War damage to the cultural heritage in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

Tenth information report

Doc. 7740
24 January 1997

presented by the Committee on Culture and Education


Contents

1. European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM) Cultural Heritage Reports on the situation in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

2. Report on Museums in Republika Srpska with an update on museums in Sarajevo by Helen Walasek (with the assistance of Dr Marian Wenzel) (Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue)


1. EUROPEAN COMMUNITY MONITORING MISSION

Cultural Heritage Reports on the situation in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

For earlier reports see Doc. 7341. What follows are the introductory sections of the 3rd, 4th and 5th reports. The full text and photographs are available from the Secretariat of the Committee on Culture and Education in Strasbourg [tel.: (33) 3 88 41 30 81; Fax (33) 3 88 41 27 97] or ECMM in Zagreb [tel.: (385) 1 611 41 44; Fax: (385) 1 611 77 69}.

Cultural heritage report no 3 — Zagreb 21 July 1995

Chief of Humanitarian Section: Albert Hittmeyer

Point of contact: Antony C.Welch

Preface

1. Since June 1994 ECMM has systematically collected information on the cultural heritage situation in the former Yugoslavia. The verification system was initiated with the assistance of Dr Colin Kaiser, consultant expert for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The information presented is based upon the work of all our teams, who use a check-list drawn up by Dr Kaiser.

2. ECMM is pleased to present the Third Edition of our Cultural Heritage Report containing information gained during the second quarter of 1995. This report contains only information that has been confirmed on the sport by ECMM. However, our database also contains a large amount of information (lists of buildings established by religious and cultural authorities and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, from the media and various publications) that has not been checked by ECMM in the field. Whenever possible we validate this information by personal visits by our Teams. Several examples of verification and updating of information is contained in this edition of our Report.

3. ECMM is the only international body in the former Yugoslavia to attempt to monitor cultural heritage. It is a daunting task, considering the extent of the damage. The operational capabilities of ECMM are not limitless and there are urgent humanitarian matters which must take precedence. The success of cultural heritage monitoring depends, not only on the activity of our teams, but also on the input and co-operation of other authorities and organisations. We also require good information on all types of heritage, which only local authorities can provide. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Unesco have taken an active interest, but we welcome further assistance from national and local cultural authorities and from European and International Organisations. Accordingly, we welcome your comments on this report, and also your help.

ECMM Cultural Heritage Monitoring: June 1994 - July 1995

Introduction

4. The ECMM Cultural Heritage Data Base was set up in the early summer of 1994. To date it contains a total of 910 entries. Of these entries some 273 have now been monitored by ECMM teams, beginning in June 1994 with the joint ECMM/Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former UNPAS North and South. Of these 186 were covered in the first and the second ECMM reports. Since then the teams have steadily monitored on their own, being tasked specifically by the Humanitarian Section (HUMSEC) through the Regional Centres (RCs).

5. The teams have monitored mainly sacral heritage. This is partly because this type of heritage has been singled out for destruction on account of its symbolic importance to the people, but also because identification of specific civil heritage is often difficult. However, as can be seen from this edition of the Report we are spreading our net even wider and now are able to cover such monuments as bridges and commemorative stones.

Summary of Cultural Heritage Report No 3

6. The third edition of the ECMM Cultural Heritage Report contains 91 entries; 15 from Bosnia and Herzegovina and 76 from Croatia. This reflects the difficulties encountered by our teams in Bosnia and Herzegovina in gaining access to cultural sites and monuments due to restriction of movement and the ongoing conflict. In Croatia, although some restriction to movement and combat remain, the Teams enjoy more freedom and have been able to gain more information. Teams carefully monitor the situation in their areas of responsibility (AOR) and, as soon as it is safe to do so, will enter regions heretofore denied to them. The careful reader will note that as areas become less dangerous the incident of reports increases dramatically.

7. Of the 91 entries in this Report four are updates of previous information and ten are verifications of information gleaned from other sources but not examined at first hand by ECMM. The remainder are new entries in our Data Base.

Damage in Bosnia Herzegovina

8. The total of 15 entries can be broken down as follows:

 Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

5

5

3

Museums

 

1

Monuments

 

1

total

 

15

9. The breakdown of damage is recorded as follows:

   

un-damaged

light

heavy

destroyed

Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

0

2

1

2

2

2

0

1

0

3

0

0

museums

 

0

1

0

0

monuments

 

0

0

1

0

 

total

3

7

2

3

Damage in Croatian territory

10. Of the 76 entries for Croatian territory the buildings and sites can be broken down as follows:

 Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

40

24

0

Cemeteries

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

1

3

0

Civil structures

buildings

other

4

4

 

total

76

11. The breakdown of damage is recorded as follows:

   

un-damaged

light

heavy

destroyed

Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

13

2

0

19

15

0

3

6

0

5

1

0

Cemeteries

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

0

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

5

1

0

Civil structures

buildings

other

3

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

 

total

24

37

9

6

Cultural heritage report no 4 — Zagreb 15 February 1996

Chief of Humanitarian Section: Dieter Schaefer

Point of contact: Jan Gallus

ECMM Cultural Heritage Monitoring: June 1994 - December 1995

[ 1 to 3 as in earlier versions ]

Introduction

4. The ECMM Cultural Heritage Data Base was set up in the early summer of 1994. To date it contains a total of 1009 entries. Of these entries some 99 have now been monitored by ECMM teams, beginning in June 1995 with the joint ECMM/Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former UNPAS North and South. Of these 4 were covered in the first, second and third ECMM reports. Since then the teams have steadily monitored on their own, being tasked specifically by the Humanitarian Section (HUMSEC) through the Regional Centres (RCs).

5. The teams have monitored only sacral heritage. This is partly because this type of heritage has been singled out for destruction on account of its symbolic importance to the people, but also because identification of specific civil heritage is often difficult.

Summary of Cultural Heritage Report No 4

6. The Fourth Edition of the ECMM Cultural Heritage Report contains 99 entries, 27 from Bosnia and Herzegovina and 72 from Croatia. This reflects the difficulties encountered by our teams in BiH in gaining access to cultural sites and monuments due to restriction of movement and the conflict not yet finished during the report period. In Croatia there were practically no restrictions of movement and the teams have been able to visit and gain more information. Teams carefully monitored the development of the situation in their areas of responsibility (AOR) and, as soon as it was safe and possible, they visited sites in former "RSK" territory after the HV Operation "Storm" in August 1995.

7. Special attention was given to the Una-Sana Canton in BiH which lies in an areas now taken over by the Federation in BiH. Almost total destruction of Muslim sacral buildings was evident. For example, in the municipality of Sanski Most 29 mosques existed before the war, now all of them are destroyed, some of them are even levelled to the ground and the debris removed. It may be assessed that similar damage was done to Muslim sacral buildings also in other municipalities the former inhabitants had fled.

8. In Croatia, our teams focused on the areas of former UNPA North and South - the so called Krajina. Due to the situation mentioned above they visited the sites primarily in October and November 1995. This area was also monitored by the teams of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Croatia and the Croatian State Agency for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage, shortly after Operation "Storm". Their representatives were mainly interested in the sites of Croatian cultural heritage. Therefore, discrepancies between the different reports may exist.

9. The Committee on Culture and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe considered it necessary to make an independent assessment of the general situation and the actual state of cultural heritage, particularly monasteries and churches, in the former "RSK" territory and asked their consultant expert to visit this area. Mr Hans-Christoph von Imhoff fulfilled this task at the beginning of December 1995 escorted by ECMM. His report is the "Ninth information report" presented by the Committee on Culture and Education of the Council of Europe.

