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

Doc. 7464

19 January 1996

Ninth information report

presented by the Committee on Culture and Education


1. Introduction by Mr Lopez Henares (Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Architectural and Artistic Heritage)

2. Museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the present war by Helen Walasek and Dr Marian Wenzel (BHHR) with supplementary reporting by Robert Child (National Museum of Wales)

3. Report on a fact-finding mission in December 1995 to Zagreb and former UNPA Sectors North and South in Croatia by Hans-Christoph von Imhoff (consultant expert)


by Mr Lopez Henares

Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Architectural and Artistic Heritage

In the course of 1995 three fact-finding missions were sponsored by the Parliamentary Assembly on the situation of the cultural heritage in areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia affected by the conflict. That relating to the museum collections from Vukovar was reproduced in the 7th information report (Doc 7308); more recent missions on museums in Bosnia and on the former UNPA Sectors North and South (the "Krajina") in Croatia are included in the present report.

These reports have been discussed by the Committee on Culture and Education (and its Sub-Committee on the Architectural and Artistic Heritage) together with representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations concerned with this field. No position has been taken on the technical recommendations, as these are in principle addressed to the professional institutions and relevant local authorities.

Certain more general conclusions can however be formulated.

First is the need for the cultural dimension to figure in any reconstruction planning. This was stated by the Assembly in Resolution 1066 adopted last September.

Damage to buildings is evidently more important than to museum collections. In determining priorities in reconstruction it is necessary to take account of the greatly reduced heritage sector that the recovering economies of the area may be able to sustain.

It is important to reiterate the need for concertation between the international bodies concerned with the cultural sector (whether governmental or non-governmental). If possible an overall strategy should be defined to which multilateral and bilateral programmes can relate. The Assembly has established close working relations with the International Council of Museums and the European Community Monitoring Mission. We would welcome in particular closer cooperation on the intergovernmental level between the Council of Europe, Unesco and the European Union.

The international effort must be of course linked to the local reconstruction programmes and to the considerable work on damage assessment carried out by the Croatian and Bosnian institutes. The survey that the ECMM is systematically establishing must also be taken into account. To a certain extent therefore much of what has been done here as fact-finding for the Assembly can be seen as corroboration for these other more substantial studies.

Certain areas remain to be considered, such as the parts of Bosnia still controlled by Serbs and also the general situation in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), in particular Vojvodina and Kosovo. The Assembly may be able to continue its monitoring in these areas.


by Helen Walasek and Dr Marian Wenzel, Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue

with R E Child, Head of Conservation at the National Museum of Wales


1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of mission

1.2 Background to mission and funding

1.3 Organisation

1.4 Limitations to mission

2. Museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina

3. Museums in War

4. Findings

4.1 Damage to and loss of collections/documentation

4.2 Damage to and loss of buildings

4.3 Dispossession of museum buildings

4.4 Lack of staff

4.5 Lack of materials and equipment

4.6 Lack of conservators and conservation facilities

4.7 Security of collections

4.8 The future of Revolutionary and other museums

4.9 Unresolved ownership problems

5. Conclusions and recommendations

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Improving the status of museums

5.3 Lack of conservators and conservation facilities

5.4 Short-term assistance

5.5 Long-term assistance

5.6 How individual institutions can help

5.7 Making contact

6. Reports on individual museums






A. Report by R E Child on the Zemaljski Muzej

B. Report by R E Child on the Museum of the City of Sarajevo

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of Mission

This joint Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue (BHHR)-Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) mission had two primary purposes. The first was that the PACE, in association with the International Council of Museums (Icom) wished to discover the situation of museums in Sarajevo (and, if possible, elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina) and to report on their current and future needs as a basis for any assistance which outside organisations and institutions might wish to give them.

The second purpose of the mission was for BHHR to implement its long-proposed plan of taking collections management expert Robert Child, Head of Conservation at the National Museum of Wales, to assess the conditions of the collections at the National Museum of Bosnia Herzegovina (Zemaljski Muzej) in Sarajevo. His report was intended both to inform the museum director and curators of the state of their collections after 3 years of war and to provide a basis for material assistance to the museum. At the request of BHHR and the Open Society Fund BH (OSF-BH), Mr Child was also asked to assess the training needs of the museum with the aim of devising a training programme.

BHHR also wished to show in their report, however, how museums coped with the realities of war in the "new world order", particularly in light of the current re-assessment of the Hague Convention. They also hoped that a description of the problems faced by museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a result of the change in political and ideological structures as result of the break-up of the former Yugoslavia might illuminate similar problems faced by museums in other regions.

1.2 Background to Mission and Funding

The PACE mission and report was planned after the appearance of Dr Enver Imamovic, Director of the Zemaljski Muzej, at the 18th Icom General Assembly, held in Stavanger in July 95. Until then, unfortunately, there had been very little interest (with a few exceptions) in the museum community and in other organisations dealing with the protection of physical cultural heritage in the plight of museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The PACE asked BHHR consultant experts, Helen Walasek and Dr Marian Wenzel, to undertake this mission and report on their behalf.

BHHR had planned since 1994 to take in an expert in the care of museum collections to assess the collections at the Zemaljski Muzej. After some difficulty in locating someone who was willing to go to Sarajevo, Robert Child volunteered in March 95 to go with BHHR on an expenses-only basis. The war situation did not allow Mr Child to make this visit until October 95.

The airfares, 10 days expenses for Dr Wenzel and report fee were paid by the PACE. The airfares and Sarajevo expenses of Robert Child were paid for by the Open Society Fund BH, while his expenses in Zagreb were paid by the British Council, Croatia.

1.3 Organisation

The short time between the decision by the PACE to fund this report and their requested completion date and the need to fit in with Robert Child's prior commitments, meant that much of this mission was organised by BHHR on the spot. The consultants travelled from Zagreb to Sarajevo on 7 October 1995. Robert Child returned 12 October, while BHHR staff returned 28 October. BHHR received assistance and advice from (among many others) Dr Sejdalije Mustafic, General Secretary to the Presidency, staff at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, municipal and cantonal authorities in Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla and Mostar, UNHCR Zagreb and Sarajevo, the British Embassy and the Overseas Development Administration-Emergency Engineering Unit (ODA-EEU), Sarajevo and the Open Society Fund BH.

1.4 Limitations of Mission

Time and funding restrictions meant that BHHR was only able to visit 11 publicly-owned museums, all in territory held by the Bosnian Government or Federation. BHHR would like in future to visit other museums, including those in territory held at this time by the Republika Srbska. They would also like to make assessments of important Franciscan monastery collections in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2. Museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina

With the exception of the Zemaljski Muzej (1888) and the Narodni Muzej in Banja Luka (1930), all other publicly-owned museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina were founded after WW II. The Zemaljski Muzej, founded by the Austrian administration as a tool in their economic development of the country, dominates the museum scene. Regional and local museums frequently have at their heart collections of documentary and other evidence relating to the Partisan 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 20th century paintings), numismatics and natural history. There were also a number of museums devoted solely to the interpretation of the history of the Partisan and early Communist era, such as those at Jablanica and Jajce, and their parent institution, the Museum of the Revolution in Sarajevo (now the Historical Museum).

Museums can fall under a number of different political authorities ranging from the Republic to district, cantonal or municipal governments. The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic maintains overall authority for museum policy. Education, Science and Culture is to become a responsibility of the Federation Government; its ministry will be based in Mostar, according to the Dayton Agreement. The transition from communist rule and political problems arising from the war have caused uncertainty as to which authority some museums are accountable. The director of the Museum of Herzegovina in Mostar told BHHR that for 5 or 6 months they fell under the authority of the town, then the okrug (district) and now he understood they may fall under the Republic.

In some cases museums complain of poor relationships with their political masters ranging from lack of support and indifference, lack of understanding about what they are doing, to outright obstructiveness and political interference. These complaints could be voiced by publicly-owned museums around the world. However, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, these problems are exacerbated by the war situation where the concern of authorities is inevitably focused on urgent humanitarian and defense problems and the needs of museums are seen as having a low priority.

Nonetheless, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina has passed a law concerning museum provision, (BiH13/1993/20/3), which among other issues, dictates the types of spaces and facilities a museum should have, which are: 1) Exhibition space or permanent and temporary exhibitions 2) Storage space for systematic collections 3) conservation workshop 4) Space for lectures and groups 5) Workspace for experts 6) A scientific library.

All the museums visited by the consultants, including the Zemaljski Muzej, were poorly equipped before the war in terms of modern museum practice, and now, much of what they did possess is damaged or destroyed. None of the museums visited operated computerised information systems before the war. Only the Gallery of International Portraits in Tuzla owns a computer (given by the OSF-BH for the use of all cultural groups in the city). However, documentation was of a high level, with standard record cards used in all museums. Conservation facilities outside Sarajevo, where there were conservation workshops at the Zemaljski Muzej, the Art Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts, were generally poor or non-existent. The Academy ran training courses on paper and painting conservation. When conservation was required, a conservator was sent from Sarajevo, or work was carried out in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Ljubljana or Zagreb.

Before the war, all the museums visited carried out active programmes of exhibitions, research, publication, and symposia. During the war, most have tried to continue to hold at least some exhibitions. During the time of BHHR's visit there were exhibitions being held at the Art Museum, the Museum of East Bosnia and the Gallery of International Portraits, Tuzla. The Zemaljksi Muzej, the Historical Museum and the Museum of the XIV Winter Olympics have all held exhibitions in other premises during the war, where their own buildings were too either damaged or dangerous to visit, or were destroyed.

3. Museums in War

"We had no idea what it would be like"

These findings are based on the experiences of museums in Sarajevo and related to BHHR over several missions. In the pre-war period, as early as 1991 (war broke out 5 April 1992), staff at some museums felt that collections would need to be protected. The Zemaljski Muzej asked the Ministry of Culture to provide them with packing materials and storage containers. These were never forthcoming, and BHHR was told that it was never clear whether this was because there were no funds, or because it suited the political purposes of those who where in power at the time. Nevertheless, basement depots were prepared, cleaned and some collections moved there. In October 1991, Enver Imamovic (now Director of the Zemaljski Muzej, then an archaeology professor) wrote an open letter to cultural institutions urging them to protect their collections, but felt he met with little response. Two or three months before war broke out, the director of the Museum of the XIV Winter Olympics began to store his collections in metal cupboards in the basement of the museum; he gave the excuse that he was doing so because the museum needed painting, and by this expedient saved his collections. It is clear that it was extremely difficult to take overt action in this period to protect collections, when many of those in power (and some colleagues) were shortly to become the enemy (see PACE Doc 6999, No. 2 p.60, regarding this).

This problem is vividly illustrated by the account of the protection of the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, property of the Zemaljski Muzej. The obvious place for the Haggadah to be deposited was the vault of the National Bank, where it had stayed throughout WW II; however, no-one could predict who would hold the bank. A decision was made by the then director and senior staff to keep the Haggadah at the museum. It was removed from the safe in the director's office (and replaced with a facsimile) and hidden in a small safe in the museum library basement. Later, when fierce fighting broke out around the museum, the Haggadah was rescued from the safe and eventually deposited at the bank.

