domains, including specifically reconstruction policy. The Republican central government, by contrast, is weak, and does not have competence over reconstruction or spatial policies in general. In the Federation only, there is an intermediary level: the Kanton, with authority on housing policy and local land use, including zoning. In both the Federation and the RS, the basic unit is the municipality- općina (Federation)/opština (RS), with competence on spatial, urban and regulation plans (direct in the RS and delegated by Kantoni in the Federation), as well as regulating construction.
The territorial reforms led to planning
difficulties, which had a direct impact in slowing down reconstruction. Gordana Memišević, Head of the Research and Planning Department of the Sarajevo Kanton Planning Institute, described as a paradox that while Sarajevo became more important as a capital of an independent state, its territory and its planning prerogatives reduced significantly.51 The City is weaker in prerogatives in relationship to both the Kanton and the municipalities; This all accounts for a byzantine system that has affected planning and reconstruction through significant bureaucracy. The significantly smaller city of East Sarajevo, in the RS, begins at the edges of the Baščaršija, and has its own planning structure.
Annex 8 of the Dayton Agreement required the establishment of an independent body responsible for the protection of heritage: the Commission of Preserve National Monuments was established in 2001. In addition to this central governmental organisation, both entities and almost all Kantons have their own institutes responsible for protection of heritage items located within their boundaries. However, the decisions of the Commission of Preserve National Monuments are legal and binding, requiring thus compliance from the local institutes and bodies. 52
Stefansson, “Urban Exile: Locals, Newcomers and the Cultural Transformation of Sarajevo.” Florian Bieber, “The Balkans: The Promotion of Power Sharing by Outsiders,” in Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places, ed. Joanne McEvoy editor and Brendan O’Leary editor, 2013.. 50 “CoR - Division of Powers,” accessed August 22, 2014, https://portal.cor.europa.eu/divisionpowers/countries/PotentialCandidates/BAH/Pages/default.aspx.. 51 Interview, July. 52 Maja Musi, “The International Heritage Doctrine and the Management of Heritage in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Case of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments,” International Journal of Heritage Studies 20, no. 1 (January 2, 2014): 54–71, https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2012.709191. 48 49
Key agents and stakeholders
The City of Sarajevo, the municipality of Stari Grad, the Commission of Preserve National Monuments, the Urban Planning Institute of Sarajevo, the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque Vakuf are important stakeholders, as the craftsmen and shopowners. For the Vijećnica, the City Hall and national Library, as well as the Federation and the state are stakeholders, as the Vijećnica has such an important symbolic role. Urban communities are also stakeholders. Various bureaucratic and informal channels of communication, specific to small capital cities, exist between them.
As opposed to many other cases in BiH, both the Baščaršija and the Vijećnica were agreed across actors to be important sites and places for Sarajevo, with the caveats mentioned above.
Bibliography of Documentation
Alić, Dijana, and Maryam Gusheh. “Reconciling National Narratives in Socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina:
The Baščaršija Project, 1948-1953.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 58, no. 1 (1999): 6–25.
Ayverdi, Ekrem Hakkı. Avrupa’da Osmanlı Mimari Eserleri Yugoslavya III. Cilt, 3. Kitap. İstanbul: Bilmen
Čengić, Nihad. Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti: Estetska Metamorfoza Kroz Stoljeća i Posljednje
Konzervacije Originaliteta. Sarajevopublishing, 2008.
[Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments], Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih
Općine Stari Grad.” Opcina Stari Grad, n.d.
Donia, Robert J. Sarajevo: A Biography. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2006.
Hartmuth, Maximilian. “Between Vienna and Istanbul : Imperial Legacies, Visual Identities, and ‘Popular’
and ‘High’ Layers of Architectural Discourse in/on Sarajevo, c.1900 and 2000.” In Images of Imperial Legacy: Modern Discourses on the Social and Cultural Impact of Ottoman and Habsburg Rule in Southeast Europe, edited by Tea Sindbaek and Maximilian Hartmuth. Berlin: Lit, 2011.
Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika. “Gazi Husrev-Begova Džamija, Graditeljska Cjelina:
Nacionalni Spomenik,” n.d. http://old.kons.gov.ba/main.php?id_struct=6&lang=1&action=view&id=2897.
Redžić, Husref. Studije o Islamskoj Arhitektonskoj Baštini. Biblioteka Kulturno Naslje\d je., 1983.
Riedlmayer, Andras. “Erasing the Past: The Destruction of Libraries and Archives in Bosnia-
Herzegovina.” Review of Middle East Studies 29, no. 1 (1995): 7–11.
———. “From the Ashes: Bosnia’s Cultural Heritage.” Islam and Bosnia: Conflict Resolution and Foreign
Policy in Multi-Ethnic States, 2002, 98–135.
Sanković Simčić, Vjekoslava. “Degradation of the Austro-Hungarian Architecture in Sarajevo.” In
Savremene Percepcije Kulturnog Naslijeđa Austro-Ugarske u Bosni i Hercegovini, edited by Vjekoslava Sanković Simčić. ICOMOS National Commitee in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016.
“Sarajevo - Unique Symbol of Universal Multiculture - Continual Open City.” UNESCO World Heritage
Tentative Lists, n.d. http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/906/.
