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Conflict and Natural Disasters
 
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Church of the Mother of God "Bogorodica Ljeviska" in Prizren (Kosovo and Metochia) in Serbia is devastated in fires.

Why politics and mono-ethnic tendencies are exerting influence on cultural heritage?

Bogorodica Ljeviska (Prizren Cathedral) is foundation of famous Serbian ruler King Stefan Uros II Milutin (1282-1321). Ljeviska is one of the most beautiful examples of medieval five-domed cross-in-square churches. It has been built in 1306-1307 by medieval architect Nicolas and painted by Astrapas. The photograph says it all. There are no more beautiful frescoes of this church which were so unusual for Byzantine world. Everything is erased, just like that.

Step by step, all historical traces are getting invisible.

Please, let's all become conscious that world cultural heritage is disappearing! For religious and cultural tolerance!

With all respect, Jasmina Ciric Student of Art History Belgrade University

P.S. ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS! Isn't it?

Jasmina Ciric
Responses
 
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
A new wave architectural conciousness and appreciation is on way in this century. I totally appreciate your concerns, and the way tolerance has been projected as a concern. I am sure that this forum and people around it shall support your worry to solve the problem of disappearing valuable culture and architecture.
Dushyant Nathwani
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage

Orthodox Seminary of St. Cyrilus and Methodius in flames

Dear Jasmina,

Let me strongly support your appeal.

The masterpiece you mentioned belongs to the list of 25 sacral objects destroyed and damaged in the last few days in Kosovo and Metochia (according to the SUC, USA).

Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear Jasmina,

I would like to ask you for further information, published material and images so that this could be posted to a larger forum of heritage conservation. Please let me know all the details that you want to be posted along with the information (my e mail is T.Mourad@ucl.ac.uk). It is our concern that might keep heritage alive!
Tamima Mourad
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
First photo-documented list of Kosovo and Metochia monuments damaged and destroyed in last couple of days (17-18 March).
The illustration shows the entrance tower of Cathedral of the Holy Virgin of Lyevish (14th century).








St. George Cathedral (1856), Prizren



Burned monastery of the Holy Archangels near Prizren



Burned and damaged by explosive a church of St. Nicholas 14th c.

Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
I wish to thank you all for contributing. I hope that these messages-this kind of appeal would worthwhile.

Greetings,
Jasmina Ciric
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
It is an eye-opener, as well as visually documented efforts of contributors to quastion people who are not concerned and who tolerate such vandalism of important historic places of interest.
Dushyant Nathwani
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
A site documenting the case that provoked this discussion has been launched. Photo-stories related to major destructions are available.
Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Hello,

This is an interesting subject to discuss since there is a lot of destruction around the world. The pictures are from the old city of Nablus in Palestine, which was destroyed during the last two years. You can also find a lot of pictures on the Internet.
Marwa Yousef
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Thanks Marwa for your message.
Let me propose to benefit from the global orientation of ArchNet and establish an interactive map of recent destructions of architectural heritage world wide. Please add the case you know about and upload the map again.

My contribution is the red dot that represents the Kosovo case (linked).


Kosovo, March 2004, contributed by Mirjana Devetakovic
Nablus, 2002, contributed by Marwa Yousef

Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear Mirjana,

I will give you the websites because I don't know how to make it linked on the map.

http://www.shaml.org/ground/
Reports_on_Destruction/nablus.htm

http://www.nablus.org/assessment/intro.html

http://www.jerusalemites.org/news/english/mar2003/1.htm

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/Special%20Section/
Demolition/photos2.htm

http://www.notesfrompalestine.net/photapr2002.htm

If you need anything else, don't hesitate. The map shows Palestine relative to the world.

Marwa Yousef
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear friends,

In spite of spread of knowledge world wide, there are hot-spots where in the name of politics vandalism is practiced to destroy sacred places and erode the culture fabric. Religion is often misinterpreted to justify such act of vandalism. In fact, all religions preach tolerance and good neighbourliness.

Yet, there are numerous examples of violence leading to destruction of cultural and architectural heritage. It is an on-going struggle between good and evil in human beings. Even India is not free of such hatred and violence leading to destruction of mosques, churches and temples.