On 14 May 1992, a Commission for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of the City was founded, which formed teams of volunteers who rescued and stored a large amount of the moveable heritage of the city, including collections from the Museum of the City of Sarajevo and some material from the Zemaljski Muzej. Nevertheless, most of the collections of the Zemaljski Muzej, and those of other museums and galleries, remained in their respective buildings. Objects were removed from display cases, packed and moved to safer locations within the building. All museums in Sarajevo displayed Unesco flags sent to them by the Museum Documentation Centre, Zagreb; unfortunately, these provided no protection. Evidence suggests some museums were deliberately targeted. In the early period of the war, until it was provided with military guards, at least 4 staff members slept at the Zemaljski Muzej; one of the conservators still slept there until recently.

It was not until autumn 1994, when the war worsened and there was an assumed threat of rocket attacks, that most collections at the Zemaljski Muzej were moved to basement stores. Now, the dilemma of curators was whether to put collections in safe, but very damp stores, or keep them above ground in environmentally better, but potentially dangerous conditions. It was further found that sandbagging basement windows totally cut off any air circulation, increasing humidity levels (see Appendix A). The Keeper of Natural Sciences resisted strong pressure to move all his collections below ground, believing their chances of survival were better in remaining in situ. In the case of ornithological and zoological collections there was simply no space to put them in the basement. During this time the Army provided some packing materials and sand for sandbags and 40 people from the Army and Civilian Protection Forces assisted staff with the packing and evacuation of artefacts to basement stores. Packing of the collections was carried out in freezing winter conditions with no heating or electricity.

A large area of the roofs of the Natural Sciences and Archaeology pavilions at the Zemaljski Muzej were glazed. Once shattered, these remained unrepaired for 2 1/2 years, due to a combination of the extreme danger to workers from sniper fire (though UNPROFOR tried unsuccessfully to broker a temporary cease fire), problems with contractors and a lack of funds. Museum staff devised huge chutes of plastic sheeting to drain rain and snow out of windows, or into containers. In summer 1995, using funds raised by the Swiss National Museum the roofs from the inside. Whether these will last through heavy winter snows remains to be seen.

Descriptions of actions taken in war must take into account the extreme psychological trauma suffered. People were living and working under continual shelling and sniper fire. There was no water, lighting or heat in museum buildings, whose roofs and windows were shattered. Many lost close relatives, most of their associates had left. And there was the additional factor that those who were attacking them were in many cases friends, neighbours and former colleagues. Indeed, staff at the Zemaljski Muzej and Historical Museum are convinced that one of their colleagues directs snipers on the Bosnian Serb side, and believe this is why none of them has ever been hit by a sniper's bullet, though many other people have been wounded or killed near the museums. Maintenance of a semblance of normality was also important; for this reason some lapidarium objects at the Zemalsjki Muzej were left unprotected, so that there was at least one exhibition still on view.

4. Findings

4.1 Damage to and loss of collections/documentation

Damage to or destruction of collections by direct war action was surprisingly slight. The worst damage and destruction encountered was at the Museum of Herzegovina, Mostar, where the archaeological store is buried under a destroyed building, and where collections in the Cejvan Cehajin Mosque were destroyed. In the Historical Museum, Sarajevo, approximately 4% of the paintings collection has suffered shrapnel damage, while around 4% of three-dimensional objects, 0.21% of archival material, 1% of the library and just over 5% of the documentation centre are damaged. The Zemaljski Muzej, situated like the Historical Museum, directly on the confrontation line, has experienced relatively little damage to collections, mainly to artefacts left in situ, such as the Ottoman period panelled rooms in the Ethnology pavilion (minor bullet and shrapnel damage). In the Natural Sciences pavilion, exhibited specimens of Apidae, Colydiidae, Acrididae and Nolidae were either destroyed or damaged by sniper fire. The director of the Museum of the XIV Winter Olympics estimates that perhaps 10% of his collection was destroyed.

Perhaps more serious was the loss of collections by theft: 40 icons, 2 Hodler paintings and Islamic manuscripts from the Art Museum, Sarajevo, while a collection of gold and silver Roman jewellery was taken from the Museum of East Bosnia, Tuzla. Serious theft of collections occurred from the Museum of Herzegovina, Mostar, where according to varying accounts, all the weapons collection, all the numismatic collection and all of jewellery from the ethnographic collection as well as the most important ethnographic artefacts were taken. Some of the jewellery was later recovered and is being held by the Museum of Herceg-Bosna. Also stolen from the museum safe were the museum's most valuable artefacts, a group of Early Christian reliquaries. The theft of about 10 weapons occurred at the Historical Museum, where over 200 objects were damaged in a break-in with attempt to steal. It will be difficult to determine the exact extent of loss until surviving collections are checked against inventories.

It will probably be found that more damage and loss has been suffered by collections simply by being moved during evacuation to storage depots, because of the inevitably poor environmental conditions in which they are stored (most notably, high levels of humidity) and from the lack of packing materials, storage containers and shelving, and being poorly stored. In particular, it seems likely that natural history collections will have survived the least well because of the extreme fragility of many of the specimens and their susceptibility to adverse environmental conditions. However the report of Robert Child (Appendices A & B) on the collections at the Zemaljski Muzej and the Museum of the City of Sarajevo, shows that collections have, in fact, survived remarkably well so far.

Documentation has survived well, with only the Art Museum in Sarajevo reporting serious loss or damage by war actions.

4.2 Damage to and loss of buildings

Of all the museums and galleries visited in Sarajevo, only 2 buildings were completely unusable or destroyed due to war damage: the Museum of the XIV Olympic Winter Games and the Museum of the Sarajevo Assassination (part of the City Museum, Sarajevo). Others, however, suffered serious damage which had implications for the state of the collections, which in the majority of cases are stored on site. Damage to buildings made it extremely difficult for museums to operate due to the loss of workshops, administration offices and other facilities. Frequently infrastructure was completely destroyed, though most now have some localised electricity, water and gas. All, however, continued to operate as best they could. Repairs are temporary due to the lack of funds, the difficulty in procuring materials and the danger from shelling and sniper fire to workers repairing damage. Frequently repairs were carried out only to be damaged by further shelling. Once again, the situation was worst in Mostar: of 6 buildings formerly occupied by the Museum of Herzegovina, only two were not seriously damaged. Elsewhere, destruction and damage to museum buildings had not occurred. However, unoccupied and unguarded buildings frequently suffered from vandalism, usually in attempts to remove fixtures and fittings.

4.3 Dispossession of museum buildings

A significant problem which came to BHHR's attention were the extreme difficulties being caused to museums by being dispossessed of one or more museum buildings. This was almost entirely as a result of the change in political structures at the end of Communist rule when the restitution of property to its original owners was carried out. In nearly every case (the City Museum Sarajevo, the City Museum Zenica, the Museum of Herzegovina, Mostar) museums had been lodged in buildings which belonged to the Islamic community in the pre-Communist era. The Museum of East Bosnia, Tuzla was removed from a building belonging to the Croatian community and was compelled to give up half of its storage space (itself in a primary school) to the Islamic community administration.

The result of this loss of buildings is that collections from 2 or 3 buildings are stored in cramped conditions in one, thus eliminating exhibition space (Zenica), with museums frequently losing their main administrative and operational centres (Sarajevo,Mostar).

4.4 Lack of staff

All the museums suffered from a severe lack of staff, particularly of trained curators and preparators/conservators. Many staff have left the country, while the younger men are in the army. Some have been killed or are ill. Others have gone to the Serb side. Frequently staff who remain are too physically unfit to work actively at the museum. Of those who remain, many are nearing retirement age. It is unlikely that a high proportion of those who have left will return to museums. It is worth noting that those staff who BHHR encountered were multi-ethnic, of all nationalities.

4.5 Lack of materials and equipment

War damage and destruction of equipment, lack of funds, the frequent impossibility of obtaining suitable materials and equipment locally, and at the worst of the war, the loss of supplies being sent to museums, means that all museums visited suffered from the lack of the most basic working tools, equipment and materials. Where they had survived, equipment and tools were frequently very antiquated. Particularly problematic was the lack of proper packing materials and storage cases, shelving and cleaning tools and equipment. As well, preservation chemicals and alcohol are urgently needed as are insect and pest control measures. Some materials have got through: conservation supplies for the Zemaljski Muzej purchased by BHHR on contract with Unesco, began to reach the museum in October 95.

4.6 Lack of conservators and conservation facilities

There was an almost total absence of conservators (except at the Zemaljski Muzej) and a complete lack of functioning, equipped, conservation facilities.

4.7 Security of collections

In Sarajevo all depots/buildings have permanent militia or police guards. Those in the Zemaljski Muzej patrol the building regularly and recently put out a fire which began when a sniper's bullet struck a display of Apidae in the Natural Sciences pavilion. However, the militia themselves are careless with cigarettes. Some are not regarded as particularly trustworthy.

The Zemaljski Muzej recently improved its security by installing steel door and window grilles on basement stores. But in general security is poor. Alarm systems do not exist (or if they did, do not function) and windows are frequently broken or only covered by plastic sheeting. Both institutions visited in Tuzla shared storage space with other organisations.

4.8 The future of Revolutionary and other museums

"What do you do with a museum which no longer serves any purpose?"

One noteworthy problem which emerged was the future of museums whose cultural raison d'etre has disappeared and whose method of interpretation are at severe odds with the new political and social structures. In the main, these are museum which focus on the exploits of the Partisan and Communist era in the former Yugoslavia. Often they are in purpose-built modern buildings and had much money lavished on their displays and facilities.

The former Museum of the Revolution in Sarajevo is trying to redefine itself as the Historical Museum of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Staff feel there will be a need after the war to research the history of the country from the arrival of the Slavs to the present and that no other museum fulfils this purpose. The Historical Museum always did in fact cover the history of the country from the Austrian period. The eventual fate of its smaller outposts such the Museum of the Battle of the Wounded on the Neretva at Jablanica, which is currently being used as a prison, remains to be seen.

Another museum which will never be restored to its original form, perhaps not even returned to its former building, is the Museum of the Sarajevo Assassination (formerly the Museum of "Mlada Bosna" and Gavrilo Princip) in Sarajevo. The exhibitions of this museum (presently in store) are now regarded as too pro-Serb in their presentation. Opinions varied as to where its collections would eventually be displayed, though one source felt they might return to their original location at the spot where Princip fired the fatal shot at Franz Ferdinand.

However, all those with whom BHHR discussed this issue felt that it was important that this material continued to be displayed in some form.

4.9 Unresolved ownership problems

Two instances of unresolved ownership of collections were encountered in institutions visited by BHHR. The first concerned the Gallery of International Portraits in Tuzla which holds a rich collection of modern paintings, drawings and graphics. The gallery was formerly the Portrait Gallery of all Yugoslavia, and the issue of ownership of its assets may well arise in the future. Its documentation is said to be in Belgrade. Because of this background it is unclear at present to which political authority the gallery is accountable and this is causing uncertainty in its relationship with the cantonal government. The second was the status of artefacts from the Museum of Herzegovina, Mostar which are now in the possession of the Museum of Herceg-Bosna, Mostar, who regard them as theirs.

The question of ownership of assets and information has also relevance in the case of the Museums Documentation Centre (MDC) in Zagreb, which operates solely in respect of Croatian museums. The MDC was previously documentation centre for all former Yugoslavia, and as such may hold records of museums of all the Republics, including Bosnia-Herzegovina. The status of these records and their future use needs clarification.