Sells, Michael. “Erasing Culture: Wahhabism, Buddhism, Balkan Mosques.” Updated Version 2 (2003).
Serdarević, Mevlida. “Evaluation of Cultural Heritage in Baščaršija with a Special Accent on Traditional
Crafts as Authentic Elements from This Area.” Sarajevo: Association for intercultural activities and saving heritage in BiH / AIASN, 2010.
Sparks, Mary. The Development of Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo, 1878-1918: An Urban History, 2014.
Walasek, Helen, Richard Carlton, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Valery Perry, and Tina Wik. Bosnia and the
Destruction of Cultural Heritage. Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate, 2015.
Documenting the Nature of the Traumatic Event(s)
Nature of the event
Sarajevo experienced the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare, between 5 April 1992 and 29 February 1996.53 Before the war, Sarajevo, the capital of one of the Yugoslav republics, was the most mixed capital city of the Federation, populated by Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks), Serbs, Croats, and with an increasing self-defined Yugoslav population. In 1992, Bosnian Serb political parties called for a boycott of the independence referendum, calling for BiH to remain part of Yugoslavia. Political tensions escalated to war, and Sarajevo, declared capital of BiH, was besieged by Bosnian Serb paramilitary troops as well as the Army of Republika Srpska (Vojska Republike Srpske, VRS), the self-proclaimed Serb republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The siege was part of a war which included multiple fronts and alliances, provoked numerous military and civilian casualties, the forced migration of hundreds of thousands, and devastated countryside and cities. In Sarajevo, more than 60% of the building stock was damaged and almost 15% of housing units destroyed. The city was hit on average with 329 shells per day, which led to the destruction of the built environment, but also the death of more than 5000 civilians. From around 170 000 apartments in Sarajevo, cca 24 000 were totally destroyed in the war, cca 35 000 were heavily damaged, and 12 000 were lightly damaged.54
The shelling affected the entire city, with Baščaršija not being spared. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque
shelled in May 1992 . But among the most emblematic episodes of the war was the burning of the Vijećnica. Set on fire on the eve of the London conference where plans for peace for Bosnia were supposed to be made, (26-28 august 1992), the destruction of the Vijećnica shocked many across the world.
Bosnian Serb paramilitary Shrapnel hit many buildings in the Baščaršija, which were partially damaged, including the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque , but also the Old Orthodox Church. The fire of August 1992 affected the entirety of the Vijećnica.
Peter Andreas, Blue Helmets and Black Markets the Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008).. 54 Anna Potyrala, “Sarajevo. From the Ashes of Conflict to Cold Coexistence,” in Conflict and Cooperation in Divided Cities, ed. Jaroslaw Janczak (Berlin: Logos, 2009).
Several buildings, including the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque were damaged. No structures were totally destroyed, as it happened elsewhere in BiH, particularly with religious heritage. The Vijećnica were severely damaged. According to a report from the aftermath of the fire, destruction and damage included 55: - the destruction of the roofing and wooden structure (the ceiling structure was preserved only above the basement), - severe damage and deformation of the steel roof structure of the dome above the central space of the aula, - damage to load-bearing walls at higher levels within the building, - complete destruction of the representative three-story staircase in the hall - destruction of all vertical installations, lift-windows, chimneys and ventilation - destruction of all partition walls, - the destruction of all carpentry positions of the interior and exterior (windows and doors), which were derived from quality oak material, - devastation of the hexagonal core (on the ground floor of the hall four pillars disappeared completely, and the others were badly damaged), - completely destroyed artistic decoration-painted ornaments from the ceilings of the representative hall, - two stained glass windows were destroyed - Gypsum decoration was mostly destroyed. -an estimated 1.5 million volumes
etc were burnt, the largest single incident of deliberate book-burning in modern
The siege and the destructions of the Baščaršija and particularly the Vijećnica also took a toll on people’s moral, in an environment of extreme deprivation and fear. However, despite constant shelling, several Sarajevans formed a human chain around the burning Vijećnicaand attempted to save at least some books that were accessible through the ground-floor windows.57
The Baščaršija was deprived of its social role for most of the siege. But the most pregnant was the destruction of the Vijećnica, the National Library that lost all the books and collections of an entire country, plus the building itself.
The Vijećnica was already considered a symbolic building of Sarajevo, but its destruction made it into the emblem of the siege and the city’s identity.
The Association of Architects of BiH collected information about the destruction and published it as the journal Warchitecture in October 1993.
Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik.” Riedlmayer, “Erasing the Past.” 57 Burton Bollag, “Barely Salvaged in Sarajevo: Bosnia’s National Library Tries to Rebuild despite a Lack of Financial and Political Support,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2003. 55 56
Most complete was a report on the Devastation of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The older Sarajevo narratives of the war are centred on the resilience of the mixed urban population under the siege, their ways of survival and getting by in harsh circumstances and under the constant threat of shelling. In addition, there is a narrative of disappointment- in the international community and its lack of intervention, in fleeing neighbours of all ethnicities, to the West, to the RS or Belgrade.