10. Destruction of cultural heritage (churches) varies from area to area. Heritage of Croatian origin suffered the most destruction and there are no differences between sacral and civilian objects. The situation is worse in former Sector North, which was more ethnically Croat, that the former Sector South. Heritage of Serbian origin is in much better condition for the time being. There are no signs of "organised" destruction of sacral objects. But for the future, due to the lack of inhabitants, neglect of site may lead to their destruction.

11. ECMM assessment is that all destruction derives from retaliation, random vandalism, stealing on request and stealing for personal use.

Damage in Bosnia and Herzegovina

12. The total 27 entries can be broken down as follows:

 Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

3

2

22

total

 

27

13. The breakdown of damage is recorded as follows:

   

un-damaged

light

heavy

destroyed

Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

1

0

3

1

2

7

0

0

7

1

0

5

 

total

4

10

7

6

Damage in Croatian territory

14. Of the 72 entries for Croatian territory the buildings and sites can be broken down as follows:

 Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

16

56

 

total

72

15. The breakdown of damage is recorded as follows:

   

un-damaged

light

heavy

destroyed

Sacral buildings

Catholic

Orthodox

Muslim

1

21

4

26

9

4

2

5

 

total

22

30

13

7

Cultural heritage report no 5 — Zagreb 17 December 1996. 156 pages.

Chief of Humanitarian Section: Hans Ewe

Point of contact: Bent Jensen

Preface

1. Since June 1994 ECMM has systematically collected information on the cultural heritage situation in the former Yugoslavia. The verification system was initiated with the assistance of Dr Colin Kaiser, consultant expert for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

2. ECMM is pleased to present the Fifth Edition of our Cultural Heritage Report containing information gained during September and October 1996. This report contains only information that has been confirmed on the sport by ECMM. Specifically this report has been issued to provide IOs, donors, with an easy readable document in the process of reconstruction. Due to the lack of skilled personnel, ECMM does not involve themselves in direct technical assessment concerning the damage of cultural heritage. However, our database also contains a large amount of information (lists of buildings established by religious and cultural authorities and by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, from the media and various publications) that has not been checked by ECMM in the field. Whenever possible we validate this information by personal visits by our Teams.

3. ECMM is the one of the few international bodies in the former Yugoslavia to attempt to monitor cultural heritage. It is a daunting task, considering the extent of the damage. The operational capabilities of ECMM are not unlimited and there are urgent humanitarian matters which must take precedence. The success of cultural heritage monitoring depends, on co-operation with other authorities and organisations. We also require good information on all types of heritage, which only local authorities can provide. The preparation of this report has been supported by the office of the Catholic Bishop, Monsignor Kos, The Djakovo and Sirmium Diocese and the Regional Institution for the Preservation of the Cultural Monuments and Natural Wealth in Vukovar. This last institution was actively involved by assisting locating churches in the Baranja area and Vukovar. We appreciate the assistance of these organisations and individuals for the preparation of this report and invite all addresses to provide comments..

ECMM Cultural Heritage Monitoring: June 1994 - July 1996

Introduction

4. The ECMM Cultural Heritage Data Base was set up in the early summer of 1994. More than a thousand entries are stored and some have already been monitored by ECMM teams, beginning in June 1995 with the joint ECMM/Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe survey. Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former UNPAS, North and South of Croatia have been covered in previous reports. Since then the teams have steadily monitored on their own, being tasked specifically by the Humanitarian Section (HUMSEC) through the Regional Centres (RCs).

5. ECMM in this period have monitored only sacral heritage. This is due to the fact that this type of heritage has often been singled out in this conflict for destruction on account of its symbolic importance to the people, but also because identification of specific other cultural heritage is difficult in most areas.

Summary of Cultural Heritage Report No 5

6. The Fifth Edition of the ECMM Cultural Heritage Report is produced on the results of a survey on churches and contains 151 entries; 123 in the UNTAES area, former UNPA EAST and from 28 from the north east corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina.This reflects the difficulties encountered by ECMM teams in BiH in gaining access to cultural sites and monuments. This is due to the fact that cultural heritage is still considered a sensitive matter in this post-war period.

7. Special attention was given to the areas covered in this report due to the political issues still unresolved there; the UNTAES areas being transferred back to Croatian authority and the Bijeljina area being close to the pending problem around Brcko and the Posavina corridor.

8. In Croatia, ECMM focused on the area of the former UNPA, the UNTAES part of the former so called "RSK". Due to the war damage, some villages are totally destroyed, a number of churches were not to be found and are therefore not included in this report. During the period of the survey, ECMM realised that the official documentation for sacral buildings did not always refer to the churches included in this report. Therefore ECMM is convinced, that the churches/monuments monitored by ECMM during the survey, do not represent the total number of sacral buildings located in these areas before the war.

9. Destruction of cultural heritage and churches varies from area to area. Heritage of Croatian origin suffered the most destruction in the UNTAES region and heritage of Muslim origin suffered the most destruction in the Bijeljina area. The Muslim mosques were often destroyed by vandalism. The remains were moved and the site left as a 'green". Orthodox churches are in better condition for the time being in the UNTAES region and the Bijeljina area. But for the future, lack of maintenance, the ethnic change of population and the neglect of the site may lead to their destruction.

10. The ECMM assessment is that all destruction derives from war activity, retaliation acts, random vandalism and theft.


2. MUSEUMS IN BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA II

A report on museums in Republika Srpska with an update on museums in Sarajevo

by Helen Walasek (with the assistance of Dr Marian Wenzel)

Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue

 

Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of Mission

1.2 Background to Mission

1.3 Funding

1.4 Organization

1.5 Limitations to Mission

2. Museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina (with reference to Republika Srpska)

3. Museums in Republika Srpska during the war

4. Findings

4.1 Damage to and loss of collections/documentation

4.2 Damage to buildings

4.3 Staff

4.4 Lack of materials and equipment

4.5 Conservators and conservation facilities

4.6 Breakdown of professional networks

4.7 Re-establishing contacts with colleagues in the Federation

4.8 Suggested exchanges of art

4.9 Revolutionary and other museums

4.10 Collecting during the war

4.11 Update on museums in Sarajevo

5. Conclusions

6. Recommendations

6.1 Re-building and re-integration

6.2 Practical assistance

6.3 Making contact

7. Reports on individual museums


 

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of Mission

 

As part of the Committee on Culture and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe's (PACE) continued monitoring of the cultural heritage in Bosnia & Herzegovina, the purpose of the mission was to visit and report on the situation of museums in Republika Srpska (RS), completing the assessment of museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina begun by the consultant experts, Helen Walasek and Dr Marian Wenzel of Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue (BHHR), in October 1995.

Walasek and Wenzel also took the opportunity while they were in Sarajevo to revisit a number of the museums featured in their earlier report to see how their situation had improved after one year of peace and to see what assistance they had received during that time.

The consultants also hoped to visit and assess the situation of Franciscan monastery collections in Central Bosnia.

1.2 Background to Mission

In 1995 the Committee on Culture and Education, in consultation with the International Council of Museums (Icom), had asked Walasek and Wenzel to assess the situation of museums in Sarajevo, and, if possible, elsewhere in Bosnia & Herzegovina, as the war was still on at that time. They carried out that mission in October 1995, and in the event, were able to visit 6 museums and art galleries in Sarajevo, and 5 others in Tuzla, Zenica and Mostar. The report of this mission was published as Doc. 7464. The report was also intended to describe the current and future needs of the museums as a basis for any assistance which outside organizations and institutions might wish to give them.

However, as all the museums visited at that time were in the territory of the Federation, BHHR recommended that the museums in Republika Srpska should be the subject of a subsequent mission. In addition, they recommended that the collections belonging to the Franciscan monasteries, which form some of the most significant collections of art objects in the country, should also be visited.

