In a statement, the Waqf Directorate of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina called on all competent authorities to take the actions provided for by law in order to protect the old building of Hotel Palas, which originally belonged to the Waqf, and so that it would not be damaged, all with the aim of protecting restitution rights on this object.
“Information was published through the media that the Assembly of Shareholders of Palas Banja Luka is planning a loan in order to start the construction project of the new Palas Hotel. As before, the Vakuf Directorate wants to point out several important facts and call on all competent authorities and institutions to act in order to protect originally a waqf building, which is the old Palas hotel, which was a waqf hotel and which was built on the site of the Šehova or Siamsk mosque,” it is stated.
As the Vakuf directorate reminds, Hotel Palas was built in the period from 1931 to 1933, and was nationalized in 1948.
“Thus, Hotel Palas was owned and managed by a waqf until its nationalization in 1948. The nationalization was carried out on the basis of the then Law on the Nationalization of Private Business Enterprises. Hotel Palas was viewed by the authorities at the time as a private business enterprise, which is evident from the Decision on Nationalization and “Decisions on the rejection of the appeal of the Vakuf Mearif Commission in Banja Luka. In April 1948, the Palas Hotel was taken over by the then leadership of the government,” the announcement states.
They added that it is about nationalized property and property that is out of legal circulation in order to protect the restitution rights of the original owner.
“In 2002, the Commission for the Preservation of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a Decision on the Provisional List of National Monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This Decision determined that until individual decisions are made for each object, all properties entered on the Provisional List will be considered a national monument and will enjoy the protection prescribed by the Law on implementation of the decisions of the Commission for the Protection of National Monuments, established according to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the statement of the Vakuf Directorate emphasizes.
They remind that, in accordance with this Decision, Hotel Palas enjoys all protection measures, as well as being a national monument, which means that construction must not damage the surrounding environment.
“The Ministry of Spatial Planning of the RS, the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of the RS and the Commission should answer whether the regulations have been followed and whether the project that is being presented to the public and which will be 100 meters high has kept the protection measures or not. for the preservation of the national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From the sketches that are visible to the public, it is clear that a modern building is being built and that it has no cultural or environmental connection with the Palas hotel. That is why we call on all competent authorities to take the actions provided for by law in order to protected the old building of the Hotel Palas, which originally belonged to the Waqf and so that it would not be damaged, all with the aim of protecting our restitution rights on this building,” emphasized the Waqf Directorate.
In particular, they called on the Ministry of Spatial Planning of the RS as the competent authority for national monuments, as well as the Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of the RS, to stop any type of construction that may damage and destroy the national monument of BiH.
“It is their legal obligation,” they conclude in a statement.