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Kosovo: Letter from the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Culture to Europa Nostra at the Deçan Monastery

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of Kosovo, Donika Gervalla-Schwartz and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hajrulla Ceku sent a letter to the Executive President of Europa Nostra after this organization added the medieval Orthodox Monastery to a list of places last month. endangered in Europe, reports Gazeta Express.

In their letter, the Kosovo Ministers say that the Europa Nostra decision was unfair and politically influenced.

“We are convinced that this decision is unfounded, as it does not correspond to the facts on the ground. Moreover, the decision is clearly influenced by politics and is unprecedented in the historical reputation of Nostra, highly valued “, reads the letter sent by two ministers of the Government of Kosovo.

Ministers Gervalla-Schwartz and Ceku have invited the Executive Director of this organization which specializes in the protection of cultural heritage, to visit Kosovo.

“We invite you to visit Kosovo and see closely the condition of the Monastery of Deçan. “During your decision-making process, you have neglected an essential dimension, stakeholder consultation, while considering a biased and unprofessional text from the nominating organization,” the letter reads.

Kosovo leaders last month criticized Europa Nostra’s decision to include the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Decan in a list of the seven most endangered sites in Europe, calling it unnecessary. He also wrote a letter to Europa Nostra about Kosovo civil society organizations, expressing their dissatisfaction with the movement.

The Future of Religious Heritage, the European network of historic places of worship, which is a member of the European Heritage Alliance, nominated the Decani Monastery in the 7 Most Endangered Program 2021.

The Europa Nostra Board, based on the opinion expressed by the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Vulnerable Program, stated: “This is the only monument in Europe under such strong international military protection for a continuous period of 20 years. However, it constitutes a monument of extraordinary historical and cultural importance to Europe and the world, as confirmed by its World Heritage status. As part of the EU enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans, it is urgent and necessary to ensure holistic protection by all stakeholders in this endangered World Heritage Site through full respect for the rule of law and other values. major European. Proper protection and interpretation, communication and education regarding the multicultural and multi-religious heritage in Kosovo are a prerequisite for reconciliation and dialogue leading to lasting peace and prosperity in the wider region. ”

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