There were a series of narratives related to the reasoning of the acts of destruction, which became very important in understanding the specificity of the BiH and justifying Mary Kaldor’s contention that this was a ‘new war’. According to expert witness Andras Riedlmayer at the trial of Milosevic, there is reason to believe that the policy of destroying heritage was a planned one, it was not a reaction tit-for-tat. 59 A Bosniak nationalist narrative insisted that the National Library was targeted because of its importance for keeping documents on Ottoman and Islamic life, as well as for its ‘Oriental appearance’. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic reputedly stated the opposite to a visiting Elie Wiesel: the Muslims had destroyed it as they did not like its Austro-Hungarian architecture in the middle of all their beloved Turkish buildings. 60
More recently, two main types of narratives of war took over the dominant scene, which explain destruction and frame the post-war recovery. The first are nationalist narratives, explaining the war and its aftermath as an arena of competing nationalisms. The second is about a city under siege for its mere urbanity. The destruction of heritage in Sarajevo fits both narratives. Dr. Sabira Husedžinović, former Bosnian federal culture ministry, pointed out that historic religious buildings were targeted, as often one could notice that surrounding buildings would escape unscathed, while the religious building would be shelled. The reasoning is that architecture has a totemic quality: a mosque in Sarajevo represents an entire community and their memory. 61 The destruction of Islamic heritage in particular fits very well the narrative of war as an act of nationalism, with religious buildings as proxies for national identity.
Nevertheless, destruction was also directed against buildings of communal life, like the National Library or the Olympic Museum.62 In Sarajevo, the specificity of the targeting of common, urban landmarks, as opposed to group-specific symbols, was locally acknowledged. A dominant narrative for many of the people who endured the siege is that of a city under attack for its common life, for its cosmopolitan values. As opposed to the nationalist narrative, which presents the siege as mostly a conflict between separatist Serbs and defenders of an independent Bosnia, this narrative presents a conflict between rural dwellers, mistrustful of the city, and the city itself. Early in the war, mobilising accounts for Bosnian Serb paramilitary troops presented the mixed life of Sarajevo as a decadent Gomorrah of intermixing 63 , an ‘unnatural creation’. 64 Bogdan Bogdanović called the
Ivana Maček, Sarajevo under Siege: Anthropology in Wartime (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).. Riedlmayer, “From the Ashes.” 60 Helen Walasek et al., Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage (Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate, 2015). 61 Robert Bevan, The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War (Reaktion books, 2007), 8.. 62 Walasek et al., Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage.. 63 Ivan Čolović, The Politics of Symbol in Serbia: Essays on Political Anthropology (London: Hurst & Co., 2002); Bogdan Bogdanović, Die Stadt und der Tod: Essays (Klagenfurt: Wieser, 1993); Ivo Žanić, Flag on the Mountain: A Political 58 59
subsequent attack on the city urbicide, a deliberate targeting of urban life and cosmopolitanism which Sarajevo symbolized. The murder of the city was both physical, through destruction, and symbolic, strangling it through siege and austerity, terrorizing it through sniper shootings, and removing populations. 65 Urbicide was further theorized by Martin Coward as an assault on buildings in order to destroy urbanity, in relationship to it harbouring plurality or heterogeneity. 66 The strength of attack on the city narrative in Sarajevo rests on the fact that ethnoreligious identity (nacionalnost) has been challenged as the main source of social division in Sarajevo by the rural-urban divide,
and by the related dichotomy cultured- uncultured (kulturni vs. nekulturni) which defines
identities and perceptions of others throughout former Yugoslavia. 68 Pre-war Sarajevans saw themselves as ‘cultured’ par excellence, and they even defined the ‘Sarajevo spirit’ (Sarajevski duh) as having culturedness and cosmopolitanism as its core. Consequently, the exclusionary nature of local cosmopolitanism is strengthened by the urbicide narrative and the arrival of rural internally displaced people in the city.
The mobilisation of such meanings and narratives plays a central role in how we understand reconstruction. Various rebuilding projects can be framed in relationship to how they respond to the two types of narrative and advance associated urban imaginaries: reconstruction connected to various nation-building projects and reconstruction connected to the identity of the place and its cosmopolitan imaginary.
Documenting Post–Event Appraisals
Impact Assessment and Post-Trauma Documentation
Already beginning in October 1992, ICOMOS and UNESCO, have organized a series of roundtables (as part of the review of the Hague convention), which resulted in a Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Cultural Heritage at Risk (including ICOMOS, UNESCO, ICCROM, etc), a Risk Preparedness Scheme, and the precursors of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS)
In the period 1995-2006, several appraisals were carried out with regards to the state of construction of the Vijećnica after the fire and destruction. The appraisal research work investigated the condition of the brick walls, the state of the steel and stone structures of the aula, leading to proposals for the technical parameters of reconstruction. Resulting data was used in the preparation of the I and II phases of the rehabilitation projects.70 Documents discussing destruction in the Baščaršija:
Warchitecture report- Association of Architects of Sarajevo
OSF (Open Society Foundation) damage report in Cultural Institutions and Monuments of Sarajevo (March 1995)
Anthropology of War in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1990-1995 (London; Berkeley, Calif.; London: Saqi ; in association with the Bosnian Institute, 2007).. 64 Writer Momo Kapor, in Bogdanović, Die Stadt und der Tod, 136.. 65 Coward, Urbicide; Milan Prodanovic, “Balkan Cities,” in Out of Ground Zero: Case Studies in Urban Reinvention, ed. Joan Ockman (New York, N.Y.]; Munich; New York: Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University ; Prestel, 2002), 132.. 66 Coward, Urbicide, 15.. 67 Stefansson, “Urban Exile: Locals, Newcomers and the Cultural Transformation of Sarajevo.” . 68 Tone Bringa, Being Muslim the Bosnian Way: Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village (Princeton University Press, 1995).. 69 Herb Stovel, Risk Preparedness: A Management Manual for World Cultural Heritage (ICCROM, 1998), 2; Walasek et al., Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage, 15. 70 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik.”