 

1.3 Funding

Travel and subsistence for one person for 10 days and the report fee were paid by PACE. Funding for the expenses of the second member of the mission came from a grant received from the Kress Foundation for that purpose.

 

1.4 Organisation

Initial contacts with the Republika Srpska Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sport in Pale were made from Strasbourg and London, as there are great difficulties in communicating with Republika Srpska from Sarajevo, where there is Council of Europe representation. Dr Wenzel was able to secure the verbal agreement of Minister Rasula for the mission, and a promised appointment so that written permission could be received.

Walasek and Wenzel arrived in Sarajevo on 16 October 1996, but logistical difficulties in procuring the letter of permission from the authorities in Pale and of securing transport meant they were unable to travel into Republika Srpska until 22 October. They completed their mission on their arrival in Mostar on 30 October.

While in Republika Srpska the consultants travelled by bus and train, visiting 9 museums and art galleries in Prijedor, Banja Luka, Doboj, Bijeljina, Zvornik, Foca and Trebinje. The main difficulty encountered was in finding transport across the Inter Entity Boundary Line (IEBL). "Freedom of movement" across the IEBL proved a myth and was confined to vehicles from international agencies and organizations and a limited number of bus routes, principally those organized by UNHCR.

For their assistance in helping us with transport the consultants would like to thank Joe Schroeder and colleagues (IFOR Sarajevo), Gunter Wegner (ECMM Sokolac), Chad Biermann and John Norman (IFOR Mostar) and Gonzalo Vargas Llosa (UNHCR Sarajevo). They would also like to thank Heike Alefsen and Radmijla Stojadinovic of the Council of Europe Sarajevo, Radoslav Unkovic and Branko Belic of the Republika Srpska Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Pale for making sure we got our letter of permission, as did staff at the Overseas Development Administration-International Management Group offices in Sarajevo and Pale (particularly Odran Hayes) and Peggy Hicks at the Office of the High Representative (OHR), Sarajevo. Finally, we would like to thank all the museum staff who welcomed us at their museums and telephoned their colleagues to set up appointments for us.

1.5 Limitations of Mission

Due to limitations of time, the consultants were unable to visit a small number of museums in Republika Srpska. They were also unable to visit the Franciscan monastery collections in Central Bosnia.

2. Museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina (with reference to Republika Srpska)

The majority of publicly-owned museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina were founded after WWII, with the exception of the Zemaljski Muzej in Sarajevo (1888) and the Museum of the Bosnian Krajina (now Museum of the Serbian Republic) in Banja Luka (1930). The Zemaljski Muzej, founded by the Austrian administration as a tool in their economic development of the country, dominated the museum scene. Regional and town museums were frequently founded by the efforts of one person. They often have at their heart collections of documentary and other evidence relating to the WWII period, but have other significant collections such as archaeology (pre-history - frequently very rich, ancient, Roman, medieval), ethnology (which often includes sophisticated work of the Ottoman period), art (usually 19th and 20thC paintings), numismatics and natural history. There were also a number of museums devoted solely to the interpretation of the history of WWII, the Partisans and early Communist era, such as that at Foca, as well as those memorializing specific events and personalities of those times; these small museums frequently fall under the aegis of the larger town or regional museums.

The fluidity of political and administrative structures in Bosnia & Herzegovina resulting from both the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, and the war, has affected museums as it has other public institutions. In Republika Srpska, as in the Federation, some museums are still uncertain to which political authority they will eventually be responsible.

Both entities (Republika Srpska and the Federation) have their own Ministers of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, to whom a number of museums and galleries, deemed "national", are directly responsible. Other institutions fall under the local town or regional administration, although in principle, they are ultimately come under the authority of the Minister of Culture.

The Republika Srpska authorities are currently formulating a law regarding museums which will act as a model for museum provision within the entity, as well as defining how they will be run. They will function as self-managing units, which will fall partially under their local authority and partially under the Minister of Culture.

Museums also have a relationship with the Republika Srpska Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Pale. The Institute, for instance, at the present time is sending questionnaires to museum directors regarding the nomination of sites and monuments which they recommend be listed as National Monuments by the independent Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established according to Annex 8 of the Dayton Agreement, and which is being administered by Unesco.

In terms of modern museum practice, equipment, methods and materials used for preventive and interventive conservation found in museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina is often out-of-date. Documentation, however, apart from its lack of computerization, is of the usual high standard found in museums in the former Yugoslavia, using inventory books and record cards, usually with an accompanying photograph of the artefact. For a description of conservators and conservation facilities see 4.5 and 4.6.

Like most museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina, before the war the museums now in the territory of Republika Srpska carried out a very active programmer of exhibitions, research, ethnographic projects and archaeological excavations. Publication of catalogues and the results of fieldwork was always considered important; museums either had their own journals (Zbornik of the Museum of the Serbian Republic, Tribunia of the Museum of Herzegovina, Trebinje) or published in those of other museums or regional or specialist journals.

Educational programmes with schools were carried out in all museums with varying degrees of innovation. Curators at the Regional Museum in Doboj, for instance, helped local schools to set up their own small museums, displaying ethnographic items, chance finds by schoolchildren, and objects relating to the school.

At present, though museum staff were paid fairly regularly during the war, like other public employees in Republika Srpska, at the time of the consultants' visit they had not been paid for periods ranging from 3 to 5 months.

 

3. Museums in Republika Srpska during the war

As in the Federation, the direct effects of war on museums in Republika Srpska depended on their closeness to the confrontation lines. The Kozara Museum at Prijedor was occupied briefly at the beginning of the war in May 1992 by Bosnian fighters who were trying to capture the police station next door. Considerable damage was done to the interior fittings of the building at that time and staff were trapped inside; later, they were unable to come to the museum for 2 months due to continued fighting in the town. Doboj suffered regular shelling by the Bosnian Army throughout the war. The Regional Museum there was struck twice and badly damaged; nonetheless staff continued to work as best they could. On the other hand, the museum and art gallery at Banja Luka were untouched by direct war action. Most museums suffered periods without electricity during the war.

At the outbreak of fighting there were no co-ordinated plans for the safe-keeping of collections, due to the nature of the war. Some museums, like that at Prijedor, were simply overtaken by events, and could only react later to protect collections. Actions to protect collections differed from museum to museum and depended very much on the local situation and the number of staff remaining. Some museums had well-organized plans to pack, evacuate and store collections in safe depots, while in one instance, displayed collections were left in situ as there was no-one to care for them.

During the war museums have been unable to carry out research or fieldwork. But all have tried to hold at least some exhibitions during the war. The Semeberija Museum in Bijeljina held around 38 exhibitions during the war and successfully attracted sponsorship for a series of catalogues. The Kozara Museum at Prijedor and the Museum of Herzegovina at Trebinje were also particularly active. Many of the loan exhibitions came from institutions in Belgrade.

4. Findings

All the museums visited were asked a standard questionnaire; the questions were the same as those asked of museums in the Federation. Two additional questions were asked. In the context of the Dayton Agreement, it seemed appropriate to ask "would you like to normalize relations with your colleagues in the Federation?". The responses to this question are outlined in 4.7 and 4.8. The second additional question was to enquire whether the museum had actively collected during the war (see 4.10).

4.1 Damage to and loss of collections/documentation

The only case of the destruction of a museum collection encountered by the consultants was at Bileca, where the museum's building was burnt out and its collections destroyed, apart from artefacts in the exterior lapidarium. In Prijedor, a major proportion of the displayed exhibits in the Kozara Museum were destroyed when the museum was occupied during fighting at the beginning of the war. In addition, the director estimates that 40% of exhibits are damaged in some way. The Regional Museum at Doboj suffered some destruction of artefacts when their building was struck by shells, but staff could not give percentages. Items in the ethnographic collections there were damaged by rain when the museum's roof was hit by a shell.