5. Conclusions and recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This report was finished as the peace agreement was signed in Dayton, Ohio on November 1995. It should now be easier to help museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina. However it was possible to help during the war, and much, much, more should have been done by the international museum community to help museums protect their collections. Small scale efforts frequently work as well as larger ones (and sometimes better). With ingenuity and persistence, supplies do get through, even if they are sometimes lost, and vital morale-boosting links are maintained with the outside world. Museums have perhaps been worst-assisted by their fellow professionals outside Bosnia of all cultural institutions in the country during the war - musicians, artists and academics have all received support.

5.2 Improving the status of museums

Support needs to be given to museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina to improve their status. Representation at Icom, agreed at the 18th General Assembly, has still not been implemented. This should be done as soon as possible, and country representation encouraged on other international bodies such as ICCROM. Museum staff should be encouraged and invited to attend international conferences to bring them into contact with other museum professionals. Museums in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be encouraged to act in concert and helped to present themselves to their government as a part of the educational and scientific, as well as the cultural, system of the country, and to be included in relevant policies and programmes. They should be helped to demonstrate positively what they can offer their country in its post-war reconstruction, for example, by presenting the industrial and commercial potential of the Natural Sciences Department of the Zemaljski Muzej, or the use of museum collections in educating schoolchildren in multi-cultural programmes.

The museum profession in Bosnia-Herzegovina is decimated, and in need of revitalisation; it has been isolated from the outside world and within the country, due to the difficulties of communication and transport. Re-establishment of professional contacts within and without the country are essential. Art galleries have been somewhat more successful in maintaining links with the outside world- chiefly, it appears, as a result of the initiatives of foreign artists and private gallery owners.

5.3 Lack of conservators and conservation facilities

Any plans for assistance should take into account 4.6. How conservation facilities will be structured, and how and where conservators will be trained will need to be addressed, and in this the cultural authorities will need assistance. The Academy of Fine Arts would like to reinstate and expand its training programme in painting and paper conservation and is seeking help in developing this. Links with regional and other conservation centres should be established, especially those outside the war zones in the former Yugoslavia.

5.4 Short-term assistance

Museum collections are likely to remain in store for some time, given the problems of repairing buildings for some, and finding suitable accommodation for others. Therefore the initial emphasis in providing assistance should be on creating good storage environments and stabilising and cleaning 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. Provision of conservation chemicals, materials and equipment should take into account 4.6.

Training programmes to bring new people into the profession and to train volunteers for dealing with immediate post-war collections problems are urgently needed (see Appendix B). BHHR is currently developing and seeking funding for a Care of Collections and Object Care programme.

5.5 Long-term assistance

In the longer term, museums in Bosna-Herzegovina will need assistance in such areas as modern museum management techniques, setting up computerised 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.

5.6 How individual institutions and professionals can help

Purchasing the urgently-needed materials mentioned above will require funds. Fund raising is something the museum community seems loathe to do. However, the Swiss National Museum, by the simple expedient of placing a collection box and a small display about the Zemaljski Muzej in their front foyer, collected a considerable sum of money from visitors for the museum. Half this amount paid for temporary roofing for the Natural Sciences and Archaeology buildings, 6 steel security doors, 19 steel window grilles and new locks for storage depots.

Museums can begin to make contact with their colleagues (see 5.7), collect professional journals for them (as the National Museum of Wales is doing), invite them to conferences and arrange visits for training or professional development (a textile conservator from the Zemaljski Muzej has been upgrading her skills recently at the Norsk Folkemuseum). Though much attention has been focused on the great problems of the Zemaljski Muzej, other museums would greatly benefit from contacts - especially from museums of a similar size, with similar collections to theirs.

5.7 Making contact

BHHR has provided telephone numbers for institutions where possible. They are willing to establish contacts with museums in case of difficulties, and for further information: Bosnia-Herzegovina Heritage Rescue, 12 Flitcroft Street, London WC2H 8DJ, England, Tel/fax: ++ 44 171-240-7966. The Open Society Institute in Sarajevo has a good communication links and will pass on messages: (Via USA) Tel/fax: ++ 1 412 339-4788, tel: ++ 1 412 339-4736, fax: ++ 1 412 339-4724. E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]. The Unesco office in Sarajevo will also pass on messages: Tel/fax: ++ 387 71 670-728 or 670-726.

6. Reports on Individual Museums


War conditions in Sarajevo have been severe. It has been subjected to constant shelling by Bosnian Serb forces, its streets raked with sniper fire. The city has been without water, electricity or gas for long periods. Two of its major museums, the Zemaljski Muzej and the Historical Museum, stand side-by-side on "Sniper's Alley"; behind them the confrontation line lies only 50 metres away across the Miljacka River. In this hostile environment, nevertheless, museums have continued to function, in one way or another. BHHR visited all publicly-owned museums and galleries in the city, with the exception of the Museum of Literature and Theatre Arts. Some of its requirements, however, are listed in the report described below.

The Open Society Institute, Budapest report Cultural Institutions and Monuments in Sarajevo lists the requirements for rehabilitation which museums in the city have requested in order for them to operate. This useful report, however, focuses primarily on long-term requirements, and some requests for materials and equipment are obviated by the lack of staff trained to use them. The report is available from: Open Society Institute, Budapest, Tel: ++ (36-1) 327-5100.

National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zemaljski Muzej)

Zmaja od Bosne 7, 71000 Sarajevo

The Zemaljski Muzej, Bosnia-Herzegovina's foremost museum, has a long and distinguished history, and has been called the country's most prolific and significant research institution. Its Glasnik Zemalskog muzeja u Sarajevu has been in constant publication since 1889. During the present war its staff have worked to preserve its collections under conditions of extreme danger, facing shelling and sniper fire daily (see 3). The museum's first wartime director, Rizo Sijaric, was killed by a shell. Robert Child's report (Appendix A) gives a detailed picture of physical conditions at the museum.

Contact: Dr Enver Imamovic, Director

Informants: Dr Enver Imamovic (Director), Dr Svjetoslav Obratil (Keeper of Natural Sciences), Svetlana Bajic (Senior Curator of Ethnology), Enisa Causevic (Ethnology Dept), Olga Lalevic (Librarian), Esad Veskovic (Conservator)

Date of foundation: 1 February 1888

Political authority: Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport).

Pre-war buildings, depots: Austrian period, (1913) purpose-built group of 4 brick and stucco-faced pavilions (Archaeology, Ethnology, Natural Sciences, Library) arranged in a square with botanic garden in central area (5,000 m2). Buildings designed by Karlo Parzik. Total area approximately 14,000 m2.

Present buildings, depots: as above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Heavily damaged by several hundred shell impacts. Temporary repairs have finally been carried out to the roof, much of which was glazed (wood, plywood and plastic sheeting), after being open for over 2 years. Temporary repairs to windows (wood, plywood and plastic sheeting) made in spring '95 are partially damaged by continued shelling or are deteriorating due to inferior plastic sheeting being used by outside contractors.

Present staff: approximately 20, including curators of archaeology, ethnology and natural sciences. However, a proportion of these are ill and not active. Several conservators and preparators remain; of these, two (textiles and archaeology) have recently been abroad to upgrade their training. Natural Sciences: 4, plus cleaners (2 not active). There is no-one to care for the botanical garden. Ethnology: 10, 5 experts, 5 technical, plus cleaners. Not all are active. Library: 1 librarian, and 1 cleaner.

Pre-war staff: approximately 70, including subject experts, preparators, conservators. Natural Sciences: 20, including 4 PhDs, botanic gardens had botanist plus 4 gardeners, 4 preparators (invertebrates, vertebrates, geological, botanical). Ethnology: 19 experts. Library: 6 librarians with degrees, 1 with diploma.

Collections (pre-war): 1) Archaeology: prehistoric, ancient, medieval (over 105,000 artefacts. 2) Ethnology: material culture (14,000), spiritual culture, folk music, oral folklore (14,000) 3) Natural Sciences: geological, paleotological, mineralogical, petrological, botanical, ornithological, entomological, zoological, with collections of the flora and fauna of the entire Balkan Peninsula as well as foreign items. Its herbarium, mineral (particularly those of the karst regions), insect and bird collections are among the most important in the former Yugoslavia (over 1,000,000 items). 4) Library: the oldest scholarly library in Bosnia-Herzegovina with large and rich holdings.

Present location of collections:

in situ: Archaeology Dept: exterior lapidarium objects (mainly tombstones - stecci) in botanic garden and in front of building. Interior lapidarium: classical and medieval stone objects, mosaics, cannons on ground and first floors of archaeology pavilion. Ethnology Dept: panelled Ottoman room settings. Natural Sciences: Herbarium, some of ornithological and entomological collection, a small portion of mineral collection.

stored: remainder of collections stored in basement or between floor storage areas.

moved: Haggadah and other valuable artefacts to bank. Display cases with ornithological and zoological specimens moved to safer interior halls away from front lines.

Present location of documentation:

stored: in basement storage depots in fireproof metal cabinets.

Security of collections: Now good. Permanent militia guard patrol regularly. Recently iron security grilles were installed on doors and windows and new locks on doors.

Loss of collections: A small number of exhibited insect specimens through war damage. Possible theft of weapons.

Damage to collections: Minor war damage to some lapidarium objects (most of which were not protected by sandbagging) and panelled rooms, insect specimens. A small number of mineral specimens disintegrated on being moved. The full extent of damage due to poor environmental conditions will not be known until collections are removed from storage.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment: See Appendix A.

Recommendations: See Appendix A

Urgent requirements: See Appendix A, OSI report pp 16-21, BHHR has requirements list.

Historical Museum of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Historijski Muzej BiH)

Zmaja od Bosne 9, 71000 Sarajevo

The Historical Museum was formerly the Museum of the Revolution, and is now defining its future role (see 4.8). On previous visits to Sarajevo, BHHR was told that the museum did not function, that there was no-one there, due to its extremely dangerous location and damage to its building. By persistent enquiries, however, we found that not only did the museum operate, but that staff had continued to work there every day during the war. Staff carried out major repairs to the building themselves, as no-one else was prepared to do this. In full view of snipers in apartment buildings behind the museum, they spent 2 weeks patching the roof and dug 300 metres of trench to lay a gas line to their basement office. BHHR staff were the first people to visit the museum since the beginning of the war - apart from a representative of the firm Intertect, who told them the roof could not be repaired. Materials donated by an Austrian firm to properly repair the roof have not arrived as the museum could not afford to pay for transport. At the request of BHHR, the Austrian Cultural Institute in Zagreb has undertaken to ensure the materials are delivered at no cost to the museum.

Contact: Dr Ahmed Hadzirovic, Director

Informants: Soniboj Stanicic (Deputy Director), Stanislav Tomasevic (Legal Officer), Nurudin Mulahuseinovic (Administrator)

Date of foundation: 1945, present building opened 1966

Political authority: Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport).

Pre-war buildings, depots: purpose-built modern building (1963) of flat roof construction, close to Miljacka River. Predominate materials, marble facing and glass (60% of surface area of building is glass).

Present buildings, depots: as above

Present condition of buildings, depots: 23 holes in roof from direct shell impacts. All glass surfaces to roof broken. All infrastructure installations (heating, lighting, water, telephone) damaged. Windows and roof temporarily repaired with plywood and plastic sheeting. Storage depots in basement suffer from high humidity levels and water damage from broken pipes, all windows were without glass but have been protected with metal-reinforced plastic sheeting. Only a few rooms useable.

Present staff: 10 active. These include the director, chief curator, administrator, legal officer, cleaner, photographer.