Before 1992, the Institute for Construction of Sarajevo (today, the Sarajevo Canton Construction Office), had already worked on preparations for the reconstruction of the dome and roof of the City Hall. Since the end of 1995, the same institution followed up, with a 1996 appraisal for the reconstruction of Vijećnica.
In 1995, the company Ser.CO.TEC from Trieste - Italy carried out the "Diagnosis and Proposal for the Remediation of the City Hall" in cooperation with the Institute for Materials and Structures of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo, the Institute for Civil Engineering from Trieste and "Energoinvest" in Sarajevo. Investor: Canton Sarajevo.
May 1997: a "Study on the examination and results of the state of the steel structure of the Council" was made by the Institute for Materials and Structures of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo. Investor: Canton Sarajevo.
March 1998: "Report on the realization of the research program for reconstruction of the building of the City Hall" was made by the Institute for Geotechnics and Funding of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo. Investor: European Commission PSU Sarajevo
Institute for Geotechnics of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo drafted a
preliminary report on the results of testing the brick walls and conducted a series of "targeted" tests; brick, wall, mortar and stone. In the course of these tests, chemical analyzes and determination of the physical and mechanical properties of brick and mortar were performed.
March 2003: The Sarajevo City Hall - Restoration of Painting Decorations and Decorative Plastics - Esad Vesković. - Investor: European Commission PSU Sarajevo.
February 2006: "Report of geotechnical research of the City Hall building in Sarajevo" - made by Winer Project d.o.o., February 2006. Investor: Canton Sarajevo - Cantonal Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage Sarajevo
2007- Assessment of the Austrian Development Agency of the state of works
The Sarajevo Canton Development Planning Department has entrusted the works on the development of
project documentation for the renovation of the City Hall to D.D. DOM - Studies, design, engineering. They led in 1996- 1997 phase 1 (reconstruction of the roof structure and dome of the building), and in the period 1999-2000 Phase 2 (Fixing Intermediate Structure of the Facility), while in 2003, phase 2b (renovation of the central hall).
Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Austrian Development Agency, January 2007). 71
For Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque , the study by Nihad Cengic72 and several other studies of the architectural history of the building were used. For the Vijećnica, as the building was nearly completely destroyed, the discovery of original plans in Zagreb and Vienna facilitated a close reconstruction to the original form.
Challenges for Recovery
According to The Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments, a first main challenge is the absence of documentation (much was destroyed during war), which makes it difficult to make expert restoration and monument rehabilitation. Second, the absence of legislation that can assist heritage work, and designating properties as cultural monuments, including the restitution of property (a challenge in the earlier stages of reconstruction, the PLIP- Property Law Implementation Plan- resolved up to 95% of property claims by 2005). Third, funding has been a problem- despite abundant financial help to BiH in the first decade and some flagship heritage reconstruction funding, such as the World Bank’s support for the Mostar Bridge, funding for heritage could not cover the extent of damage in Bosnia, and in Sarajevo. Finally, in several cases there was a lack of willingness of religious communities and particularly their elites to work with heritage specialists 73
For the Vijećnica, challenges were both financial and of ownership. According to the report conducted by W Kippes, the land register showed the following order of ownership of the Vijecnica: 1895 City of Sarajevo; 1948 Vijecnica becomes a "public good"; 1958 National and University Library, with the report concluding that the Library is the legal owner.74 In contrast, the Austrian Federal Chancellery considered that the National Library is not the owner but the user of the building, with the legal owner being the City of Sarajevo, ie. the newly created Canton of Sarajevo. Consequently, the Library would only have the right to use the building. The status of the Vijecnica as a "public good" was considered oBaščaršijaolete as this was a remnant of the legal concepts of the former socialist regime. Consequently, the Canton of Sarajevo was identified as the legitimate contract partner for the Austrian support
The recovery of the heritage resources” in the post-trauma period implied restoration/renovation/reconstruction of structures in the Baščaršija. For the Vijećnica, this related only to the architecture, as the collections were irremediably lost. A new national library was open in the Army Barracks, with donated books, but the historical collections are irreplaceable. There was no centralized Baščaršija plan of recovery. Reconstruction projects were object by object. For Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque and Vijećnica, there were at the end a number of phases, but this timeline was not planned as such- the phases came as result of funding shortages (Vijećnica) and allegedly because of negative reactions to the first reconstruction efforts (Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque ). Please see section 5.