However, as with museums in the Federation, it will probably be found that most damage to collections will have occurred from being exposed to poor environmental conditions, either when artefacts were stored in temporary safe depots, or - as in the case of the Museum of the Serbian Republic in Banja Luka (where there was no fighting) - poor conditions caused by the lack of funds to repair the roof and heating systems or to purchase adequate packing and conservation supplies.

Theft from collections occurred only at Prijedor and Zvornik. The Kozara Museum in Prijedor lost a number of Turkish weapons (10 kubaras, 15 yatagans), as well as 6-7 paintings during the period of the building's occupation. Art books and an encyclopedia were also stolen from the library. The director of the library/museum at Zvornik was unable to specify what had been stolen from the collection: she had no knowledge of the collections before the war and a major portion of the museum documentation was missing. However, from a cursory observation of the display cases by the consultants, it seems likely that the thefts were probably of jewellery and weapons from the ethnographic collections.

Apart from direct war destruction or theft, the pre-war collections of the museums have remained intact. This issue was raised unprompted by museums staff at nearly every institution visited and was not asked by the consultants. Some comments were "we have preserved everything - Serbian, Muslim, Croatian - they are a part of our cultural past and we musn't throw anything away" and "we keep the cultural heritage of all here; as professional people we are obligated to look after the museum's collections". The director of the museum at Foca, which had been a Liberation War Museum, said even though he would never use objects from the pre-war museum's collections, as the ideology had changed, the old collections were completely preserved and if anyone had a use for them he would give them to them.

The only loss/damage to documentation occurred at Zvornik, where most of the museum records are missing, and are probably destroyed.

4.2 Damage to buildings

Apart from the museum at Bileca, whose building was burnt out, the museum to have suffered the worst damage during the war was the Regional Museum at Doboj. There, the museum building was struck by shells on two occasions; at present only 3 ground floor rooms are usable and the museum is unable to function normally. The Museum of Herzegovina at Trebinje was the only other museum building to have suffered shelling: it was hit by one shell early in the war and the damage is now repaired, but still causing some dampness to the exterior wall. The Kozara Museum in Prijedor suffered damage and vandalism to its interior fittings and equipment (particularly in the library) and to exhibition cases and to windows.

Other problems with buildings resulted from the lack of funds to carry out maintenance and repairs rather than war damage. Museums in Banja Luka, Prijedor and Zvornik reported leaking roofs, while broken or only partially functioning central heating systems were reported at Banja Luka, Prijedor, and at both the museum and the art gallery in Bijeljina.

In general, the devastating damage to buildings which occurred to museums in Sarajevo (which has the highest concentration of museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina) or in Mostar, did not take place in Republika Srpska.

4.3 Staff

Although the Museum of the Serbian Republic and the Art Gallery of the Serbian Republic in Banja Luka have maintained their pre-war levels of staff, elsewhere museums have lost staff in varying percentages of up to 60% in one case. In two instances, present staff members had been working in museums now in Federation territory at the beginning of the war.

4.4 Lack of materials and equipment

Except for the Regional Museum at Doboj, whose workshops were destroyed, museums have retained what pre-war equipment they had. These workshops were fairly simply equipped, however, and need updating. Often, elementary types of equipment is lacking: the Museum of Herzegovina, Trebinje, for instance, has no thermohygrographs. Only the museums in Banja Luka and Trebinje have computers: this was the most frequently requested item of equipment.

Lack of funds means that museums are short of the most basic and essential materials for packing, storing and caring for collections.

4.5 Conservators and conservation facilities

Only two of the museums visited had conservators/conservation workshops operating before the outbreak of war. Of these, only the largest and best equipped workshops at the Museums of the Serbian Republic at Banja Luka are still functioning. The conservation workshop at the Regional Museum in Doboj was destroyed and it no longer has a conservator.

The Museum of the Serbian Republic has 5 conservation workshops, including ones for wood, metal and textiles. They are simply equipped, but what equipment they have is relatively new, dating from the 1980s. There are four preparators at the museum, including two for metal and stone (one of whom is about to retire), one for wood and one for textiles and leather.

Before the war the majority of institutions (including the museum in Banja Luka) sent objects needing conservation to the workshops at the Zemaljski Muzej (National Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina) and the Umjetnicka Galerija (Art Museum of Bosnia & Herzegovina), both in Sarajevo. Now all institutions visited said they would send artefacts to workshops at the National Museum in Belgrade; two said they would send objects to Banja Luka.

4.6 Breakdown of professional networks

One of the invisible, but most overreaching effects of the war has been the almost complete breakdown of the professional networks within which museums and their staff operated, on national, regional and international levels. This breakdown has significant functional and psychological implications. Furthermore, on a national and regional level, a community of knowledge has been fragmented whose shattering will have serious consequences for research and scholarship in the region unless relationships are rebuilt.

Before the war, for the majority of institutions, Sarajevo was the hub of their professional network. Objects needing conservation were usually sent to workshops at the Zemaljski Muzej or the Umjetnicka Galerija. A long-serving preparator at the Museum of the Serbian Republic in Banja Luka recalled the "marvellous cooperation" they had from the Zemaljski Muzej at the time of the earthquake which devastated the city in 1969, when the museum building was badly damaged. The Zemaljski Muzej sent staff to Banja Luka and helped to pack the collections, which were taken to the Sarajevo museum for safe-keeping and conservation.

In other contexts, the Zemaljski Muzej was frequently involved in joint archaeological and ethnographic projects, sending their experts to work in the field with local and regional museums, as well as offering other types of support, for instance by distributing supplies of conservation chemicals. The support of the Museums Documentation Centre (MDC) in Zagreb has also disappeared. Among its many activities the MDC also acted a link between museums in the former Yugoslavia and international organizations and professional bodies.

Apart from the good relationships most museums in Republika Srpska appear to have with museums in Serbia (particularly those in Belgrade), contacts with other institutions outside Republica Srpska have ceased and at present, show few signs of being re-established. Whereas museum staff in Sarajevo, at least, are now actively being invited and are travelling to other European museums, the negative perception internationally of Republika Srpska and the near impossibility (at the time of writing this report) of acquiring travel documents, mean that staff in Republika Srpska are still isolated from their wider profession even though the war is over. Even the exchange of journals with other institutions which took place before the war has not revived (except in one instance).

Within Republika Srpska, relations between museums are active, though somewhat hampered by poor communication systems. But connections with their colleagues and institutions now in the Federation were snapped 4 years ago, are non-existent at present, and will be extremely problematic to re-construct unless the political will is there and communications improve.

However, an unforeseen, but possibly the most important outcome of the consultants' visit was it being perhaps a first step towards rebuilding those relationships. That an international organization was taking an interest in their problems was a psychological boost for many museum staff. That one of their visitors was Marian Wenzel, whose work on Bosnian medieval tombstones (stecci) is well-known and highly-respected throughout the former Yugoslavia, and who was able to speak knowledgably about their culture to staff in their own language, added to the impact of the visit.

In addition, Walasek and Wenzel were able to inform museum staff how museums in the Federation had fared during the war and give to them news of colleagues working there, of whom they had heard nothing for 4 years. There was a particular interest in conditions at the Zemaljski Muzej, and surprise was expressed on a number of occasions that so many Serb curators had chosen to stay in Sarajevo and that they were still working at the museum (as at other museums in Sarajevo and elsewhere in the Federation).

