Monument to fallen Serb soldiers in Pristina cemetery returned to its original place

Spomenik srpskim vojnicima
FOTO: Francuska ambasada u Prištini

The monument to Serbian soldiers who died in the Balkans and World War I has been returned to the place where it was located before it was moved, the French embassy confirmed for KoSSev. First reactions to the (re)relocation of the monument have started arriving. While some welcomed the move, others still await for an apology from the French and German embassies in Kosovo.

The new monument to the French soldiers who died in Kosovo, which replaced the one dedicated to Serb soldiers, has now been placed in the spot where the memorial plaque to the fallen Serbian soldiers was recently moved.

The relocation was carried out by the Diocese of Raska and Prizren in cooperation with the French embassy, Diocese confirmed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France understood the importance of this place of suffering of the Serbian people, said lawyer and human rights activist Milan Antonijević.

„We demanded that the reckless decision of France and Germany to move the monument in Pristina to fallen Serbian soldiers from World War I be revoked and the monument returned to its place, above the fallen soldiers, and that has been done,“ he said.

Previously, Antonijević condemned the relocation of the memorial plaque and promoted the petition for it to be returned to its original place.

He added that who is to blame for this is not the moment. “All’s well that ends well,“ he stressed.

The Coordinator of the Working Group for Chapter 35 of the National Convention on the European Union, Dragiša Mijačić, who, together with a group of intellectuals, launched a petition for the return of the monument, also reacted.

„This ugly event ended with the only possible civilized outcome,“ he said.

However, he added that he is still waiting for an apology from the French and German ambassadors in Pristina.

The monument to Serbian soldiers caught the media and public’s attention when a photograph taken at this year’s Armistice Day commemoration, unlike previous years, revealed that the monument was no longer in the same place.

Meanwhile, information emerged that it had been moved aside, the news was first confirmed by the Diocese of Raska-Prizren, which expressed concern but also suspicion that this was a case of rewriting history.

In the meantime, the French and German embassies confirmed in a joint statement that the relocation was carried out at their initiative.

They stated that the ceremony marking Armistice Day was “tarnished by controversy“ in certain media in Kosovo over the presence of this monument.

The controversy, they said, was unworthy of the memory of all soldiers – French, German, and Serbian, who died in World War I, but also of 18 French soldiers who died during their service with KFOR. At the same time, they confirmed that they erected a new memorial to the French members of this NATO mission and that the monument to the Serbian soldiers had been moved a few meters, and that “no body was moved.“

Following an avalanche of criticism and condemnation from the Serbian public, the French embassy in Pristina said that they “will consider the technical possibilities so that all the monuments in the military part of the cemetery are returned to where were they before.”

Read more:

Young Serb intellectuals demand that the foreign ministries of France and Germany return the monument and apologise

Marinković: The ambassadors’ move is a consequence of the Albanians’ urge to erase the historical ties of the Serbs with Kosovo

French Embassy: „We will consider the technical possibilities“ of returning all the monuments to where they were

A petition launched for the monument to fallen WWI Serb soldiers to be returned to its place, ambassadors to apologize

Public letter to the French ambassador

German and French Ambassadors Mark Armistice Day, but where is Monument to Serbian Soldiers?

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