Čengić, Nihad. Begova Džamija Kao Djelo Umjetnosti: Estetska Metamorfoza Kroz Stoljeća i Posljednje Konzervacije Originaliteta. Sarajevopublishing, 2008 73 Walasek et al., Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage, 120. 74 Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 72
Reconstruction in Sarajevo was largely a piecemeal process, in which objects were matched to donors by the local municipalities. The coordinator of reconstruction activities was the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage Sarajevo. The guiding principles of the recovery were:
For Baščaršija - a mix of reinforcement/retrofitting, modification for adaptive reuse, recovery of pretrauma conditions and recovery of original condition
For Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque - first reinforcement/retrofitting, then, recovery of original condition. For the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque, there were discussions on whether to pursue recovery of pre-trauma conditions or recovery of original condition (without Habsburg-era decorations).
For Vijećnica-first conservation of post-trauma conditions, then, recovery of original condition
The Baščaršija was to be recovered as a commercial and social space, as before the war. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque
option of recovery of original condition created a large uproar, as removal of decorations were
described by many, in the community as abroad, as a Wahhabi whitewashing of the mosque , against local tradition and an attempt of purification and imposition from above. This remains up to today. 75 The Vijećnica reconstruction was contentious because two key stakeholders were clashing with regards to who will get the space for use. The National library was deemed as legal owner by the Austrian consultants. But the Federal authorities in BIH agreed with the Canton that the building is owned by the City Hall. The postreconstruction function was the source of much dispute – the Library, the City Hall, a mix, or even headquarters of the ruling political party, SDA (as the son of the SDA president, Bakir Izetbegovic, ran the Sarajevo City Development Planning Institute).76
The reconstruction of the Vijećnica was very costly, and took a long time, with frequent, and long, interruptions. There was no definitive plan and action strategy from the beginning. A tentative financial plan stated that the funds for the final reconstruction were expected to comprise 1/3 local funds; 1/3 international grants; and 1/3 loans from international organisations.
A particular topic of interest is the change in functions of the Vijećnica. From early on, there were discussions of the new function. A statement of the UNESCO office in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997 suggested the restoration of the building as national memorial or a "Monument of InterEthnical Peace in the World”. 77 In relationship to the ownership but also function, during the first renovation phase, the City Development Institute refered systematically to the building as the "Town Hall" (or Sarajevo City Library) while the Austriian Development Agency referred to it as "the National (and University) Library". Later, the Canton/City of Sarajevo drew a plan that a part of the rebuilt Vijećnica would be used as the representative office of the city’s administration with another part for the use of the National and University Library. Cultural events would have dedicated spaces, including rooms for a "Museum of Destruction of Sarajevo". Furthermore, a tourist agency and a restaurant would be housed, with the goal to generate income in order to cover operation and maintenance costs.78 In November 2003, the Sarajevo Canton Government Decision ("Official Gazette of Sarajevo Canton", No. 21-2003) was adopted, which defines the multipurpose use of the building, in principle providing contents on Sells, “Erasing Culture”; Bevan, The Destruction of Memory. Walasek et al., Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage. Walasek et al. 78 Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 75 76 77
the floors of the building. The Commission to Protect National Monuments suggested in the listing document that the seat of the City Administration should be located on the 2nd floor and part III of the floor, while the National and University Library of BiH would occupy much of the ground floor of the building (public facilities: central register, database, internet, exhibitions, bookstore ...), first floors (reading room, rarities, periodicals ...), third floor and basement (auxiliary activities), with cultural facilities of a public character (Museum of destruction of the City Hall, and tourist agency) on the ground floor.79 There was no public consultation nor a competition of ideas to suggest uses and connected designs.80
Drivers for recovery Recovery of Baščaršija and the highlighted heritage sites has been part of a long process, with many drivers. During the war, a Commission for the Protection of Heritage of Sarajevo, formed 14 May 1992, included a subcomission for rescuing movable heritage (head art historian/curator Azra Begic+ volunteers). Before September this Commission moved significant artefacts and manuscripts from museums and libraries. An Office for the Protection of the Cultural Property (Stab za zastitu dobara culture) – led by actor Josip Pejakovic. formed by the Presidency of BiH was also able to move paintings, icons, collections, books from various heritage buildings (not the Vijećnica). In fact, UNPROFOR managed to establish a ceasefire with Baščaršija forces so that heritage office can work.
The Open Society Foundation together with International Rescue Committee
included emergency repairs to heritage building, such as for instance the roof of the Art Gallery.82
The Commission to Preserve National Heritage was an important actor. It was established through the Dayton Peace Agreement, unusually for a peace treaty, as it acknowledged the role and specific targeting of heritage in the Bosnian conflict. As such, the Dayton Peace Agreement contains a specific annex dedicated to cultural heritage, Annex 8. Through this, it established the Commission to Preserve National Heritage, which was for 5 years under the control of UNESCO then passed to the state. Swedish and Turkish funds helped the work of the Commission at first. For Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque , Saudi funding was instrumental for the first reconstruction phase.
For the Vijećnica, the Institute for Construction of Sarajevo (today, the Sarajevo Canton Construction Office), had already worked on preparations for the reconstruction. The Austrian Development Agency and the European Commission gave the finances and contributed to the project. The coordinator of reconstruction activities was the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage Sarajevo.