Pre-war staff: 40. Of these, 17-19 curators (half subject specialists, half technical)

Collections (pre-war): Although the collections focus largely on WW II, they also have a considerable number of artefacts from the medieval, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and pre-WW II periods.

1) 5 photographic collections, 88,600 (24,600 rare) 2) archival sources, 68, 500 (18,300 rare) 3) works of art, 2,300 (870 rare) 4) three-dimensional objects: ranging from weapons, uniforms, personal artefacts, to a tank, howitzers and a glider 5) library, over 20,000 items (3,680 rare) 6) documentation centre, 2,500 items.

Present location of collections:

in situ: several tapestries, statue of Tito (inside building), howitzer, glider (in courtyard).

stored: majority of collections except library stored in basement depots on site. These were all purpose-built storage areas for the collections.

moved: some of weapons collection on loan to Bosnian Army.

Present location of documentation:

stored: in basements depots on site.

Security of collections: Militia guard, but depot windows only covered with metal reinforced plastic sheeting.

Loss of collections: Approximately 10 rifles on display were stolen in the first days of the war.

Damage to collections: 1) 142 archival works damaged, 2) 97, mainly oil, paintings damaged by shrapnel, 3) 215 three-dimensional objects damaged in a break-in with attempt to steal, another 97 by war action 4) 200 library items damaged 5) 130 items in documentation centre damaged.

Loss of/damage to documentation: some shrapnel damage, but none destroyed.

Collections assessment: only photographic collections were seen by consultants. Staff regularly inspects collections and open cupboards to air them.

storage/packing: Excellent for photographic collections. All collections in original pre-war storage. Photographs in individual archival envelopes, cross-referenced with negatives which are stored separately in plastic envelopes. Envelopes are stored in archival boxes in museum quality wooden cupboards.

environmental conditions: Extremely high humidity levels. Abrasive dust reported a problem in library, but otherwise storage areas (and rest of building) appeared relatively dust free .

insect/animal infestation: Staff have noticed mice from time to time, but no evident damage. No problem with insects reported.

biological deterioration, corrosion: Staff report no evidence of mould so far. Large artefacts stored outside suffering from rust.

Urgent requirements: Dehumidifiers. OSI report pp 22-23, BHHR has requirements list.

Museum of the City of Sarajevo (Muzej Grada Sarajeva)

Titova bb, Sarajevo Tel: ++ (387-71) 535-688

This museum has lost its main (and largest premises), which have been returned to the Faculty of Islamic Sciences (see 4.3). A new location for the museum has not yet been decided. See also 4.7 regarding its branch, the Museum of the Sarajevo Assassination (formerly the Museum of "Mlada Bosna"). Of all museums visited, this was the most in need of help in cleaning and re-storing artefacts. Three cleaners (for all surviving premises) were about to start work at the time of BHHR's visit. However, they are not permitted to clean museum objects.

Contact: Bajro Gec, Director

Informants: Branko Kolakovic (Curator), Nazif Borovina (Education Officer)

Date of foundation: 1949

Political authority: City of Sarajevo (Secretariat for Education, Science, Culture and Sport)

Pre-war buildings, depots: 1) Austrian-period former Islamic school 2) Jewish Museum 3) The Svrzo House 4) The Despic House 5) Museum of the Sarajevo Assassination

Present buildings, depots:

1) Jewish Museum (1581) - stone-built former synagogue, 3 storey with 2 internal galleries.

2) The Svrzo House (17th c) - traditional Bosnian house of wood and stucco, with tiled roof 3) The Despic House (1881) - stone, wood and stucco

4) Museum of the Sarajevo Assassination - Austrian period building, modernised and faced with stone slabs.

Present condition of buildings, depots:

1) Jewish Museum: damage to roof and all windows broken by direct shell impact. Roof since repaired, windows partially glazed, partially plastic sheeting. Light damage.

2) The Svrzo House: indirect shell damage to roof, facade, windows. Some windows broken. Interiors slightly damaged by vandals to remove light fittings. Light damage. Some wood-worm and panel distortion. Otherwise in good condition

3) The Despic House: unable to examine. OSI Report states building in critical condition.

4) Museum of the Sarajevo Assassination: heavy shell damage to entire building. Windows blown out and unreplaced by plastic sheeting. Damaged and unusable at present.

Present staff: 5 (approx.). Director, curator (when not in army), education officer (when not in army), 2 cleaners.

Pre-war staff: 25. Of these 1 archaeologist, 1 ethnographer, 1 orientalist, 1 art historian, 3 historians, 1 conservator, 1 education officer.

Collections (pre-war): archaeological, historical, social history, furniture, textiles, paintings, weapons.

Present location of collections:

in situ: Roman stone artefacts found at Marijin Dvor still in place in front of old Museum building.

stored: All collections stored in the Jewish Museum

Present location of documentation: Not known to consultants

Security of collections: Good. Militia guard.

Loss of collections: None, as far as informant was aware.

Damage to collections: No war damage. Possible damage due to poor storage and abrasive dust.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None, as far as informant was aware

Collections assessment: See Appendix B for detailed assessment

Recommendations: See Appendix B.

Urgent requirements: Shelving, packing materials, storage containers, cleaning equipment and tools. OSI report pp 13-15.

Museum of the XIV Winter Olympics (Muzej XIV Zimska Olympske Igre)

c/o Ul Kantardzica 1/I, Sarajevo Tel: ++ (387-71) 670-323

The name of this museum is deceptive, for its pre-war role was as a centre for contemporary art, holding avant-garde and controversial programmes featuring such artists as photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It was for this reason, the director felt, and because it symbolised the spirit of the Olympic Games, which had lifted Sarajevo out of the system and made it special, that the museum was the first cultural institution to be deliberately targeted and destroyed. The museum was struck by 5 direct grenade impacts on 28 April 1992. The director told the bizarre story of how, as the museum burned, officers of the Yugoslav National Army living nearby came out and shot at the building with their revolvers, such was their hatred of all it symbolised. The building is now totally gutted and unusable.

The collections however, were saved (see 3), and the director also managed to remove a large amount of equipment and materials from the building. There is a possibility that the museum may be relocated at the sports complex at Zetra. In spite of the destruction of 10 years of work, the museum held an exhibition in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Winter Olympics and its spirit of multi-culturalism.

Contact: Edin Numenkadic, Director

Informant: Edin Numenkadic (Director)

Date of foundation: 1983

Political authority: Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport.

Pre-war buildings, depots: "Villa Mandic" - Austrian period stucco-faced brick villa (1907).

Present buildings, depots: Storage depots in various locations in Sarajevo and Zetra.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Storage depots: not seen.

Present staff: 1 (Director).

Pre-war staff: 7

Collections (pre-war): 1) Numismatics: 220 gold coins (modern special editions) 2) Personal artefacts donated by Olympic sportsmen and women 3) 400 works of art (paintings, sculptures, drawings) of artists from the former Yugoslavia donated for opening of museum 3) Graphics (20) on the theme of the Olympics, including works by Andy Warhol, Henry Moore, James Rosenquist, Gabriel Stupi, Giuseppe San Tomaso and Jiri Kola.

Present location of collections:

stored: 1) Numismatic collection in bank 2) Other collections in basement storage depots in Zetra and Sarajevo.

Present location of documentation:

stored: location not known to consultants.

Security of collections: Militia guards on storage depots.

Loss of collections: Director estimates that 10% of collection destroyed.

Damage to collections: Not known.

Loss of/damage to documentation: Some collections documentation, all documentation about Olympic Games, video cassettes and all organisational documentation destroyed.

Collections assessment: Not seen by consultants.

Recommendations: Expert assessment of stored collections.

Art Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Umjetnicka Galerija BiH)

Branilaca grada 38, 71000 Sarajevo Tel/fax: ++ (387-71) 664-162

The Art Museum building was used as a shelter for refugees at the beginning of the war. It later suffered serious shell damage. In spite of this, it has succeeded in making temporary repairs to its exhibition space, restoring some electricity and has held around 50 temporary exhibitions during the war, playing an important role in maintaining Sarajevo's cultural life.

Contact: Prof. Seid Hasanefendic, Director

Informant: Prof. Seid Hasanefendic (Director)

Date of foundation: 1946

Political authority: Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport)

Pre-war buildings, depots: Former merchant's house of the Austro-Hungarian period (1912) near Miljacka River. 2 1/2 storey, stucco-faced brick construction.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: building suffered from many direct shell impacts, with the roof badly damaged and windows blown out. Only 2 exhibition halls, 2 offices and the basement storage depots are useable. The library, documentation centre, conservation department, curators' offices and photo studio are not used. There are no heating, air-conditioning or physical protection systems functioning.

Present staff: 9. Of these, Director, 1 art historian, 1 documentation officer, 1 consultant, 1 preparator, 2 cleaners, 2 administrative.

Pre-war staff: 31. Of these, 10 curators/art-historians, 1 conservator, 2 documentation officers, 1 librarian, 1 photographer, 1 framemaker, 5 cleaners.

Collections (pre-war): 4,500 inventoried works of art, including paintings, graphics, photographs and sculpture. These were of Bosno-Herzegovinian and Yugoslav artists, European artists, including works by Ferdinand Hodler, a small international collection and a collection of icons.

Present location of collections:

stored: in basement depot on site.

Present location of documentation:

stored: in basement depot on site.

Security of collections: Militia guard on building.

Loss of collections: Over 40 icons, 2 Ferdinand Hodler paintings and some Islamic manuscript art works have been found to be missing and are believed to be stolen.

Damage to collections: No war damage. No environmental damage as far as known. Director reports that though the collection at present is in good condition, he is concerned that prolonged storage under current conditions would cause deterioration.

Loss of/damage to documentation: Director reports much lost or damaged. Photo library only partially preserved.

Collections assessment: Consultants were not able to examine collections.

Recommendations: Urgent assessment of collections.

Urgent requirements: Probably dehumidifiers. OSI report pp 28-30.

Collegium Artisticum Gallery

Skenderija, Sarajevo Tel: ++ (387-71) 523-065

The Collegium Artisticum is foremost a centre for large exhibitions of contemporary art. It has kept open and remained operating throughout the war, mounting a series of exhibitions.

Contact: Fuad Hadzihalilovic, Director

Informant: Zijo Osmankovic (technician)

Date of Foundation: 6 April 1975

Political Authority: City of Sarajevo (Secretariat for Education, Science, Culture and Sport)

Pre-war buildings, depots: large underground premises at the Skenderija Olympic and Sport Centre, a modern concrete construction.

Present buildings, depots: As above.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Some shell damage, especially to air conditioning and electrical systems.

Present staff: 2. Director and technician.

Pre-war staff: 9.

Collections (pre-war): contemporary art

Present location of collections: stored on site. Also stored is an exhibition of graphics from the Gallery of International Portraits in Tuzla.

Present location of documentation: Not known to consultants.

Security of collections: Militia guard.

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: None.

Collections assessment: Objects stored on pallets away from walls and covered with tarpaulins. Regularly aired.

Urgent requirements: OSI report, pp 26-27. A projector is requested for lectures.


Zenica is a steel-producing city on the banks of the River Bosna (pop. 250,000). It has suffered light damage during the war.