4.7 Re-establishing contacts with colleagues in the Federation

All the institutions visited were naturally very keen to make contact with other museums on an international level. In a more sensitive area, however, responses to the question "would you like to make normalize relations with your colleagues in the Federation?" were positive in many ways.

The museum and art gallery staff asked this question all said they would like to re-establish professional relationships with institutions in the Federation. Some were very positive -"We would work with whoever showed good will" was one response. More often, responses were qualified; they ranged from "in respect of preservation of the cultural heritage, certainly (we would like to renew relationships); privately, no" to "yes, we would like to have relations with institutions in the Federation, just as we would, in normal circumstances, have relations with institutions in other countries, like Greece". Another comment was "yes, we would, but at this moment we are concentrating on researching Serbian history".

All declared, however, that re-establishing these relationships would only be possible after a decision taken on a political level by the Republika Srpska authorities. It seems unlikely at present that individual museums would undertake to renew contacts on their own initiative.

4.8 Suggested exchanges of art

In response to the question described in 4.7, the two art gallery directors interviewed made nearly identical responses. Though they replied, in principle, yes, they would like to re-establish contacts with colleagues in the Federation, their major concern was to gain access to the documentation of art galleries in the Federation to see what works they held by Serbian artists, and to ensure that those works were being properly looked after. They both indicated that they would then, through their Ministry of Culture, like to arrange permanent exchanges of works of art, so that their institutions could gain ownership of works of Serbian artists held in Federation museums, and in return would give objects by those artists whose works they no longer wished to hold.

The director of the Art Gallery of the Serbian Republic in Banja Luka made the (false) analogy that this desire to acquire the works of Serbian artists held in the collections of Federation galleries was the same as the desire of the Egyptians or Greeks to see the return of their cultural artefacts (such as the Elgin Marbles) which were held in museums in Western Europe.

4.9 Revolutionary and WWII museums

As in the Federation, the ideology behind museums and museum collections devoted to the Communist Revolution in the former Yugoslavia, WWII and the personalities and events of the Communist era, are at odds with the new political structures. This seems even more pronounced in Republika Srpska. The displays at the museum in Foca, which was almost entirely devoted to the WWII in the Foca area, have been entirely dismantled and its collections stored; the museum awaits its rebirth as a museum devoted to the recent war. In the Museum of the Serbian Republic in Banja Luka, the displays relating to the Tito era remain in place, but are curtained off from public view.

At present, these collections appear to remain intact, but unlikely to be displayed in the future.

4.10 Collecting during the war

The consultants asked all the museums visited in Republika Srpska, and a number in Sarajevo, whether they had added to their collections in any way during the war. None had funds to make purchases. The only exception to this was the Museum of Herzegovina in Mostar, which had been given funds by the local authorities to rebuild its collections after the major destruction and theft of its collections during the war. It was also felt there was much ethnographic material and art works coming onto the open market at that time which should be saved for the museum.

Apart from Mostar, however, museums in general only collected passively; most regarded what they acquired as of little significance. The Semeberija Museum in Bijeljina was given a number of late 19th C. costume and weapons. The Kozara Museum in Prijedor, however, received a major donation of contemporary art from the National Museum in Belgrade, which was on display at the time of the consultants' visit. Similarly, the Museum of the City of Sarajevo was donated paintings by a German artist.

There were some exceptions to this passive collecting. The Regional Museum in Doboj collected archival material and war publications; they also regularly visited buildings which had been damaged by shelling to rescue any old photographs which they found there. The Historical Museum in Sarajevo has also been actively collecting three-dimensional objects from Bosnian Army brigades. This includes Brigade regalia, as well as objects made by soldiers. In addition, staff collected the personal effects of children killed when a shell struck a school in Sarajevo. The museum made a complete and detailed record of this incident, including photographing the classroom after the attack, plotting the locations of furniture and objects in the room, and inventorying all the material collected at the site.

 

4.11 Update on museums in Sarajevo

During their time in Sarajevo the consultants were able to visit the Zemaljski Muzej, the Historical Museum and the Museum of the City of Sarajevo.

There were great improvements in the situation at the Zemaljski Muzej, though there is still much work to be done to the fabric of the building. However, while the consultants were there the repairs of the museum roofs was completed, with funding from Unesco. There is now glass in the windows, and due to the lucky chance that the museum was selected as the site for meeting of the Presidency, parts of the museum (mainly the library) have been painted, carpeted and curtained. Collections have largely been removed from their basement stores and brought to upper levels for inspection and cleaning before being re-stored in their original cupboards.

BHHR, with funding from Unesco and the British Embassy, Sarajevo, delivered 5 dehumidifiers plus a range of moisture and temperature monitoring equipment to the museum in October 1996. Other gifts of equipment have been received from Icom (with EU funding) and from Norwegian museums; these were mainly for caring for the textiles in the Ethnographic collection. The Director of the Swiss National Museum visited Sarajevo and made a further donation of funds to the museum. An appeal to raise funds for the botanic garden is being run through Botanic Gardens International, based in London, while fundraising day for the museum was held by museums in Stockholm, Sweden in November 1996. The Secretary-General of Icom also visited and attended a meeting of the Icom National Committee for Bosnia & Herzegovina. A British conservator, based in Sarajevo with the Territorial Army, is trying to organize short-term visits of conservators to help with specific conservation problems.

At the time of the consultants' visit there was a display of town costumes from Sarajevo in the foyer of the museum. Staff morale is greatly improved. One staff member in the Natural Sciences Department has returned from abroad and the botanic garden has been given more assistance. However, the rest of the Natural Sciences collection still urgently needs assistance.

The Historical Museum has made great progress in repairing the interior of its building, entirely though the efforts of staff, who have done all their own plastering and rewiring. A ground floor section of the building has been leased to a commercial enterprise to use as a showcase for their products in return for refurbishing that part of the building. However, the materials donated by an Austrian firm to repair the roof had still not been delivered to the museum at the time of the consultants' visit.

The Museum of the City of Sarajevo now has more staff, but its position has not greatly improved. It is unlikely that its former main building, the Faculty of Islamic Sciences, will be returned to it and the city authorities have yet to decide on a new building. Meanwhile, it may have to move its collections from where they are stored in the Jewish Museum as the Jewish community would like to restore and re-open the building. It needs a number of wooden storage crates to be constructed to hold the collections for their move. BHHR donated 2,000 DM towards this in the summer, but a further 1,500 DM are needed to complete the job. One of its branch museums, the Svirzina Kuca, an outstanding Ottoman house, needs very little work to make it able to function again and for its collections restored to it. However, on the request of BHHR, a board member of the Art Institute of Dayton was to visit the museum at the time of this report with a view to establishing links with the museum and giving it assistance. BHHR has also drawn attention to the museum's needs to the Cultural Affairs Officer who was recently appointed by IFOR.

5. Conclusions

Although practical assistance with building repairs, equipment, materials and training is highly needed by museums in Republika Srpska, an even more urgent requirement is for them to be re-integrated into the wider museum community, regionally and internationally, and to rebuild relations and to begin working with museums in the Federation; this also holds true for relations between museums in Croat-held and Bosniak-held areas within the Federation.

6. Recommendations

6.1 Re-building and re-integration

To begin this process of rebuilding and re-integration, projects involving direct assistance should, wherever feasible, be nation-wide. Projects should be defined as projects for museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina and should include museums from both entities. Training projects, in particular, should always directly invite staff from museums in both entities to attend. These types of projects are highly desirable, as are others which involve contacts between museum staff on a national basis. The lead of Icom and other international professional bodies in this area would be highly beneficial.