Local stakeholders have been involved- notably City Hall and various institutes, as well as local consultants and designers. Local contractors were involved, including the Institute for Materials and Structures of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Sarajevo, D.D. Dom Studije, projektovanje i inženjering – Sarajevo, ŽGP Sarajevo. Local communities were, nevertheless, not involved. The processes of reconstruction were criticised for the lack of consultation.
“Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik,” n.d., Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 81 Walasek et al., 71. 82 Walasek et al., 105. 79 80
With regards to international organizations relevant to heritage, one must note that, while UNESCO released various statements and resolutions, such as an UNESCO resolution calling for Vijećnica’s reconstruction in 1993, an appeal from UNESCO director general in 1994, it was also was unwilling to send a mission to Sarajevo during the war and was not involved to a great extent in recovery. 83
From other international organizations, NATO also got involved. At NATO’s Krakow conference on cultural heritage protection on wartime (part of Partnership for Peace) (June 1996), the issue of NATO involvement came as CIMIC (civil military-cooperation) from NATO’s IFOR/SFOR operations in Bosnia. Nevertheless, there was a low status for cultural property protection, with a preference for ‘high-visibility, quick impact projects’.84 The Red Cross organized a conference which covered heritage reconstruction in BiH in London 2001. The IRCICA (Research Centre for Islamic history art, and culture) of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference was involved in reconstruction, but favoured Mostar’s old town (eg. Mostar 2004 project, Amir Pasic) to involvement in the Baščaršija.
Financial grants had an important role, and placed the reconstruction of heritage buildings in a landscape of diplomatic interests. There is significant literature discussing the role of the Saudi funders in the driving the agenda of the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque . In the case of the Vijećnica, Austrian funders were important for the first step. It is understood that the Austrian support came to bring a very visible project to BiH in order to prepare the first state visit of an Austrian leader to BiH in 1996, a figure soft diplomacy. 85 According to the 2007 Austrian report, “the Vijećnica support was neither seen as cultural heritage nor cultural cooperation but rather as part of the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, here reconstruction implying stabilization and development in a political-economic sense.86
Documenting Actions, Timeframes, Resources and Costs
Actual Implementation and Timescales for the Recovery Programme
Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque
1997 – reconstruction after war damage with Saudi support, new roof; contestation of whitewashing of
2001-2002. Conservation and restoration work in and around the mosque : After the mosque walls found
no traces of earlier paintings, Austro-Hungarian paintings were not restored, except on the entrance portal;The current calligraphy of the Bey Mosque was done by Hazim Numanagić, and the ornament was made by Nihad Čengić, Hazim Numanagić and Nihad Babović; mihrab, minber, mahfil and entrance portal restored. Restoration works were performed by Nihad Čengić; changing wooden beams with new concrete beams, which were then coated by wood.
Walasek et al., Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage, 108. Walasek et al., 16. Walasek et al., 211. 86 Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 84 85
Vijećnica The first phase of reconstruction (1996-1996)87 In 1996, the Austrian Government donated 750 000 euros for initial works of reconstruction of the Vijećnica, namely urgent works to save the structure. In addition to the war destruction, the City Hall continued to be damaged as the winters contributed to further weakening of the brick walls of the attic, aula, the steel construction of the dome, and especially the basement walls. The works were divided into phases: A - stabilization of the structural assembly of masonry structures, B - reconstruction of the roof with the implementation of lightning rod installation, C - renovation of the steel dome and suspended ceiling with restoration of glass roof covering. D – stabilizing heavily damaged aula with heavy steel supporting scaffold.
Investor: Republic of Austria Designer D.D. Dom Studije, projektovanje i inženjering - Sarajevo Contractor: ŽGP Sarajevo Supervision: WCI (Austria) and Institute for the Construction of the City of Sarajevo
The project was prepared based on documentation provided by the City Development Institute (now: Canton Development Institute), as well as by DOM Studies, Projects, and Engineering - a local planning firm contracted by the Institute. Additional expert support was provided by an Austrian consultant, who examined the conservation aspects of the project. For construction works, the Austrian side gave a grant to the Sarajevo Canton which charged the City Development Institute with the responsibility of carry out the works. The City Development Institute outsourced the works to national contracting firms. Furthermore, a Austrian consulting firm, "VCE - Vienna Consulting Engineers" monitored project progress. According to the ADA report, in August 1996, the monitoring role of VCE was altered to include project and site management as there were complaints with regards to the severe delays of and inadequate management by the City Development Institute.88
The second phase of reconstruction (November 2002-February 2004)89
In 1999, the European Commission provided funds to resume reconstruction work (EUR 2 250 000). The consultant (D.D. DOM Studije, projektovanje, inženjering - Sarajevo) suggested that works on reconstruction of horizontal structures, as well as the reconstruction of the hall, heavily damaged, was are a priority at that point. Because of the high degree of damage, several columns on the ground floor and the floor were replaced, along with supporting arches on the ground floor.