Museum of the City of Zenica (Muzej Grada Zenica)

c/o Opcina Zenica, Branilaca BiH broj 6, Zenica

Tel: ++ (387 72) 21-732 Fax: ++ (387 72) 36 724

The Museum of the City of Zenica is in the unfortunate position of having lost 3 of its former buildings, which were returned to their former owners around 2 years ago. The Hadzi Mazic House (ethnographic collections) and the Sultan Ahmed Medreseh (archaeology, mineralogy and library) were returned to the Islamic community, while the Art Gallery building was returned to Napredak, the Croatian cultural organisation. It has also lost 2 pavilions in which maquettes of the steel industry and town were displayed: these are now a shop and a cafe, located behind the one remaining museum building, the former synagogue.

Contact: Zdravko Baltan, Director

Informants: Prof. Anto Orsulic (Former Secretary of Culture), Enisa Kovacevic (Assistant to the Secretary of Information on Culture and Sport).

Date of foundation: c 1979, Art Gallery c 1985

Political Authority: Municipality of Zenica (Secretariat of Culture and Sport)

Pre-war buildings, depots: 1) Jewish Synagogue 2) Hadzi Mazic House 3) Sultan Ahmed Medreseh 4) Art Gallery 5) 2 pavilions where maquettes where displayed

Present buildings, depots: 1) Jewish Synagogue, Austrian period, neo-Moorish style stucco-faced brick. 2 storey (approx. 15 x 25 m ground area), with internal gallery and half-storey attic storage area. 2) Storage depot outside Zenica 3) Storage depot for art collection.

Present condition of buildings, depots: 1) Synagogue: some windows in upper storey broken, some damp apparent at rear of building, Leaking rainwater pipes. 2) Depots not seen.

Present staff: 4. 1 curator, 1 technician, 1 secretary, 1 cleaner.

Pre-war staff: Approximately 10. Of these 4 curators (archaeology, history, ethnology, art historian), 1 technician. There was no conservator; when conservation was required, a conservator would come from Sarajevo.

Collections (pre-war): Ethnographic, archaeological, historical, art (57 paintings, 11 sculpture, 35 drawings and graphics), mineralogical, library, maquettes of the steel industry.

Present location of collections:

in situ: Historical collections remain in synagogue.

stored: Majority of collections stored in synagogue, less valuable artefacts stored in depot 3 km outside Zenica. Art collection stored in depot.

moved: 13 medieval gravestones and stone coffins from lapidarium moved from beside the medreseh to open ground at the junction of the River Bosna and Kocev Brook. Remainder located in museum garden where they are partially sitting on the terrace of a cafe situated in an old pavilion formerly belonging to the museum.

Present location of documentation: In synagogue.

Security of collections: Synagogue not particularly secure, broken windows. Some lapidarium objects in garden small enough to be easily removed.

Loss of collections: Some items from the ethnographic collections were stolen through windows of synagogue.

Damage to collections: None as far as known.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None as far as known.

Collections assessment: Consultants were not able to examine collections in detail.

storage/packing: artefacts in synagogue appeared to be fairly carefully stored, but severe lack of shelves and packing materials. Pottery vessels sitting on window sills.

Recommendations: assessment of collections. Help with storage.

Urgently requested: The municipal Council estimates that 3,500 DM is needed to bring the Synagogue into a satisfactory condition.


The Canton of Tuzla in North-East Bosnia has a population of around 1,000,000. Buildings in the centre of the City of Tuzla have great problems with subsidence due to salt mining. There is considerable damage from shelling, but not to the extent suffered by Sarajevo and Mostar. There is a Museum of Salt (Muzej Fabrike Soli Tuzla) located at the salt mine, which BHHR was not able to visit.

Museum of East Bosnia, Tuzla (Muzej Istocne Bosne u Tuzli)

Tuzla Tel: ++ (387 75) 212-111 ext.236 Fax: ++ (387 75) 821-396

This regionally-important museum collection has moved 17 times since its foundation, twice during the war. The earlier moves were as a result of subsidence (see above). However the last move occurred when the building in which the museum was located was given to the Croatian community, while half of its storage depot was given to the Islamic community administration. The director told the BHHR he felt he was about to lose the other half of his storage depot in the near future. However, the Mayor of Tuzla, Selim Beslagic, assured both the director and BHHR that this would not happen. A partially-completed project to convert an Austrian period former post office into a new museum was halted by lack of funds and the outbreak of war. The building has since suffered shell damage. It is estimated that 912,800 DM are needed to bring the building into use. Another project is to create a Gallery of Djordje Mihajlovic (see below): estimated cost, 16,500 DM.

Contact: Nikola Panjevic, Director

Informants: Nikola Panjevic (Director), Dr Enver Halilovic (Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport for the Canton of Tuzla)

Date of foundation: 1947

Political authority: Canton of Tuzla (Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport)

Pre-war buildings, depots: See above. The museum has moved 17 times since its foundation, 2 times during the war. Most recent spaces were 1) Space in the Workers' University 2) First floor of wing of primary school 3) The Borko Ristic House.

Present buildings, depots: 1) Space in the Cultural Centre, modern, concrete (1956). First floor exhibition space, and basement storage area (each 250 m2) 2) Three south-facing rooms on first floor of wing of modern primary school (200 m2) 3) The Borko Ristic House: 3 storey modernised 19th century house, brick and stucco.

Present condition of buildings, depots: 1) Cultural Centre: structurally sound. Heating did not appear to function. Broken windows in basement storage area. 2) Primary school: structurally sound 3) The Borko Ristic House: Roof slightly damaged and leaking, window on second floor damaged but otherwise good. Interior vandalised: all electrical installations removed, some damage to interior doors and ceilings and sanitary equipment. No functioning services.

Present staff: 5. Of these: 1 curator (director), 1 administrator, 1 secretary, 1 cleaner, 1 photographer.

Pre-war staff: 14. Of these: 9 curators (incl. archaeologist, ethnologist, historian, biologist, art historian), 1 preparator, 1 education officer, 1 photographer.

Collections (pre-war): 50,000 artefacts. 1) Archaeology (15,000) - rich pre-history, incl. Celtic bronze jewellery, Roman, medieval 2) History (12,000) with emphasis on Partisan period 3) Ethnology (8,000) 4) Natural History (3,000) 5) Art (1,000) including works by Djordje Mihajlovic (1875 - 1924) , the first academic painter in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Present location of collections:

stored: 1) Cultural Centre: Ethnography (wood, textiles, metal), some art works, Numismatics 2) Primary school: Archaeology, library, ethnography, greater part of paintings of D. Mihajlovic, history 3) Borko Ristic House: Natural History.

Present location of documentation:

in situ: 1) Cultural Centre: All records, inventories, accession books, photographs, except archaeology, stored in metal cabinets.

stored: 2) Primary school: All archaeology records, including site records and maps, stored in metal cabinets.

Security of collections: Poor. Broken windows in basement depot. Shared access to school storage depot.

Loss of collections: Director estimates a percentage of collection lost in each move. A collection of Roman gold and silver jewellery was stolen at the beginning of the war.

Damage to collections: Director estimates 50% of Natural History collections damaged in moves, particularly to Herbarium.

Loss of/damage to documentation: None.

Collections assessment:

storage/packing: Ranges from good to very poor. Textiles in 11 aluminium cases and 50 cardboard boxes, but interleaved with old posters printed in red ink. Archaeological material mainly well-boxed and labelled but poor internal packing. Ethnographic ceramics on floor due to lack of shelves, which were moved to Cultural Centre. Boxes of photos stacked on top of each other. Mihajlovic paintings wrapped and stored on racks. Paper art works beginning to buckle. In one room of depot historical and ethnographic material heaped on floor in piles. Natural History collections piled on floors in cramped conditions and alcohol levels in wet specimens very low.

environmental conditions: None of the buildings/stores heated. 1) Basement store: 78% RH, very dusty 2) School: large windows facing south, only partially covered with green blinds, dusty.

insect/animal infestation: No apparent evidence of damage.

biological/chemical deterioration: 1) Basement stores: heavy mould on wooden ethnographia. Metal objects beginning to rust.

overall condition of collections: Artefacts in basement store deteriorating very quickly after only 2 months.

Recommendations: That collections are moved from the basement store and more shelving is installed in the storage depot in the primary school to accommodate them. Windows in primary school covered properly so that light can be totally excluded.

Urgent requirements: The director requests 2 ventilators to improve air circulation in basement store, though problem may be solved with dehumidifiers. Shelving, acid free tissue, storage containers. BHHR has requirements list and project proposals.

Gallery of International Portraits (Galerija Portreta Tuzla)

Tuzla Tel: ++ (387 75) 234-897 Fax: ++ (387 75) 235-220

This still very active gallery was formerly the Yugoslav Portrait Gallery (4.9). The ground floor and part of the basement store have been rented by the gallery to the Red Cross (ICRC), which gives the gallery some income. The ICRC has shared access to the store rooms. The first floor is still used for exhibitions and was being prepared for a biennale involving 100 artists from 30 countries at the time of BHHR's visit. The gallery has maintained good international contacts who are helping it mount exhibitions and with some equipment. It is currently seeking funding to restore the atelier of Izmet Mujezinovic.

Contact: Cazim Sarajlic, Director

Informants: Cazim Sarajlic (Director), Dr Enver Halilovic (Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport for the Canton of Tuzla)

Date of foundation: 1964

Political authority: Unclear. Overseen by Canton of Tuzla (Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport).

Pre-war buildings, depots: 1) Atelier Izmet Mujezinovic 2) "Dom Mladi", 2 floors and basement.

Present buildings, depots: 1) Atelier Izmet Mujezinovic, house and studio of the artist in its own grounds (1968) 2) "Dom Mladi", modern steel frame multi-storey construction (1953) - first floor and part of basement.

Present condition of buildings, depots: 1) Atelier Izmet Mujezinovic: studio severely cracked due to subsidence 2) "Dom Mladi": good condition.

Present staff: 5. Of these 1 art historian, 1 workshop, 2 technicians, 1 legal advisor/secretary

Pre-war staff: 11. Of these, 2 curators, 1 documentation officer, and as above. They never had a preparator or conservator - artefacts were sent to Sarajevo and Ljubljana if conservation was necessary.

Collections (pre-war): 1) 300 painting and 3,000 drawings of Izmet Mujezinovic 2) Portrait collection (200 graphics) 3) International collection including works by James Haim Pinto 4) Works of Adela Bervukic, d. 1976 (200) 5) Paintings by Bosno-Herzegovinian artists (300) 6) Collection of artists who lived or worked in Tuzla

Present location of collections:

stored: Basement of "Dom Mladi" 1) Paintings in half of shared store 2) graphics in caged store.

Present location of documentation: Not known to consultants. EH stated documentation was in Belgrade.

Security of collections: Poor. Paintings are stored on racks in unlocked shared store, secured only by cardboard held in place with wood. Cigarette butts evident in other half of store.

Loss of collections: None.

Damage to collections: No war damage.

Loss of/damage to documentation: Not known to consultants.

Collections assessment:

storage/packing: Good, paintings racked.

environmental conditions: Basement store: T: 23oC RH: 72% . Poor air circulation due to sandbagging over windows.

Recommendations: Improve security of paintings

Urgent requirements: Dehumidifiers for basement stores.


Mostar has been devastated, first by Bosnian Serb (6.92) and later by Bosnian Croat (5.93) attacks on the city. The fighting has ended, but the city remains divided into East (Bosnian Government) and West (the Bosnian Croat para-state of Herceg-Bosna) sides. This division of the city is echoed in the division of the pre-war Museum of Herzegovina (Muzej Hercegovine) across the boundaries. There are now two museum entities in Mostar: the Museum of Herzegovina on the East side and the Museum of Herceg-Bosna on the West. Their affairs are inextricably entangled.