It must be recognized, however, there may be difficulties in attempting to carry out these types of projects (however much individual staff or museums wish to participate) unless the political will is there. Staff from Republika Srpska, for example, may simply not be permitted to participate in a training course taking place in Sarajevo. There are also practical problems: telephone communication between the Federation and Republika Srpska is impossible at present, and inter-entity travel is difficult. It is to be hoped that these difficulties will lessen with time.

6.2 Practical assistance

As with museums in the Federation, the initial emphasis should be in providing assistance in creating good environmental conditions and protection for collections. Dehumidifiers, moisture monitoring equipment, packing materials, storage containers, shelving, racking, cleaning equipment for premises and objects are all needed, as are insect and pest control programmes. Several museums requested assistance with obtaining exhibition cases. However, the most requested piece of equipment was a computer; BHHR is currently developing a project to link museums in Bosnia & Herzegovina by the Internet. Donations of professional journals for the past 4 years would also help staff update their knowledge.

In-country training progammes to update the skills of existing staff and to bring new people into the profession are urgently needed. Staff would also greatly benefit from periods spent abroad, though this will prove difficult until passport problems are solved.

In the longer term, museums in all of Bosnia & Herzegovina will need assistance in such areas as modern museum management techniques, setting up computerized documentation and information systems and developing imaginative educational and interpretative programmes. In this last area particularly, museums are still working within the legacy of not only the Communist era, but of the Austrian period, and unfortunately, may now have to work within the context of a nationalist ideology on all sides. Any moves to work against this trend would be highly desirable.

6.3 Making contact

BHHR has provided telephone and fax numbers for institutions where possible. They are also willing to establish contacts with museums in case of difficulties; for further information contact: Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue, 39-41 North Road, London N7 9DP, England, Tel/fax: ++ 44 171-700-8469. The Republika Srpska Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Pale has been very helpful about getting in touch with museums, but unfortunately, is difficult to get in touch with itself. They could be a very useful first contact in getting permission to carry out projects; contact: Director Radoslav Unkovic, Tel: ++ 381 71 783-292 or ++ 381 76 44-604.

7. Reports on Individual Museums

 

BANJA LUKA

Museum of the Serbian Republic (Muzej Republike Srpske)

D. Danicica 1, Banja Luka Tel: ++ 381 78 47-318/35-486

Formerly the Museum of the Bosnian Krajina, this is the second oldest and largest regional museum in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It has important ethnographic and archaeological collections. Originally based at the castle in Banja Luka, which was badly damaged during the devastating earthquake in 1969, it moved into its present premises in 1980. This is a modern building, not well suited to housing a museum; the museum has a portion of the ground floor (formerly a sports hall) and shares the building with a childrens' theatre and economic enterprises. The museum published its journal, Zbornik, until the war. Though hampered by a leaking roof in the exhibition area, the pre-war displays are still intact. A superb exhibition of ethnographic costumes and textiles from the collection is currently touring Republika Srpska and was seen by the consultants in Bijeljina.

Contact: Vaso Popovic, Director

Informants: Milica Radojcic (History Curator), Lazar Vucic (Preparator), Dragana Sandic (Museum Secretary), Tominka Zubovic (Textile Preparator), Branislav Gasic (Natural History Curator)

Date of foundation: 1930

Political authority: Republika Srpska authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: 1) Main building: Modern concrete and steel-faced building. Former Dom radnicke solidarnosti, Museum shares premises; its portion was a former sports hall. The museum has a part of the ground floor, with mezzanine and 2 basements for storage depots. Approximately 3,000 m2 in total, of which 1,655.75 m2 exhibition space, 518.97 m2 for storage depots. 2) House of ethnomusicologist Vlado Milosevic.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: 1) Main building: Roof leaking in exhibition areas. Heating and air conditioning not functioning. Basement storage areas very damp; floor surface breaking up.

Present staff: 19. Of these, 1 director; curators: 2 history, 1 archaeology, 1 ethnology, 1 natural history (biologist), 1 librarian; preparators: 2 metal/stone, 1 wood, 1 textile, 1 leather; and 1 photographer, 1 documentation officer, 3 cleaners and the remainder administration.

Pre-war staff: 20

Collections (pre-war): 1) Archaeology: around 60,000 artefacts 2) Ethnology: 10,000 objects including the collection of Melanesian artefacts collected by the Trappist monks Mathias Folger and Aloys Bley in the early 20th C. 3) History: 12,500, contemporary 32,000 4) Natural History: 4,000 mainly of local and regional species 5) Library: 5,500 books, 500 journals.

Present location of collections:

in situ: Pre-war displays of ethnology, archaeology, history and natural history, except where objects were removed to protect them from the leaking roof.

stored: In storage depots in basement and sub-basement. The museum had 25 crates packed in readiness for moving during the war, but this was never necessary.

Present location of documentation: in situ

Security of collections: Shared premises, but entrance to basement storage areas well locked.

Loss of collections: None

Damage to collections: Damage caused by excessive damp in storage areas due to failure of regulatory systems.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: In general, artefacts well housed and shelved. Leather, textiles, wood and paper at risk from high humidity levels. Evidence of insect and mouse infestation; preparators told of problems with moth and woodworm.

Urgent requirements: Roof, heating systems to be repaired. Dehumidifiers for storage depots. Freezer for treating insect infestation. Textile preparator requested packing materials, insecticide, preparations for cleaning and protecting leather, washing equipment, turpentine, backing materials, thread, needles. Natural History curator requested: 10 l. formaldehyde and alcohol for wet specimens, Na Al (SO4)2 (1 kilo), arsenic, acetone, glycerine, Movilit (grains). Has no fax machine.

Art Gallery of the Serbian Republic (Galerija Likovnih Umjetnosti Republike Srpske)

Srpskih Junaka 2, Banja Luka Tel: ++ 381 78 34-090/35-194

This gallery of contemporary art was founded in 1971 and moved into its present building, the former Austro-Hungarian period railway station, in 1981. It was a gallery of international standing which held an annual Autumn Salon for artists in the former Yugoslavia and a Biennale which attracted international artists, from which the gallery always purchased two works. The last Biennale was in 1990. The gallery still runs a space from which artists can sell their work; located in a former brewery building, it also has a restaurant and a beer garden. Before the war the gallery held exhibitions of such artists as Hundertwasser, and one of its own exhibitions travelled to Cyprus and Lisbon. During the war they have held exhibitions of artists in Republika Srpska as well as taking travelling exhibitions from Belgrade.

 

Contact: Nikola Galic, Director

Informants: Nikola Galic (Director), Liljana Perduv-Misirlic (Curator), Dragojla Stojakovic (Gallery Secretary)

Date of foundation: 1971

Political authority: Republika Srpska authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: Former Austro-Hungarian railway station (c.1893) of brick and stucco. The building has a one story pavilion between 2 two-storey end blocks. Exhibition space 900 m2, storage 200 m2.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good.

Present staff: 13. Of these, 1 director, 2 art historians. Others include 1 secretary, 1 administrator, 1 sales person for the selling salon, 1 nightwatchman, 3 cleaners and 1 attendant.

Pre-war staff: 13

Collections (pre-war): 1,100 contemporary art works of different media, including, paintings, graphics, sculpture and mixed media.

Present location of collections:

in situ: A portion of the permanent collection is currently on display

stored: Remainder of collection in storage wing. Some works from private collections are also stored there at the request of the owners. During the war the collection was stored in the basement.

present location of documentation: in situ

Security of collections: There is a nightwatchman on the premises.

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: Some works were affected by damp when they were stored in the basement. The acrylics and graphics were particularly affected.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: Paintings stored mainly on sliding racks; some on floor. Graphics in steel cabinets. Some problems with mouse infestation.

