Europa Nostra: Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for positive change and not to use the Decani monastery case for further political divisions

europa nostra
Foto: Europa Nostra

Visoki Decani Monastery has been included in a list as one of the most endangered monuments and heritage sites in Europe in 2021. Kosovo’s recently elected president, Vjosa Osmani, and Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, however, objected to this decision. In a letter they sent to the influential organization for the protection of cultural heritage, Europa Nostra – which placed Visoki Decani on its list – on March 18th, even before the final decision on the list was made, they shared arguments proving why Visoki Decani does not meet the criteria to be included the 7 Most Endangered program. Europa Nostra responded three days ago, informing them that the final decision would be made this week.

The Monastery of Decani is in good condition, it enjoys full constitutional and legal guarantees, as well as complete security, without any danger that threatens it, reads Kurti’s and Osmani’s letter.

„It is one of the monuments that the state and society of Kosovo are proud of, as was the case throughout history, we will continue to protect it with much love and devotion in the future as well“, they stated.

Kurti and the Osmani sent a five-page letter to Europa Nostra, claiming that there were „inconsistent arguments“ in the criteria for nominating Visoki Decani, while listing what they considered to be accurate information and arguments based on official information from Kosovo institutions and relevant international reports.

This week, Europa Nostra CEO Hermann Parzinger sent a letter to Osmani and Kurti. Much shorter in content compared to the their letter, he congratulated them on their election victory, wished Kosovo success on its European path, thanked and welcomed the commitment to the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and informed them that the final decision would follow on April 8th.

Below we provide the full translation of the letter sent by Europa Nostra to KoSSev, while recalling that their goal is to serve as a „catalyst for positive change“, and not to „use this issue for further political divisions“.

First of all, we congratulate you on your recent election, respectively, as President and as Prime Minister of Kosovo. We wish you every success in the exercise of your important responsibilities for the benefit of ensuring a European future for your country and its citizens.

We thank you for your letter dated 18 March which you have addressed to the Board of Europa Nostra and to the Advisory Panel of our 7 Most Endangered programme. We wish to assure you that we have carefully examined your views with regard to theDeçan/Dečani Monastery, which is inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger and has been shortlisted for our 2021 List of 7 Most Endangered sites in Europe.

Please note that this year’s final List of 7 Most Endangered sites in Europe will be announced to the public on 8 April 2021. We wish to recall that by publishing annually such a list, Europa Nostra and our partner, the European Investment Bank Institute, commit to act as catalysts for positive change and future-oriented dialogue of importance for the safeguard of Europe’s endangered heritage.

In the light of the above, we applaud your strong commitment to the safeguard and enhancement of cultural and natural heritage in Kosovo, which forms part of the shared cultural heritage of Europe and the World. We are grateful for your invitation to organise a meeting to discuss ways in which we can develop a future collaboration. We very much hope that it will soon be possible to travel again and to organise a visit to Kosovo. In the meantime, may we suggest that we set up a virtual conference call sometime in the coming weeks.

In the framework of our strong commitment to the proper safeguard of cultural and natural heritage in the Western Balkans, as a vital component of their European path and future, we look very much forward to collaborating with public and private bodies active in the field of cultural heritage in Kosovo, as well as in all other countries of the region.

Read more:

Kurti and Osmani in a letter to Europa Nostra before the final decision on Decani: Churches in Kosovo re not endangered

Visoki Decani listed as one of the 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites in Europe in 2021


Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.