Enver Hoxhaj should find the strength to squarely face the truth and to learn the facts from numerous local and international, scientific and professional sources, the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information said in a response to Hoxhaj’s statement that „Serbia is manipulating with facts by appropriating church objects as its own.“
Serbia’s obsession with falsifying history is the cause of multiple wars and conflicts in the Balkans, and Kosovo’s religious and cultural heritage belongs to Kosovo citizens – the former Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj said, responding to the news that the Serbian Minister of Culture, Vladan Vukosavljevic handed a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio in Belgrade addressed to the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi regarding the recent mass served by Albanian bishops at the remains of the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church at Novo Brdo.
Furthermore, Hoxhaj referred to the “appropriation” of the church in Novi Brdo as Serbian as “ridiculous.”
„Churches, mosques, other objects of Kosovo’s cultural, historical and religious heritage belong to Kosovo and its citizens! The politicization of culture, science, history is a ridiculous and absurd game that Serbia is playing! Kosovo is a fact,“ he claimed.
This is the second time that the Orthodox Church in Novo Brdo came into the focus of the Serbian public in Kosovo for its presentation as Catholic heritage.
Meanwhile, the Association of Kosovo Historians ‘Ali Hadri’ claimed that Visoki Decani is “an Albanian Orthodox monastery.”
“It is not true that the Decani Monastery belongs to the Serbian Church, as the Decani Monastery is a religious temple of Orthodox Albanians,” they claimed, adding that the monastery was “usurped by Serbian occupiers – since medieval times.”
The Ministry wrote in a statement that the book “The Church of St. Nicholas—the Cathedral of Novo Brdo” by prominent archeologists Marko Popovic and Igor Bjelic (who were hired as advisers on the UNESCO project) shows the results of research conducted in 2015 and 2016 at this site when the origin and the style of that temple were clearly verified.
„We will repeat what other authoritative historical and professional findings claim, namely, the fact that these are the remains of the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Novo Brdo,“ the ministry underlined.
They also sent a message to the Pristina authorities that they should „deal with the research, definition and affirmation of Albania’s tangible cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija“, adding that they „wish them every success in this challenging endeavor“.
The Ministry of Culture also wrote that the Pristina authorities „showed their view, in addition to numerous other devastating moves, of Serbian cultural heritage back in 2004.“
„The Ministry of Culture and Information is in a dilemma whether to invite Hoxhaj to refrain from uttering nonsense and lies, or to encourage him to continue, in order to make the world aware of aggressive attempts to seize Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija by the so-called Pristina authorities. We leave Hoxhaj to choose one of these two perspectives,” the ministry concluded.
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