Urgent requirements: Ventilators to improve air circulation in storage areas. Replacement spotlights. A computer, fax and photocopier were also requested as well as a good camera to make slides for catalogues.

PRIJEDOR

 

Kozara Museum (Muzej Kozare)

Nikole Pasica, 79101 Prijedor Tel: ++ 381 79 21-334

The Kozara Museum was founded as a museum for the region of the Sana River and the southern Kozara Mountains. It moved into its present building around 1986, the seventh move since its foundation; shortly after the move, it had to give up a considerable area of the ground floor to make space for the local library whose building had been badly affected by severe weather; this necessitated dismantling part of their historical and ethnographic displays. The great strength of its collections are the approximately 400 paintings it holds of the Prijedor school of painters. The second exhibition of paintings held in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1910 was in Prijedor; the first, in Sarajevo, included works by the Prijedor painters Todor Skralic and Pero Popovic. Before the war, the museum had planned to open a lapidarium in the garden behind the museum, as well as to open a geological display of specimens collected by geologists at the Ljubija Mine.

 

Contact: Milenko Radivojac, Director

Informants: Milenko Radivojac (Director), Marija Radakovic (Curator of Ethnology)

Date of foundation: 1953

Political authority: Town of Prijedor

Pre-war buildings, depots: Former Austro-Hungarian period former school (1899) of brick and stucco, with tiled roof. Shares 2 storey building with library which is located on ground floor. Museum has basement storage depot, part of ground floor for offices and first floor exhibition and storage space. Exhibition space 115 m2.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Fair. The design of the roof causes it to leak; the roof beams have split and the director has been told the roof may collapse if there is heavy snow. The central heating has not worked since the beginning of the war.

Present staff: 4. Of these 1 director (archaeologist), 1 ethnology curator, 1 academic painter, 1 technical assistant.

Pre-war staff: 8

Collections (pre-war): 1) Art: 400 paintings of the Prijedor school 2) Archaeology: 900 important exhibits (pre-history - including two 5th C. Celtic-Illyrian helmets, Roman and some medieval) 3) Ethnology: 400 artefacts of the region 4) History: 2,000 documents relating to WWII in the Kozara region, and other associated artefacts.

Present location of collections:

in situ: Contemporary paintings donated by the National Museum, Belgrade

stored: Majority of artefacts stored in basement and attics. Lapidarium objects stored in garage of police station.

Present location of documentation: in situ

Security of collections: Shared building. Not very secure.

Loss of collections: Theft of 15 yatagans, 10 kubaras, 6-7 paintings, encyclopedia, 20 illustrated art books.

Damage to collections: Estimated 40% of collection damaged.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: Not seen by consultants.

Urgent requirements: Repair of roof and central heating. 40 m2 of 5 mm glass. Packing, storage materials. Computer with documentation programme.

DOBOJ

 

Regional Museum (Regionalski Muzej)

Ul. Vidovdanska br. 4, Doboj Tel: ++ 381 74 31-220

Doboj was shelled regularly by the Bosnian Army throughout the war and the Regional Museum was badly damaged. Nevertheless, staff continued to work to protect collections, even carrying out rescues of photographic material from destroyed buildings. Before the war the museum took on some the functions of an Institute for the Protection of Monuments in the Doboj region, and has under its responsibility a number of historic sites which are Doboj Castle, the Dobojski Logor Monuments complex, the Monastery at Ozren, a palaeolithic site and a Roman castrum at the junction of the Rivers Bosna and Usara. This last was on the confrontation line and is believed to be mined. The museum celebrated its 40th anniversary in November and staff hoped to mount an exhibition at that time.

Contact: Dobrila Bijelic, Director

Informants: Milka Cosic (History Curator), Tatjana Spasic (Museum Secretary), Dijana Mitrovic (Assistant)

Date of foundation: 1956

Political authority: Doboj Regional authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: Former cinema (1950s) of brick and stucco. Two storeys plus attic. Space c. 600 m2.

Present buildings, depots: As above. Plus storage depots around Doboj.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Badly damaged by shelling. Only 3 offices on the ground floor usable; they are the only part of the building with electricity and localized heating. Roof struck by shells twice. Windows covered with plastic sheeting. Aftermath of shell damage still apparent on upper floor. Very damp. Parquet floor taken up due to water damage. Conservation and photography workshops destroyed.

Present staff: 4. Of these, 1 director (ethnologist), 1 historian, 2 administrators.

Pre-war staff: 10. Of these, 1 archaeologist, 1 ethnologist, 1 historian, 1 conservator, 1 photographer.

Collections (pre-war): 16,000 inventoried items of archaeology, ethnography, history, photographs.

Present location of collections:

moved: The collections are currently in store at safe depots around Doboj.

Present location of documentation: Stored.

Loss of collections: No thefts. Some part destroyed after shelling.

Damage to collections: Most require conservation work. A part of ethnographic collection was damaged by water after the roof was hit by a shell.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: Not seen by consultants.

Urgent requirements: Building needs urgently to be repaired before all else, then will need to be completely re-equipped.

Doboj Art Gallery (Umjetnicka Galerija)

Doboj Tel: ++ 381 74 41-684/41-225

The consultants were unable to visit this art gallery which holds collections of 20th C. art. We understand that its windows need replacement.

Contact: Radenko Krulj, Director

BIJELJINA

 

Semberija Museum (Muzej Semberija)

Karadjordjeva 1, 76300 Bijeljina

Tel: ++ 381 76 401-293/46-910 Fax: ++ 381 76 471-625

The museum for the Semberija region has been able to remain very active during the war, showing around 38 exhibitions, including one of posters from Warsaw. This last was arranged by the Head of the OSCE Field Office in Bijeljina, who is a Warsaw museum director. They received another museum visitor from the Smithsonian Institution who was also attached to the OSCE. The museum instituted a biennale in 1994 and published a number of well-designed catalogues and publications. It makes some income from the rental of a small pavilion attached to the main building which is rented to a shop.

Contact: Mirko Babic, Director

Informants: Mirko Babic (Director), Zoran Midanovic (History Curator)

Date of foundation: 1970

Political authority: Republika Srpska authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: former building of the Turkish administration (1876), two storey of brick and stucco. Exhibition space 450 m2, remainder 150 m2. The museum is also responsible for 1) The Museum of Red Justice and 2) The Oslobodjenje Memorial House.

Present buildings, depots: As above

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good. However, only 2 radiators of the central heating systems are functioning.

Present staff: 5. Of these 1 director (archaeologist), 1 archaeology, 1 history curator, 1 administrator, 1 cleaner.

Pre-war staff: Unknown.

Collections (pre-war): 1) Archaeology: 500 (pre-history, Roman, medieval) 2) Ethnography: 2,000 artefacts 3) History: 5,000, including over 2,000 photographs 5) Library, over 5,000 books 6) Resic Collection of ceramics 7) Collection of tapestries (20) by Milica Zoric-Colakovic 7) Railway train from the last narrow-gauge railway left in Europe (now defunct).

Present location of collections:

in situ: Portions of ethnographic and history collections, ceramic collection and some tapestries. Railway train in front of Bijeljina station.

stored: Remainder of collections stored on site.

Present location of documentation: in situ

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: None.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: Not seen by consultants

Urgent requirements: Repair to central heating system. Computer.

Milenko Atanackovic Gallery (Galerija Milenko Atanackovic)

Trg Kralja Petra I, 76300 Bijeljina

Tel: ++ 381 76 45-329/46-472 Fax: ++ 381 76 471-625

The art gallery in Bijeljina was extremely active before the war; artists from the former Yugoslavia, as well as international artists were exhibited there. The gallery was twinned with the town of Furth in Germany before the war and still holds an exhibition sent from there in 1991.