Investor: European Commission in BiH Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina”; Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik.” 88 Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 89 Komisija za očuvanje nacionalnih spomenika, “Gradska Vijećnica, Historijska Građevina: Nacionalni Spomenik”; Austrian Development Agency, “Thematic Evaluation: The Relevance of Culture and Cultural Heritage in ADC. Field Report - Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 87
Designer: D.D. Dom Studije, projektovanje, inženjering - Sarajevo Contractor: ŽGP Sarajevo and Mineral Ljubljana (with Kamen Dent Mostar) Surveillance: Safege
The final phase of reconstruction (2012-2014)
Restoration of interiors and the façade took place. The joinery was made of oak material according to the original documentation, while the exterior joinery was thermically insulated. The hall floor, the vestibules, the first floor gallery and the loggia were restored according to the original condition. The floors in the state-rooms on the first floor were renovated in the mosaic technique from oak parquet, which was also used for other floors. The floors in working premises were executed in oak parquet laid down in the herring-bone pattern. 90
Funder: European Commission in BiH (7 mil Eur.) Contractor: Unigradnja Sarajevo
The Wurth Hendels (Austria), within the framework of the project "Reconstruction of the Sarajevo City Hall", has collected and planned a donation of a total of EUR 250,000 for the renovation of the City Hall (2005-2007)
Documenting the Outcomes and Effects
Assessment of the Outcomes
Soon after the war, Baščaršija resumed to be the vibrant commercial heart of Sarajevo, with its pre-war atmosphere almost regained. More recently, the area has ben undergoing an acute touristification though. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque
complex has been restored and is again a key religious site in Sarajevo, for
residents and visitors alike. The Vijećnica reconstruction took a very long time (destroyed in 1992, inaugurated in 2014). The architecture and decorations were recovered, but the National Library collections were lost, and so is currently the function of the building. While the quality of works is generally praised, it is still removed from a sociocultural role as the lack of vision for the function and contentious decisions- such as using it as a wedding salon, have undergone extensive criticism in the public.
There are discussions with regards to both the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque and the Vijećnica reconstructions. For Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque, the removal of 19th century decorations created a conflict in between those who argued that the erasure was motivated by religious purificators, often invoking the Saudi role in financing the first stage of the process. The BiH team argues that the return to the original state was the key driver.
Mulaomerović, “Sarajevo Town-Hall Interior Works and Functional Use.”
As for the Vijećnica, while there was general enthusiasm about the reconstruction per se, there were frequent critiques of the tremendous time it took, but also of its empty state today, and of the use by the City Hall as a showroom or wedding parlours as opposed to a place of culture.
The Baščaršija remains the acknowledged historical centre of the city, a loved area, while undergoing touristification. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque is important as a historical complex, and as a used mosque . The Vijećnica has remained acknowledged and discussed as the symbol of the city, and there was a lot of enthusiasm about the building’s reopening. Recommendations for follow-up actions -
Draft and Implementation of an area management plan for the Baščaršija to prevent interventions that
change the character of the area, but also the proliferation of souvenir shops en lieu of the crafts workshops and shops. [also suggested by the Commission, which in April 2014, proposed a Management Plan for the Historical Urban Area - Sarajevo Charter with defined program aims in accordance with the methodology for implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage;] -
Clarification of function for the Vijećnica through a) public consultation and b) attempt to design a
solution in which both the National Library and a cultural activities of the City Hall can take place in the premises
Ownership of the Results
Recovery of the Baščaršija was a piecemeal process, with no evident ownership. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque the Vakuf and the religious community. The Vijećnica has been on the one hand a success story for the City Hall, but also one of criticism- the extreme duration and the perceived mishandling of the function. It was also the most significant Austrian and EU project in Sarajevo, with a continuous communication of their role- as well, downplayed by the duration.
In the Baščaršija, related to the change of uses and the increase in tourists. Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque - the removal of decorations perceived as part of a change in nature of religious practice. The newly opened Vijećnica, while continuously admired, as it has less of a public function, is seen now somehow as highjacked by the reconstruction for a more pragmatically minded City Hall. There is a shift from emblem of the city, to emblem of the attack over Sarajevo to now an emblem of a public sector that is removed from the people. The protests taking place across he river from the Vijećnica during its opening accused the government of corruption practices and of neglecting needs of people, concentrating of ethnic politics while socioeconomic needs are ignored. That does not imply that they perceived the Vijećnica opening as being a luxury that should not have received attention, but the closed nature of the reconstruction process and of the opening itself highlighted this perception of separation of the state from the people.
Documenting the Recovery Programme
In contrast to Mostar, one of the flagship reconstructions in BIH, Sarajevo’s reconstruction was less documented in a systematic way. The general Baščaršija recovery was not documented. The Commission report for listing Vijećnica documents well documents the first two phases of reconstruction. The Commission report for listing 28
Baščaršija sketches the recovery. Walasek et al is the first approach on heritage and reconstruction of the Vijećnica in a comprehensive manner.
There were several studies- see above- of the architectural condition etc. However, there was not enough engagement with the people’s views, no sociological study of the value of this heritage particularly in the conflict framework of Bosnia.
Please include any additional comments or observations related to your report not covered in the above rubrics.
(1) The rather high degree of international involvement in the stewardship of reconstruction is connected
to a sense of an international failure to intervene during the conflict (eg. the hesitations of UNESCO, the ICBS Blue Shield letdown etc), but also to the (2) acknowledgment of the role of heritage in conflict as a special target. Sarajevo, and the Vijećnica in particular, brought forward the issue of heritage targeted as a particular war goal and war crime. Discussions of urbicide connected the relationship between heritage, urbanity and civility, beyond associations of heritage with groups’ identity and history.
