The latest case of moving the monument of King Tvrtko once again raised the issue of the work of the Commission for Preservation of National Monuments. The question arises whether the effective work of this commission is limited exclusively to the area of Canton Sarajevo (CS).
The Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments is one of the Dayton institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Based on the authority from Annex 8 of the Dayton Agreement, the Commission makes decisions on the declaration of movable and immovable property as a national monument, based on the Rulebook on criteria for the evaluation, division and categorization of national monuments.
According to the Dayton Agreement and the Constitution of BiH, the Commission should have five members, three of which are appointed by the Presidency, and two are foreign members appointed by the Director General of the United NationsEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
But with a decision from 2016, the Presidency unanimously expelled two international members, which directly violated Annex 8 of the Dayton Agreement and Article III.5. of the Constitution of BiH.
The work of the Commission in the area of the city of Sarajevo is quite active, on several occasions they blocked constructions and reconstructions that, according to their assessment, threatened the locations of national monuments.
So the reconstruction of Alija Izetbegovic Square was blocked because, according to a statement from the commission, the renovation plan did not correspond to the “decision on the declaration of the historic urban landscape of Sarajevo”. On the same basis, the reconstruction of the square in front of the Sarajevo Forest (Sume) Directorate was suspended.
It is evident that the work of the commission is much more intensive in Sarajevo, unlike other parts of BiH. When it comes to cases in the rest of the country, the Commission mostly limits itself to condemnations and criticisms, but without concrete steps.
The case of the Old Town in Stolac stands out. This medieval fortress was declared a national monument by the Commission in 2003. But despite the “protection”, this did not prevent the construction of the “Way of the Cross” in 2020, which without a doubt damaged the authenticity of this national monument.
Another example comes from Herzegovina, this time it’s about the bridge over Bregava in Klepci near Capljina. Mustaj-beg’s bridge was built in 1517 and in 2003 it was added to the list of national monuments. This year, the City of Capljina decided to “renovate”, but it is clear to even the most layman that the type of fence that was installed during the reconstruction does not befit a monument from the 16th century.
These examples really raise the legitimate question of how powerful and significant this institution is outside the city of Sarajevo and whether the current practice will change in the near future, Klix.ba reports.