Contact: Bozidar Milijasevic, Director

Informant: Bozidar Milijasevic (Director)

Date of foundation: 1985

Political authority: Bijeljina town authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: Half of ground floor, and basement of town administration building, Austro-Hungarian period brick and stucco.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good, but windows leak. Central heating only partially functioning. Toilet doesn't work. Exhibition space and depots 250 m2.

Present staff: 2. Of these, 1 director, 1 cleaner.

Pre-war staff: 3-4

Collections (pre-war): 200 mainly modern works of art, including graphics, oils, sculptures.

Present location of collections:

stored: On gallery premises.

Present location of documentation: in situ

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: None.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: Paintings stored in cramped conditions in office space.

Urgent requirements: Repairs to heating and windows. New light fittings. Computer.

ZVORNIK

 

Zvornik Museum (Muzejska Zbirka Zvornik)

Filipa Kljajica bb, Zvornik Tel: ++ 381 76 584-878

This small museum collection which holds some interesting ethnographic material is suffering from losing much of its space to the library and from the lack of museum-trained staff to care for its collections.

Contact: Natalja Janic, Director

Informant: Natalja Janic (Director of Library/Museum complex)

Date of foundation: c.1978

Political authority: Zvornik town authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: Former Austro-Hungarian period officers' quarters (1910) of brick and stucco, two storey. Shares space with National Library. Museum has part of ground floor, basement and storage space in attic. Total ground floor space 100 m2.

Present buildings, depots: As above, but has lost more space to library which was forced to quit an adjoining building when the radio station expanded.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Dilapidated. Roof leaks, very damp.

Present staff: 6. Of these 1 director, 5 others mainly librarians.

Pre-war staff: Unknown, but 1 director who was historian.

Collections (pre-war): 1) Ethnographic (costumes, jewellery, costumes, weapons), 2) Archaeology: small amount, plus 6 medieval tombstones (stecci) and 1 Roman stone 3) Paintings 4) Geological specimens - very small amount 5) Natural History- very small amount.

Present location of collections:

in situ: Displayed ethnographic, geological and natural history collections. 4 stecci and Roman stone in front of museum. 2 stecci near school.

stored: Remainder of collections.

Present location of documentation: in situ

Security of collections: Poor.

Loss of collections: Theft of displayed collections when museum was broken into when army passed through town. Appears to have been of weapons and jewellery. Some items probably destroyed.

Loss of/damage to documentation: Most of documentation missing, probably destroyed.

Collections assessment: Open display cases, dirty. Other collections stored haphazardly as the library had been used as a polling station during the elections and books had been moved into museum space. Displayed costume in particular need of care. Evidence of mouse and insect infestation.

Urgent requirements: Removal and storing of displayed collections. Repairs to roof. Collections assessment by conservator. Shelving, packing materials, storage containers.

FOCA1

 

Museum of Old Herzegovina (Muzej Stari Hercegovine)

Tel: ++ 381 71 571-135

A former Liberation War Museum, the museum in Foca has been completely dismantled and is awaiting a decision as to whether it will become a museum of the recent war and the Serbian nation.

Contact: Rajko Maric, Director

Informant: Rajko Maric (Director)

Date of foundation: 1956

Political authority: Undecided at time of report. Possibly Republika Srpska authorities.

Pre-war buildings, depots: One first floor room and offices in post-war stucco building shared with library and archives.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good.

Present staff: 1 part-time director.

Pre-war staff: Unknown, but more than at present.

Collections (pre-war):

Present location of collections: All the collections are stored.

Present location of documentation: Stored.

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: None.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: Not seen by consultants.

1 Foca has been renamed Srbinje by the Republika Srpska authorities

TREBINJE

 

Museum of Herzegovina - Trebinje (Muzej Hercegovine - Trebinje)

Stari Grad bb, Trebinje Tel/fax: ++ 381 89 20-220

This very active regional museum moved into its present building in 1985, but its refurbishment has only recently been completed. The director hopes the entire building will be fully occupied with permanent displays in place within 6 months. He has developed extremely good relations with the Ethnographic Museum and the National Museum in Belgrade, who have provided all sorts of assistance, from de-infesting artefacts on a 2 day visit, carrying out conservation work and giving computer programmes for collection documentation to assisting with re-displaying the ethnographic collection. The museum makes some income from the rental of part of the museum premises to a cafe and is generally able to get sponsorship from cafes for events such as exhibition openings.

Contact: Djordjo Odavic, Director

Informant: Djordjo Odavic (Director)

Date of foundation: 1956

Political authority: Herzegovina (RS) Regional authorities

Pre-war buildings, depots: Former Austro-Hungarian period barracks, two storey with large attic, brick and stucco. Over 600 m2 of exhibition space.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good, except for damp in wall where struck by shell.

Present staff: 6. Of these, 1 director (archaeologist), 1 art historian, 1 historian, 1 administrator, 1 cleaner, 1 nightwatchman.

Pre-war staff: 8.

Collections (pre-war): 1) Archaeology: 1,860 objects, the most important being the 14th C. Velicani Glass Beaker (discovered by the then Museum Director, Ljubinka Kojic and BHHR Director, Marian Wenzel), a number of 5th C. Illyrian helmets and Illyrian jewellery, numismatics. 2) Ethnography: 900 artefacts 3) History: 4,580, including documents of the Turkish period. 4) Art: 468 paintings including 150 from the Ducic Collection of art, and archaeology and those from the Memorial Gallery of Antasije Popovic (d.1914).

Present location of collections:

in situ: lapidarium objects in courtyard. These were protected with wood and sandbags during the war.

stored: The collections were all packed, and evacuated to safe depots during the war; they finally returned to the museum in August 1996.

Present location of documentation: In situ

Security of collections: Has nightwatchman. Fire alarm and sprinkler system.

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: None.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: In process of being unpacked and restored to display. Some badly packed. Appropriate objects recently treated for infestation by a team from the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade.

Urgent requirements: Packing materials, display cases.

 

MUSEUMS NOT VISITED BY THE CONSULTANTS

 

Bileca Museum

 

The museum at Bileca was primarily built to display the history of the WWII Bileca Concentration Camp. It had, however, a considerable quantity of ethnographic and archaeological material, including an exterior lapidarium with a large number of Bosnian medieval tombstones (stecci). The museum was burnt out in August 1992 and its collections completely destroyed, except for the monuments in the lapidarium. The consultants were told that the destruction was carried out by local people, but opinion was divided about as to whether they were Muslims, or Serbs who disagreed violently with the ideology represented by the museum. There is, however, an initiative to restore the museum, and an application for funding will be made to the Japanese Grass Roots Fund.

Contact: Djordjo Odavic, Director, Museum of Herzegovina - Trebinje

Informant: Djordjo Odavic (Director, Museum of Herzegovina - Trebinje)

Date of foundation: 1963

 

Jasenovac Museum and Memorial Centre

Tel: ++ 381 79 40-780 (Director's home)

Marian Wenzel of BHHR talked by telephone to the Director of this museum which memorialized the WWII concentration camp there opened by the war-time Ustashe government in Croatia, where some thousands of people (mainly Serbs) were killed. The museum buildings and exhibits were devastated and defaced by local Croats in 1991. The museum is now half in Croatian territory and half in Bosnia & Herzegovina, in north-western Republika Srpska. The director in Republika Srpska is trying to restore the parts of the museum accessible to him.

Contact: Simo Brdar, Director

Informant: Simo Brdar (Director)