(3) In the Bosnian landscape of destruction and reconstruction, Sarajevo is different because conflict
occurred differently in the city: as it was under a siege, it was shot at, but heritage sites connected to a particular groups were not demolished and removed from foundations, as it happened with many religious sites, (particularly Muslim) throughout the country. As such, the reconstruction of Sarajevo does not face the same questions of contentious rebuilding as for instance mosques in Banja Luka or Foča, sites in cities that now have a non-Muslim majority within a state entity in tense relations with the rest.
(4) The Vijećnica also calls for questions of how do we understand reconstruction of heritage that for
some is about common history, for others the identity of only one group (Vijećnica represented as Bosnian versus Bosniak heritage).
(5) The valuation of heritage can be at times increased by its destruction and by particular historic
events- Vijećnica shows that heritage is also made through conflict, meanings get changed or strengthened. It is not that Vijećnica was not important before- it was described as a symbol of the city, but its destruction was part of the biggest traumas associated with the war in Sarajevo, which meant that its prolonged, interrupted reconstruction was seen as a failure to deal with the legacy of the war and to move the city forward.
(6) Both the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque and the Vijećnica show the importance of layers in heritage-
making, particularly in relationship to the theme of “purity” invoked by some critics. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque reconstruction was contested because of a choice to remove a layer- the 19th century decorations- which was framed by some as a religious choice as opposed to a conservation one. The Vijećnica and particularly the importance of the building itself reflects how historicist architecture, in this case a pastiche of styles related to imaginations of the Orient rather than local tradition, can become emblematic, and that questions of purity are misplaced when the social valuations of a site are those of representability and appropriation.
(7) The Vijećnica situation shows that the reconstruction of a structure without a clear scenarios for its
use can undermine the process. Issues of ownership and stewardship of sites, particularly in the light of a thorough consultation, are essential for heritage sites that are symbolic for a city, but which are associated with cultural functions, such as the Sarajevo library.
(8) Completing the case study helped thinking through at the role of documentation both from before and after war in rebuilding.
Reconstruction of the old commercial quarter of Sarajevo and of signature buildings such as the Sarajevo City Hall/ National Library and religious complexes is telling of the particular, complex predicaments of rebuilding heritage in a city that is multilayered architecturally, as well as socio-culturally after a human-driven trauma. We have seen that the valuation of heritage can be at times increased by its destruction and by particular historic events. Vijećnica shows that heritage is also made through conflict, meanings get changed or strengthened. It is not that Vijećnica was not important before- it was described as a symbol of the city, but its destruction was part of the biggest traumas associated with the war in Sarajevo, which meant that its prolonged, interrupted reconstruction was seen as a failure to deal with the legacy of the war and to move the city forward.
Both the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque and the Vijećnica show the importance of layers in heritage-making, particularly in relationship to the theme of “purity” invoked by some critics. The Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque reconstruction was contested because of a choice to remove a layer- the 19th century decorations- which was framed by some as a religious choice as opposed to a conservation one. The Vijećnica and particularly the importance of the building itself reflects how historicist architecture, in this case a pastiche of styles related to imaginations of the Orient rather than local tradition, can become emblematic, and that questions of purity are misplaced when the social valuations of a site are those of representability and appropriation.
The works on the Gazi-Husrev Beg mosque reflect that what is seen as “professional” restoration by experts can be easily read through a political lens of conflict in a tense post-war situation. In this case, this does not come from what could be seen antagonistic groups (ie. Former factions in the war), but from members of what at first appears as a homogenous group (ie. Bosnian Muslims) who regard Islam, its associated cultural heritage, and various Islamic contexts differently. The removal of 19th century decorations created a conflict in between those who argued that the erasure was motivated by religious purificators, often invoking the Saudi role in financing the first stage of the process, and those who argued this was a restoration of original conditions.
The Vijećnica reconstruction took a very long time (destroyed in 1992, inaugurated in 2014) and consisted in a number of steps with different funders and conflicting views over its function. The architecture and decorations 30
were recovered, but the National Library collections were lost. While the quality of works is generally praised in the community, the length of reconstruction, the lack of vision for the function, and contentious decisions- such as using it as a wedding salon, have undergone extensive criticism in the public.
The VijeÄ‡nica situation shows that the reconstruction of a structure without a clear scenarios for its use can undermine the process. Issues of ownership and stewardship of sites, particularly in the light of a thorough consultation, are essential for heritage sites that are symbolic for a city, but which are associated with cultural functions, such as the Sarajevo library.
The reconstruction situations described highlight on the one hand how restoration practices in a post-war situation are read by parts of the public through political and conflict lenses and on the other that a lack of participatory processes on the social aspect of reconstruction (ie. functions ) can lead to alienation of heritage otherwise perceived as emblematic for a community.
Reconstruction of the old commercial quarter of Sarajevo and of signature buildings such as the Sarajevo City Hall/ National Library and rel...
Published on Jul 2, 2018
Reconstruction of the old commercial quarter of Sarajevo and of signature buildings such as the Sarajevo City Hall/ National Library and rel...