The present Museum of Herzegovina retains most of the surviving collections of the pre-war museum. However, its staff, including the director, are all amateurs with no museum experience. On the West side sits the Museum of Herceg-Bosna, four of whose staff are highly-qualified experts, three of whom formerly worked at the pre-war Museum of Herzegovina, and one who worked at the Zemaljski Muzej. Its only collections (aside from a small quantity of ethnographic textiles) are a few remnants from the collections of the pre-war Museum of Herzegovina, including a quantity of valuable ethnographic jewellery which was stolen from the museum and later recovered on the West side. The Museum of Herceg-Bosna regards these objects as belonging to them. Indeed, until well after the fighting had stopped, as the remaining staff of the pre-war museum, they regarded themselves as the Museum of Herzegovina.

Two meetings between the East and West side museums were organised by Dr Colin Kaiser, Unesco Representative in Mostar, and Mr Oswald Schroder, Head of the Dept of Cultural Life, Youth and Sport of the European Union Administration (EUAM) in December 94 and January 95. There, the state of the collections and their present whereabouts were outlined and potential collaboration between the two bodies was discussed. The Museum of Herzegovina particularly requested the assistance of the former Archaeology curator at the museum, who was now at the Museum of Herceg-Bosna, to advise in the excavation of the buried archaeology store on the East side. This collaboration has so far come to nothing, due entirely, both sides felt, to the current political climate. When asked by BHHR, both museums expressed (though with some reservations) a willingness to work with each other in the future, but stated this would only happen if they were permitted to do so by their political masters.

Museum of Herzegovina (Muzej Hercegovine)

Marsala Tita, Mostar

Apart from the problems described above, the Museum of Herzegovina has suffered the loss of all its pre-war buildings due to a combination of war damage and dispossession. The Cejvan-Cehajin Mosque and Mekteb have been returned to the Islamic community. The Mekteb, in any case, is badly damaged and unusable. The Dzemal Bijedic House, 1 of the 2 museum buildings which survived without damage) is currently being used by the Dzemal Bijedic University. It is not known whether this building will be returned to the museum. though it was used as a storage depot earlier in the war. The Gojko Vukvic House though not damaged, is not accessible. The museum is currently housed in a building unsuitable for museum purposes.

The new staff of volunteers were asked by the authorities on the East side to carry out 3 tasks: to make an inventory of the surviving museum objects, to bring their new quarters into a suitable condition to store the objects and to purchase objects people were selling. The director believes the museum is unique in Bosnia-Herzegovina in having been given funds to buy new objects, such was the extreme destruction and theft of its collections during the war. He has been buying icons and academic paintings, ethnographia and coins. However, this has been without expert advice, and both he and others are concerned about this situation. Marian Wenzel of BHHR recommended in August 95 that experts in paintings and ethnographia be sent from Sarajevo to assist; Unesco agreed to fund these visits, but they had not yet been carried out in October 95.

Contact: Sabit Hodzic, Director

Informants: Sabit Hodzic (Director), Tomislav Andjelic (Museum of Herceg-Bosna), Andjelko Prga (Museum of Herceg-Bosna)

Date of foundation: 1950

Political authority: at present director believes it is the Okrug (district) of Mostar. May soon fall under the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Pre-war buildings, depots: 1) Cejvan-Cehajin Mekteb (main building) 2) Cejvan-Cehajin Mosque 3) Corovic House/Aleksa Santic Memorial Space 4) Gojko Vukovic House 5) Dzemal Bijedic House

Present buildings, depots: 1) Former Zavod building- 19th C stone 3 storey house (11 small rooms)

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good, due to efforts of staff to rebuild and repair building.

Present staff: 5, all amateurs with no museum experience.

Pre-war staff: 17. Of these, director, 2 curators, archivist, preparator, Education Officer, Librarian, Photographer, administrative and cleaning staff. 3 curators are now at the Museum of Herceg-Bosna in West Mostar

Collections (pre-war): Archaeology, history, ethnography (incl. textiles, weapons, jewellery), numismatics, photographs, Islamic manuscripts, paintings, archives and library

Collections (present): Active unadvised collecting of ethnographia, paintings manuscripts and numismatics until recently.

Present location of collections:

in situ: lapidarium objects in garden of Cejvan-Cehajin Mosque.

stored: surviving and new collections in present building.

Present location of documentation: in present building.

Security of collections: Fair.

Loss of collections: Destroyed: collections in mosque. Stolen: group of 5 silver Early Christian reliquaries and sacral objects from Basilica at Cim, all numismatics collection, all ethnographic jewellery (part recovered and now in possession of Museum of Herceg-Bosna), more important ethnographic artefacts, including costumes, 70 art photographs. Damage to collections: Impossible to determine at present. Archaeology store with stone artefacts is buried and requires excavation.

Loss of/damage to documentation: Pre-war documentation intact.

Collections assessment:

storage/packing: Poor. Textiles which are heaped on tables, a rail of costumes had collapsed. Some paintings on walls had objects resting against them.

environmental conditions: Not obviously damp.

insect/animal infestation: Evidence of moth infestation.

Recommendations: Insect control measures be instituted immediately. Expert advice on storing textiles and costume also required urgently. Staff training.

Urgent requirements: Shelving, packing and storage materials.

Museum of Herceg-Bosna (Muzej Herceg-Bosna)

Starcevica 17, Mostar

The museum shares tiny accommodation with the Archives of Herceg-Bosna. There is no funding available to purchase collections, although there is an initiative to get a building. At present staff have mounted exhibitions in collaboration with the archives and are working on a publication Herzegovina.

Contact: Ivan Kordic, Director

Informants: Tomislav Andjelic (archaeologist), Andjelko Prga, Erazim Hadzic (historian)

Date of foundation: 1994

Political authority: so-called Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna (Ministry of Culture, Education and Sport).

Pre-war buildings, depots: None. See above.

Present buildings, depots: 2 rooms (approx 45m2) in shared accommodation with archives located in the basement of a modern apartment building.

Present condition of buildings, depots: Good.

Present staff: 5. Of these, 2 archaeologists, 2 historians, 1 expert in Herzegovinian literature.

Pre-war staff: None. See above.

Collections: Ethnographic jewellery (see above), small amount of ethnographic textiles, some badly damaged objects from the Museum of Herzegovina used in an exhibition about war damage, 7-8 Roman coins found near the safe of the Museum of Herzegovina after it had been broken into and robbed.

Present location of collections:

stored: All collections in museum except ethnographic jewellery.

moved: Ethnographic jewellery held in safe deposit outside Mostar.

Appendix A - Report by R.E. CHILD (FR)

Appendix B - Report by R.E. CHILD (FR)


by Hans-Christoph von Imhoff, consultant expert

Objective: Upon accounts from Croatian authorities and concern expressed by the Serbian community about the state of Serbian Orthodox cultural heritage, particularly monasteries and churches in the , the Assembly Committee on Culture and Education felt it necessary that an independent assessment be made of the general situation and the actual state of cultural heritage in the former SRK-occupied areas of Croatia.


A. Introduction

B. Recalling dates and events relevant to the Former UNPA Sectors North and South

C. The state of cultural heritage in the Former UNPA Sectors North and South

1. information provided by other sources

a. Croatian authorities

b. Catholic Bishops Conference of Croatia, Zagreb

c. ECMM, Zagreb

d. IPB, Belgrade

2. The consultant's own observations

a. Agglomerations and sites visited

b. Previously given information, its relevance and reliability

c. Police protection of Orthodox sites

d. The influence of the pre-1991 ethnic composition of the communities on their actual state

e. Some observations on population, housing, infrastructure, education and economics

D. Recommendations


1. Site visits in detail, data and comments

2. Map

3. Bibliography

Signs and abbreviations used in the report

* Photographic record made by the consultant expert (available on request from the secretariat of the Committee on Culture and Education in Strasbourg)

ASRK Army of the Serbian Republic of "Krajina"

ECMM European Community Monitoring Mission

Icom International Council of Museums

IPB Institute for the Protection of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Serbia (Belgrade)

MDC Museum Documentation Centre (Zagreb)

SAPH State Agency for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage (Zagreb)

SRK Serbian Republic of "Krajina"

UNPA United Nations Protection Area

A. Introduction

1. The Committee on Culture and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had asked the International Council of Museums (Icom), an NGO with Unesco, to name a consultant, experienced in estimating conditions of cultural heritage. He was to undertake a fact-finding mission in the once SRK-occupied Croatian "Krajina" territories to provide a general assessment of the state of the cultural heritage there. Press reports of looting and atrocities after the Croatian Operation "Storm", and concern expressed by Serbs about the Orthodox heritage had led to this decision.

2. There were a number of restrictions though which did not allow for what the consultant could call a fully successful mission. Due to the very short preparation time, it was impossible to collect in advance all the relevant information which would have enabled him to carefully choose sites and plan the route of the visit which thus might have enabled much more comprehensive statements and more relevant to all of the former UNPA Sectors North and South.

3. Second, the most important information only exists in a very fragmented form and is not publicly accessible. Precise published inventory lists, not only of Serbian Orthodox and of Croatian Catholic, but also of all other cultural heritage on the territories of the former Yugoslavia, would be of capital importance. Only through their independent verification might light be shed on what really happened and what is hearsay up to and during the last 5 years of war in the former UNPA Sectors North and South and other areas.

4. Third, the time allowed for the actual mission was insufficient for anything approaching a complete survey of the entire Former UNPA Sectors North and South. The area covered had to be restricted and a selection made of types of sites and habitations representative of the structure in the area.

5. A fourth restriction was the weather itself. In this early snowy period, all agglomerations and sites off the main roads and north of the Crnopac mountain near Golubic, despite being more or less approachable on small uncleared ways or roads, permitted practically no access to the buildings themselves (for example Appendix 1 - S2, S4, S10, S12) and particularly when they were still deserted.

6. The MDC report on the museum situation in the former UNPA Sectors North and South from August 1995 (Bibliography R.8) deals with the subject in some detail and is documented with external observations such as by the ECMM. It describes mainly only minor damage to the museums in the former Sectors North and South; this is surprising and in no way comparable with the disastrous happenings and the condition of the Vukovar Municipal Museum (R.1 no.7). The consultant gave priority to the survey of built cultural heritage objects and their content; within the tight time-frame his own personal inquiries and observations would not have allowed him to get enough relevant information to add new facts to the MDC report.

7. For these reasons, it is evident that the consultant's findings and conclusions are valid only for what he actually saw. They are not proof of the unvisited part of the former UNPA Sectors North and South. Nevertheless the consultant has allowed himself to make certain generalisations (a) in view of the large and diverse area covered during his four-day visit and (b) due to the fact that he had had occasion to observe and gather information during previous visits to Croatia, eastern Slavonia under SRK occupation and Serbia in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

8. As the ECMM is active in the field of cultural heritage monitoring in the area (see for example Doc.7133 and Bibliography R.4), it had the personnel, the experience and last but not least the equipment necessary to enable the consultant to carry out the on-site work which is the basis of this report. The consultant is very grateful for the excellent collaboration and extensive assistance given by the ECMM specialist in the field, Jan Gallus, and his team. He would also like to mention Tomislav Petrovic (interpreter) and Michel Simon (driver, often in difficult conditions).