There is no alternative but to spread the correct understanding of human values, to respect sacred places of all religions to create a societal environment to foster collaboration; share the opportunities and resources; to promote peace and harmony. It is heartening to note that on ArchNet we share these concerns and values. Let us continue to spread the goodness and voice our protest against destruction of vital examples of architectural and cultural heritage.

with warm regards,
Akhtar Chauhan
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
To Prof. Akhtar and the Indian scene, I would like to say that the kind of destruction in India was sporadic not the type put-up by other members and of that magnitude. Second this kind of forum is really doing something concrete to concolidate please go and support the worthy cause. Let me draw attention to the fact the Wailing Wall, a scered Jewish place is coverd by digital camaras from many places and online to keep it available for scrutiny all the time. Great effort to keep the place alive and alert. Modern times have better ways to preserve and protect.
Dushyant Nathwani
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear Marwa,

Thank you for your important contribution. A hotspot linked to the first site you provided is added to the map. I have to ask you three things:

Firstly, please check the position of the hotspot.

Secondly, please decide about a single link you would like me to connect with the hotspot (this might be a time-consuming activity).

And finally, add some more information about yourself, i.e. add some more references to your Member Profile.
Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Let's not forget the Bamayan Buddas destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The seriously troubling aspect of this cultural destruction is not just limited to the built environment. It also comes to play in the destruction of ideas, cultural pluralism, and civil society. It takes generations to re-build the conceptual framework that necessitate these notions. The biggest loser is the "rule of law". With each burning we all lose a little of our humanity.
Shiraz Allibhai
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear Dushyant,

Well, it is always painful to face facts of violence committed in the name of religion and politics. While great PR exercise has been launched to erase the public memory of nationwide violence and killings in the wake of destruction of Babri Masjid and state wide violence and destruction following merciless killing of 55 passengers at Godhra, in Gujarat and Violence in tribal areas of Gujarat and Orissa. Violence and destruction have continued in the valley of Jammu & Kashmir for decades.To term all this violence and destruction as sporadic may appear to be politically correct but the facts are recorded in the world and national press for those care to check.

It is better to face the facts and correct the social, economic and political situation rather than distort the facts, in the style of fascists. But history is a great leveller. Sooner or later, what is relevant will endure and stand the test of time.

Truth prevails after all.

There is God Almighty who is just and merciful, who cares for us all in a balanced way. May peace prevail in India and elsewhere. May we all live in harmony and contribute to conserving the rich heritage of architecture, belonging to different faiths, religions, states and regions. It is our common heritage. May it inspire all of us to create architecture having great values worthy of conservation in future.Amen.

with best wishes,
Akhtar Chauhan
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Thank you Shiraz for mentioning the Bamayan Buddas. Would you like me to add a hotspot to the map of recent destructions? If so, please recommend a Web site to be linked with this hotspot.

This case seems to be very well documented:

The Buddhas of Bamiyan, selected links
Afghan Cultural Heritage Crisis UNESCO
Photos document destruction of Afghan Buddhas, CNN

Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Mono-ethnic tendency is a general problem everywhere. Politics intervene in key areas and is random in such destruction. Heritage management blames people in most the cases. I appreciate the contributors' attempts in this area.

Photographed here is of such a vanishing heritage in a village near New Delhi. It happens to be a palace complex that functioned as hunting lodge for the emperor of Delhi in the 16th century. Village people are almost unaware of these facts and can't build a relationship with it. If not managed, the heritage vanishes within few years, not more than 5-6 years.

We develeoped a GIS interactive directory of Urban Cultural Heritage as a part of management program for historic city of Delhi. Within its various catagories, priorities for conservation intervention can be set according to physical condition & decay, associated values and present context.

Student, Masters in Architectural Conservation, N. Delhi
Ashish Trambadia
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear all,

One good thing in all this is that sometimes, things which were destroyed in conflict are rebuilt back as they were. Here I contribute the picture of the 'new' old bridge in Mostar, perhaps the most famous and most intimidating example of Ottoman architecture in Bosnia & Hercegovina. It was destroyed in the 1990s during the meaningless fights of Croats and Muslims living in Mostar.

