Culture

The number of monuments that are permanently protected on paper reaches 83

The Illyrian mound in Shpinadi in Prizren and the one in Gjinoc in Suhareka, the multilayered settlement in Topanica in Kamenica and the prehistoric one in Hisari in Suhareka, are the next four archaeological sites which the state permanently protects. Along with seven architectural monuments, the number of those that the Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage has approved to be included in the List of Cultural Heritage under Permanent Protection reaches 11.

The Archaeological Museum and the Clock Tower, the House of the Pomaku Family, the Kroi of Beledije, the House of Adem Agë Gjon, the House of Zekerija Sokol, the Building of the Old Assembly of Beledije and the Complex of the Old Palace, all in Prizren, are part of the list of monuments since the month when Kosovo celebrated the anniversary of Independence, they have been placed under permanent protection as a value of the country's cultural heritage.

"Currently, the status of Permanent Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Republic of Kosovo is enjoyed by 83 assets of the architectural, archaeological category and some cultural landscapes", announced the Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage.

In November last year, the KKTK also approved a number of 13 monuments to become part of the List of Cultural Heritage under Permanent Protection. Among them is the House of Xhafer Deva, renamed as "Old Ambulance".

At that time, Zanita Halimi, president of KKTK, had said that legal protection is ensured with permanent protection, while what needs to be done is that the assets are a priority in terms of investments and promotion.

"With the evaluation report of the assets declared under permanent protection in 2016, we gave recommendations that the assets declared under permanent protection should be a priority both in investments and in management plans and promotion. There are improvements in this direction, but work is still needed", said Halimi.

Kosovo has the List of Heritage under Temporary and Permanent Protection. According to the law, temporary protection is a preventive type and within one year the monument must be evaluated if it meets the conditions to enjoy permanent protection. But since 2012, when the List of Cultural Heritage under Temporary Protection was approved, the state has not managed to fulfill the legal obligation of the deadline set by the law. According to the Law on Cultural Heritage, cultural heritage assets proposed for permanent protection must be submitted to the Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage for review, adaptation or rejection. After this process, it is determined that the decisions of this institution are approved by the Minister of Culture.

"The decision to include objects in the List of Cultural Heritage under permanent protection determined by the Kosovo Council for Cultural Heritage is signed by the minister, in which case their permanent protection with this law comes into force. The list of cultural heritage will be open to the public", is defined in Article 4 of this law.

In August of last year, when the state had listed 13 more assets under permanent protection, Sali Shoshi, head of the Kosovar foundation for cultural heritage without borders, "CHwB Kosova", said that declaring them under permanent protection is not enough.

"On the contrary, this is the first step where the state must pay attention to something it calls a national value. When you make something a national value, there must be measures such as maintenance and promotion", said Shoshi. According to him, inclusion in the List of Cultural Heritage Under Permanent Protection without these measures does not have any effect on the monument. "First, it is not promoted and people do not know where it is and what it offers, then when there is a lack of maintenance, the monument loses its value. It should be moved from the formal side of the lists to something concrete", said Shoshi. According to him, the asset that enjoys permanent protection should enjoy the benefits of something that is a national value and this should be done with separate management strategies and plans.

"The management plan aims to return an asset to social value as a social and economic asset, without affecting the values ​​for which it is listed. Therefore, it is not enough to enter the List without other actions that ensure the protection and maintenance of the monument", said Shoshi. It had shown that in the field there is no difference between an asset that is under protection and another that has the potential to be under protection.

"These actions do not guarantee the return of the asset to a public resource", he said.

Since October 2016, when 23 cultural heritage assets are part of the List of Cultural Heritage Under Permanent Protection, until 2022 the state has not managed to give any other monument this status. It has also failed to adhere to the legal requirements that arise after an asset has acquired this legal status, such as management plans. One of the examples is the archaeological park "Ulpiana". Last October, the Management Plan was approved for the most visited locality of cultural heritage in Kosovo, which does not have permanent staff and happens to be without a guard for months. There is no mention of cicero and other conditions so far. At the end of 2016, a part of it was declared an Archaeological Park.

As for permanent protection, until July 2021 – when the Assembly elected the seven members of the KKTK – the Ministry of Culture had no one to propose monuments for permanent protection. For three years this council was non-functional. Since its establishment in 2009, it operated only from 2015 to 2018, in the rest it was never filled with all members.

In October last year - as it usually happens - the List of Cultural Heritage under Temporary Protection was renewed, which had 1683 assets, including movable and spiritual ones. On the 11th that will be added to the Permanent List, there are 1669. The Stone of Easter Mother and the "Panda" bar in Pejë have also been added to the Temporary List this year.