9. The consultant was helped by the authorities in Zagreb. He would like to thank

for the coordination of the meetings with representatives of relevant institutions in Croatia and the provision of Croatian reports on the situation (Bibliography R.5-8). He would like to ask them to forward his thanks to all the colleagues they had arranged for him to meet.

10. He is grateful to the Secretary of the Committee on Culture and Education, Dr Christopher Grayson, for his assistance in finalising the text of this report.

11. Time schedule

Duration of the mission: 6 to 11 December 1995

Part One (6 Dec. 1995): travel to Zagreb

upon arrival Meeting with ECMM officials (personal)

14.30 Meeting at the SAPH with

17.30 Meeting at the Parliament of Croatia

Part two (7-10 Dec. 1995): travel in the former UNPA Sectors North and South, Zadar and Split (53 hours in the Jeep/on the road)

(9 Dec. 1995)

09.00 Meeting in downtown Zadar

(10 Dec. 1995)

08.30 Meeting at the Hotel in Split

20.30 Meeting at the Hotel in Sisak

Part three (11 Dec. 1995): Zagreb

10. 00 Meeting at the Ministry of Culture

11. 30 Meeting at SAPH

afternoon departure

All the meetings were also attended by Dr Jan Gallus, ECMM, Humanitarian Section, and Tomislav Petric, ECMM, Interpreter

B. Recalling dates and events relevant to the former UNPA Sectors North and South

(Sources: Appendix 3 - P.1, 10, and 12)


1943 -Tito Leader of the Communist Partisans; his provisional government recognised by England and USA

1944 -Tito's victory; creation of the Federation of Yugoslavia

1946 -New constitution. Federal People's Democracy of Yugoslavia made up of 6 republics (Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia) and 2 autonomous provinces (Vojvodina and Kosovo)

1948 -Yugoslavia's "own way to socialism"; rupture between Stalin and Tito

1953 -Tito president of Yugoslavia

1963 -New constitution. Socialist Federal Republic. Tito president for life

1971 -The "Croatian spring" and repression

1974 -New constitution, strengthening of the self administration of the constituent republics

1980 -Tito's death

1981 -Riots in Kosovo

1987 -Campaign of meetings in Kosovo and Serbia

1989 -Milosevic puts his men in power in Serbia and Montenegro

-Founding of independentist parties in Croatia and Slovenia

1990 -Free elections in Slovenia and Croatia, later in Bosnia

-State of emergency in Kosovo, suspension of government and parliament

-Referendum on Serbian autonomy in the "Krajina", first incidents in Knin

December -vote on Croatian constitution

1991 February -"Krajina"'s proclamation of separation from Croatia

March -first movements of the federal army of Yugoslavia

May -referendum on independence in Croatia

August -massive intervention of the Federal Army of Yugoslavia, start of siege of Vukovar

September -beginning of attacks on Zadar

October -siege and artillery attacks on Zadar,

November -Fall of Vukovar

December -Europe recognises Croatia and Slovenia

1992 -Bosnian referendum on independence and the beginning of the war there, start of the siege of Sarajevo

1993 -The Maslenica bridge operation in Zadar - HVA pushes back ARSK

1994 Croatian military action "Blitz" in Slavonia

1995 -creation of the European rapid reaction force

-Bosnian military forces reconquer ASRK-held Bosnian territory

August -"Storm": Croatian recuperation of its former territories, except for eastern Slavonia

November -Dayton agreement

December -Paris, tripartite peace signing

C. The state of cultural heritage in the former UNPA Sectors North and South

1. Information provided by other sources

a. Information provided by the Croatian authorities

13. Prior to the consultant's arrival, Branca Sulc had provided him with a "Register of Museums and Galleries in the occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia..." (Bibliography R.8) and a paper on "Art theft experiences of Croatia in periods of armed conflict" (R.7).

14. At his request a meeting had been arranged upon his arrival on 6 December at the "State Agency for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage" (SAPH) in Zagreb (see Introduction - time schedule). There he was handed two preliminary reports on the condition of Catholic churches in the former UNPA Sectors North and South (Bibliography R.5 and R.6) and received further explanations (D.5). In addition he was briefed on Croatian activities with respect to the cultural heritage in the area immediately following the Operation "Storm", including site visits by the directors of MDC and SAPH and their staff, and also on the immediate request made to the police to protect Serbian Orthodox churches. Particular sites, such as monasteries, were put under round-the-clock police surveillance; others were to be patrolled regularly. Nevertheless some break-ins had taken place into Orthodox churches. In the present post-war and post-combat situation, with very little infrastructure functioning and very little of the population returned, the difficulty of providing efficient police surveillance of every monument in this large area must be evident (D.5, p 2).

15. The consultant was introduced to the difficulties that the Croatians in general and Croatian officials in particular have in dealing with the Serbian cultural heritage and especially with that in the former UNPA Sectors North and South.

16. There are several reasons to explain these difficulties:

(a) Prior to 1991 apparently not even SAPH personnel had access to built or moveable Serbian Orthodox treasures in churches or parish houses or elsewhere in order to establish official inventories (Bibliography D.5). No inventories are therefore available.

(b) During the period of occupation, a considerable amount of Serbian church furnishings and sacred objects, especially iconostasis and icons, were removed from churches and taken into Serbian territory, mainly to Belgrade, for instance to the National Museum Belgrade, the IPB etc.. (Bibliography R.1 no.7 and the related evidence files). A remarkable quantity has been conserved, restored and then put into exhibitions and catalogued (P.8 and R.1 no.7 para 15). These items at present are not accessible for inventory.

(c) No information is as yet available as to what exactly has been removed to Serbia or elsewhere. The consultant is in contact with Dr Marco Omcikus, IPB, who has informed him that a whole team is working on such an inventory. There is reason to believe that much of this information should be available at the Museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church located at the main seat of the Serbian Orthodox church in Belgrade. These archives are said to contain complete inventories "of church treasures of the whole territory of the Serbian church" (Bibliography R.1 no.7 para 16 and P.11 para 8). It is of capital importance that precise inventory lists should as soon as possible be established and published, not only of Serbian Orthodox and Croatian Catholic, but also of all other cultural heritage on the territories of former Yugoslavia. Only through their independent verification can light be shed on what is hearsay and what has really happened in these last five years of war and earlier. Once they are available, they should also be made accessible to all concerned - Croatian and Serbian authorities included.

(d) Following the occupation there were local priorities and psychological barriers, which did not allow an approach to be made to drawing up inventories of Serbian cultural monuments.

(e) On the other hand the Croatian Government seems afraid of being accused of looting and plundering the Serbian Orthodox heritage if Croatian professionals were to enter Serbian Orthodox churches and move Serbian Orthodox objects for reasons of inventory, protection or other. This is understandable as Croatia has accused Serbia of having "stolen and abducted" the Vukovar museum collections to Serbia. The situation is in fact relatively similar. In Vukovar the Serbs have actually saved a major part of what still existed of the museum collections (in a desperate situation and from a totally defunct place) and have subsequently dealt with them correctly, as has been checked and reported by this consultant (Bibliography R.1 no.7).

(f) Part of the Croat population apparently is not prepared to serve the cause of those who ruined their Croatian homes, villages and churches.

(g) According to Fra Zivkovic and Croatian officials, the Serbian Orthodox community in Croatia has been contacted about the possible return to their parishes of former Serbian Orthodox clergy in order to take on themselves the protection of their heritage and the spiritual care of the remaining Serbian Orthodox population. Fear of revenge and retaliation seems to have caused the Serbian priests to reject this Croatian proposal.

(h) During these "contacts", the Serb side is said to have made the offer to the Croatian Catholic Church to use the Serbian Orthodox churches in the area for their religious services. This offer was similarly turned down.

17. The consultant was informed that a first official meeting had been scheduled between SAPH, the Serbian Cultural Society and the Serbian Orthodox Church from Zagreb for Friday, 16 December 1995. This meeting has since taken place in the presence of the ECMM officer Jan Gallus. Even earlier some collaboration had started. ECMM has received minutes of an "inspection and classification of Orthodox religious buildings in the area of the Glina municipality", dated 15 November 1995. On this occasion Father Mandic of the Gomirje Monastery, representing the Serbian Orthodox Church, and Prof Domin, representing SAPH, checked objects with a list, inventoried and photographed at the "Institute for the restoration of works of art" in Zagreb, which was to pack and ship them to the Orthodox Gomirje Monastery. A joint inspection of Orthodox churches and sites had also been carried out (Bibliography D.2).

18. On several occasions during the present mission, it was suggested to the consultant that the Council of Europe Committee on Culture and Education should send a fact-finding mission to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in order to investigate the state of the Croatian heritage there and in the provinces of Voivodina and Kosovo.

19. The consultant was then received at the Croatian Parliament by Dr Zarko Domljan, who had earlier submitted to Mrs Leni Fischer, Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Culture and Education, a report listing many Catholic and Orthodox churches in former occupied areas together with a one or two word description of their condition (Bibliography R.3). Dr Domljan himself had also visited the recuperated areas the days following Operation "Storm". He described his visits, particularly that to the two major Serbian Orthodox convents in the former Sector South, Krka and Krupa - he saw both sites untouched and already put under police protection. From this experience he considered allegations of looting and plundering in the former UNPA Sectors North and South very likely to be pure propaganda. The consultant's own later observations could not confirm this opinion.

b. Information provided by the Catholic Croatian Bishops Conference, Zagreb

20. Information from this particular source is contained in the above paragraphs, as most of it was presented during the two meetings at SAPH on 6 and 11 December. Some other documents were obtained from ECMM.

c. Information provided by ECMM, Zagreb

21. The consultant, upon his arrival at ECMM's Zagreb headquarters in Hotel "I", met with Jan Gallus, member of the Humanitarian Section and the one person in charge of reporting on the state of cultural heritage. The consultant was introduced to the Head of the Section, Mr Dieter Schroeder. He was given copies of each of the three "Cultural Heritage Reports" that the Humanitarian Section has so far published. These reports are the only ones to have a systematic approach to site descriptions, but could still be improved by having a more detailed system for describing actual damage.

22. The consultant was informed in particular about Jan Gallus' contacts with representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church. He was given a copy of a translation of a letter of the "Holy Archdiocese Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church" to its president, the Bishop of Nis, asking him to undertake the necessary procedures to have Metropolitan Jovan of Ljubljana "assume the duty for the spiritual care of the faithful people of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Croatia".

d. Information provided by IPB, Belgrade

23. In advance of his mission, the consultant was provided by Marco Omcikus, Head of the Department of Protection and Documentation of the "Institute for the protection of historical and cultural heritage" (IPB) in Belgrade, with a listing of existing Serbian monuments in the Serbian "Krajina" so that he might be able, if time permitted, to check on some of those monuments.

24. He was also asked to look and ask for birth, marriage and burial registers. During his travel the consultant only saw two such registers.

2. The consultant's own observations in the former Sectors North and South

a. Agglomerations and sites visited

25. The four day trip was planned so as to be very open and adaptable, taking into account ECCM information on cultural heritage, as well as listings and publications of Croatian and Serbian institutions, but also allowing for weather, road and time restrictions - traffic was likely to be heavy, so slow and the roads wintery. There were no restrictions whatsoever imposed on the group - it was free to travel wherever it decided it wanted to go. In view of time, weather, distances and efficiency it was agreed to visiting the former Sectors North and South, with the intention of also seeing the former southern confrontation line from both sides, including Zadar and Split and there to consult with local SAPH representatives. Excellent ECMM-adapted maps of the national geographic institute were available.