However, the bridge has of recently been restored to its old likness, using the technics more-less exactly like those employed by old Trukish builders, and, furhtermore, it was rebuilt by efforts of both Croatian and Muslim engineers and workers.

So perhaps there is some hope for humanity after all. It is of course a problem that by rebuilding we never truly restore what has been lost due to conflict and destruction, we only replace the destroyed heritage with something new that is just a copy. However, it is the very least we can and must do. To paraphrase the words of prof. Bedenko, who taught me the architectural history "If we do not rebuilt in its likness that which has been destroyed, then we quietly acknoweledge the victroy of those who destroyed it in first place."

best regards,
Luka Trkanjec
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
There's a lovely photo-story about the Mostar bridge, published by BBC News. Would you mind Luka if I add this case as another hotspot to the Map of recent destructions, just in different color, because the object has been rebuilt? Please recommend a web site to be linked with this hotspot.

Related links:
UNESCO - Rebuilding of Stari Most and the rehabilitation of the old town of Mostar
Mirjana Devetakovic Radojevic
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Please let me do real PR work. What you see in the picture is the tomb of the famous singer Ustad Fayazkhan of Vadodara state. It was vandalised in the Godhara riots and repaired and brought to glory by the local government.
Dushyant Nathwani
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
The actual cause of such trouble lies in improper acts. As you can see in the picture of a Parsi religious place in Vadodara which had been enchroched by a fanatic person burying somebody one fineday and started constructing the tomb and green flag for worshiping. Real tolerance on the managaments' part.
Dushyant Nathwani
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear Dushyant,

Thanks for your efforts to bring to us the good deeds. Each such act needs to be supported and may it inspire many more to do good deeds. Every improper act needs to be criticized and condemned and care should be taken to check it, no matter what colour of flag is misused. But do you have any statistics about Gujarat, how many sacred places were destroyed? and how many have been restored / rebuilt? I am aware of the efforts of the Government to bring about reconciliation between the communities just as the National Democratic Alliance Govt at the centre is promotig peace initiative between India and Pakistan. I am sure the citizens are critical enough to distinguish good from bad and proper from improper. May we have long lasting peace and harmony between peoples of different faiths. We have only one planet Earth to call it our home! Let us take good care of it!

with best wishes,
Akhtar Chauhan
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
To Prof. Akhtar, my salam allekum. Well, no statistics of Gujarat are available with me, nor am I a government stoog. As a practising architect who happens to have a residence in Vadodara, I keep traveling most of the time yet am able visit Vadodara every 15 days. What you see is photos from my archives taken while traveling, about which I have always been concerned.
Dushyant Nathwani
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Dear Dushyant,

Wa alailekum Assalam. Thanks, Dushyant. I do understand your critical views and stands. You need not worry about misunderstanding your viewpoints. You must be one of those lucky chaps who can keep in touch with homeground so often. I miss my hometown Palitana, which I visit only once a year. I need to visit it more often! I do love Gujarat as much as any part of India!

with best wishes,
Akhtar Chauhan
Tolerance for disappearing of world cultural heritage
Hi,

I realise no-one's posted on here in the past year-and-a-half, but I thhought I would anyway.

I'm researching conflicts over cultural heritage. I was going to conduct my fieldwork in Kosova/Kosovo, but both locals and internationals warned me off, so I'm going to do it in Cyprus and (Kurdistani) Turkey instead.

I'm putting my work, including fieldwork notes and (links to) photo archives, on the web at

  • human rights archaeology.
  • At the moment, there are no photos from either Cyprus or Turkey, but there are photos of cultural heritage sites in Kosovo and some discussion of their treatment. The sites are in Prishtine/Pristina, Prizren/Prizren, Mitrovice/Mitrovica, Gracanica/Gracanica, Decan/Decani, Peje/Pec and Ferizaj/Urosevac.

    Hopefully, we can all achieve some (small) thing (one recent success would be the promise of protection of the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour in Prishtine/Pristina).

    Sam Hardy, University of Sussex
    Sam Hardy
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