26. In the morning of 7 December 1995 the consultant left Zagreb in an ECMM jeep, accompanied by the Jan Gallus, responsible for ECMM’s cultural heritage monitoring, the ECMM interpreter Tomislav Petric and the ECMM driver Michel Simon. The road passed through former front-line areas between Croatia and the SRK-occupied "Krajina", through Jaksik, the site of military confrontation, to Petrinja, the first stop on the itinerary. See Appendix 1 - Map of the route.

27. On this trip the consultant saw 31 sites and agglomerations, some of them with two churches, which he partly documented with photographs (for more detailed description see Appendix 1). Two are not situated in the formerly SRK occupied area: Split and Zadar.

28. Of these 31 sites

16 were Catholic cultural heritage buildings and sites

-3 were totally destroyed, rubble completely removed, just a meadow left (S1,S5)

-5 were totally destroyed, rubble left (S2, S20, S21, S24, S30)

-5 were severely damaged structurally, the roof gone and part of the walls (S3, S6, S17, S19, S29)

-1 only was nearly intact, with windows damaged (S13)

-none was intact

-1 has now been completely restored (S29)

17 were Serbian Orthodox cultural heritage buildings and sites

-not one was destroyed

-2 had suffered considerable structural damage during 1991-1995, being at one time situated directly on the confrontation line (S21, S22)

-1 showed slight structural damage (S5)

-5 showed no damage from the exterior, but were not inspected inside - not accessible, mined, locked, bad weather or lack of time (S10, S15, S25, S19, S26)

-2 were structurally fine, but with signs of slight vandalism inside (S7,S11)

-6 were fine, outside and inside (S16, S24, S25, S26, S27, S29)

-3 were at the time of the visit guarded permanently by police (S5, S27, S29)

The totals do not always match as there are sites with 2 churches or churches which fit into 2 categories. The report on damage to other buildings, private houses, schools etc is not presented in this individual manner. Due to the immense number of damaged objects, descriptions can only be given in more general terms (see C).

29. Itinerary (for more detail see Appendix 1)

- Day 1

Municipality of Petrinja

Petrinja (S1), Hrastovica (S2), Gornja Bacusa (S3)

Hervatski Cuntic (S4)

Municipality of Glina

Glina (S5)

Municipality of Virginmost

Topusko (S6)

Municipality of Slunj

Slunj (s7)

The night was spent in the Hotel of the Plitvice National Park in one of the very few hotels on the way.

- Day 2

Municipality of Titova Korenica

Vrelo (S8), Bielo Polje (S9), Frkasic (S10), Josan (S11)

Municipality of Gracac

Deringaj (S12), Gracac (S13)

Municipality of Obrovac

Golubic (S14), Serbian Orthodox Monastery Krupa (S15), Kastel Zegarski (S16), Medvida (S17)

Municipality of Benkovac

Bencovac, suburb Bukovic (S18)

The night was spent in Zadar

- Day 3

Municipality of Zadar

Zadar (S19), Skabrnja (S20)

Municipality of Benkovac

Smilcic (S21), Donji Kasic (S22), Islam Grcki (S23)

Donji Karin (S24), Kozlovac (S25)

Municipality of Knin

Kistanje (S26), Serbian Orthodox Monastery Krka (S27)

The night was spent in Split

- Day 4

Municipality of Split

Split (S28)

Municipality of Sinj

Vrlika (S29), Kijevo (S30)

Municipality of Knin

Knin (S31), Serbian Orthodox Monastery Krka (S27)

Municipality of Sisak

Sisak (S28)

Back to Zagreb

b. Previously given information, its relevance and reliability

30. One aim of the mission was to establish the reliability of information previously supplied. Most of the printed information forwarded to the consultant is second hand information, as in the case of the Mileusenic publication (Bibliography P.11) and the Domljan report (R.3).

31. Dr Zarko Domljan's report mentions a considerable number of Catholic and Orthodox churches in the former UNPA Sectors North and South (Bibliography R.3). Their condition is described on each occasion only with one or two words. As Dr Domljan explained to the consultant, it is a listing of information provided by the different local police departments. The differing provenances of the reports account for the inconsistency in the terminology of the descriptions. This is quite probably the reason why the statements in this report often seem to be correct in approximation, but not exact when compared with the consultant's own observations. Examples: "The church of our Lady in the rosary" in Vrlika had not been "demolished", but had been hit and is now fully restored*, "St Anthony" in Hrvatski Guntic is not "torn down" - a considerable part of the church walls are still standing, but there is no roof on the tower or church*. With allowance for such linguistic discrepancies and given the numerous checks made by ECMM personnel with comparable results, the "Domljan report" proved to be quite reliable.

32. The same goes for the preliminary report established by SAPH about the condition of Croatian sacred monuments in the areas liberated by Operation "Storm"(Bibliography R.6). The reason is simple: it consists simply of an introduction, a general description of the losses and their number, and a series of photographs of churches and sites taken before 1992 and after "Storm", but with no individual written description.

33. The three ECMM cultural heritage reports were of less relevance to the consultant as they contain only few sites on the chosen route. The fourth report will deal with the former UNPA Sectors North and South. In these publications professional systematics are used to structure the information reported. They use a cultural heritage checklist based on a suggestion by Dr Colin Kaiser, (R4, #3, p 6). With regard to the damage description an even more detailed reporting of damage suffered and the condition at the time of visiting would be welcome, again in a professionally formalised way (see Recommendation 1)

34. The book "Spiritual Genocide" (Bibliography P.11) is also quite systematic and, contrary to the others, contains helpful individual historic summaries and data on the sites. According to ECMM (Jan Gallus) in at least 9 cases it is regrettably factually not correct and descriptions of structural damage are only very general. Again it is a collection of second-hand information, published without having been double-checked. A final judgement regarding the reliability of this Serbian publication is at present not possible as the consultant was only able to compare some of the few sites he visited.

35. A Serbian comparative study of damage reports (Bibliography R.9) only reached the consultant at the end of December 1995 and could not be taken into account on the mission. It points correctly to the problem of incongruence of language and approach in the different documents. These verbal discrepancies indeed constitute a major source of mistrust and doubt and led to some regrettable and unfounded polemical remarks in the introduction. They quite understandably have led ECMM to the conclusion to rely solely on what has been seen personally by ECMM specialised personnel and to identify second-hand information as such. If ever a precise record of damage to the cultural heritage in the former UNPA Sectors North and South (or elsewhere) is to be established for the purpose of enabling reliable calculations to be made of restoration costs, the recording has to be done in a uniform, professional and unemotional way (see Recommendations 1 and 2).

36. The same goes for coordination of efforts inside and outside of former Yugoslav territories. It is apparent from several documents (Bibliographt D.3, D.4), and also from the personal experience and observations of the consultant, that institutions and organisations that are operational in this area are working mostly on their own. One of the arguments is always: big structures yield small results, small structures lead to satisfactory results. There is some truth in this, but there is also the negative effect of reduplicating efforts for the same cause, because of lack of communication.

37. This may quite probably be the case of the National Museum of Sarajevo, where the UK-based BHHR is helping, but so too Switzerland and Icom. On the other hand there are many other isolated buildings where no-one has imagined trying to save what most often has survived in desolate conditions. Whoever develops a high profile gets help; most curators, conservators and technicians do not have time to develop this high profile, yet they need help just as badly.

38. Another example is Unesco's Reconstruction of Vukovar Project that seems to be unrelated to fact-finding missions carried out by this consultant for the Council of Europe's Assembly.

39. It seems high time for a larger coordination effort as well for small efforts of more regular daily communication. One relevant organisation is Iccrom (International Centre for the Study of the preservation and the restoration of cultural property), but its participation in any efforts in the area is not known to the consultant. See also Recommendation 7.

c. Police protection of Orthodox sites

40. The consultant was informed on several occasions that police were protecting Orthodox churches and monasteries, some sites permanently, others places only by patrols and on specific instructions. Only in three cases did the consultant find permanent police guards on site (Vrlika, Glina and Krka Monastery). Yet all of these three buildings had the back doors not locked, without the respective police officers even being aware of it.

41. In Krka the police officers on duty told the observers that they themselves were not allowed to go into the monastery and had really had not been inside. It must be true, for otherwise the two giant pigs and the piglet there would not have been able to feast on the food stored in the back room of the kitchen (flower, grain etc.) and leave digestive traces behind*, nor would the pigs have been able to dig for roots in the small graveyard behind the building*.

42. The interiors of these three buildings and other Serbian Orthodox churches visited were in quite good order, with the exception of the Orthodox church in Glina. Despite its front door being sealed*, the back door was open and in a hidden corner in the back of the building a hole had been blasted from the outside. The drill hole for the dynamite is still visible. The explosion caused the chandelier in the choir to fall down on the altar and damage furnishings*. This is partly known according to the church survey report in the Glina area, done by SAPH, and a representative from the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Gomirje, as in their protocol dated 15 November 1995 (Bibliography D.2), but not mentioned in the Domljan report.

43. In most other cases the consultant found the main doors not locked. In only four cases was he not able to enter an Orthodox church on account of all the doors being locked: in Krupa, in Kistanje, in Gracac and in the Boncovac suburb Bucovic at St Jovan, a Catholic church turned Orthodox in 1942, changing its name from St Ivan to St Jova. These were all well locked and had no back doors.

44. These details are given to show that while police protection is indeed provided, it is merely mechanical. Simply to place policemen in front of a site is not enough. Astoundingly though, the interiors of most of the Serbian Orthodox churches, whether the doors were locked or not, policemen there or not, unless they had structural damage, were untouched* at least at the time of the consultant's visit (Krka*, Kastel Zegarski*, Vrlika*) or only slightly vandalised (Josan*).

d. The influence of the pre-1991 ethnic composition of the communities on their actual state

45. It seems that a very exact knowledge about the individual ownership of houses and about the ethnic distribution of the population in the former UNPA Sectors North and South served during the occupation in 1991 to pin-point attacks against the Croatian cultural heritage and Croatian property in general. Destruction was widespread, the most obvious being the apparently very high amount of Catholic churches that were totally demolished: 129 of a total of 161 were destroyed and razed to the ground, and some 20 more were less substantially damaged (Bibliography R.5). The destruction pattern of a building reveals how it has been destroyed. For Catholic churches it seems that the most usual way was to place 2 tank mines in the interior, one each to the north and south walls and set them off with some explosive from in- between; the walls then blow outwards and the roof falls to the floor (examples are S24 G.Karin*, S30 Kijevo*, S21 Smilcic*). There are other ways of destruction such as dynamiting (for example S20 Skabrnje Catholic church*) or shelling (for example S22 D. Kasic* Orthodox church).

46. Destruction is not at all, or to a much lesser degree, the case for Orthodox churches. The consultant has not seen one such church completely destroyed, though a few of them were vandalised to some extent, some were quite untouched. A few of those damaged were due to fighting around them, being hit from both sides, as in the case of the church of D.Kasic*(S26).

47. Even in places with a pre-1991 mixed Serb/Croat or mainly Croat population, where nothing much may have been destroyed (for instance because military action or fighting had not taken place either in 1991 or 1995), the Catholic church and the parish house will most certainly have been heavily damaged or totally destroyed. In areas of mixed populations it seems possible to identify the houses owned by Croats and those more likely to be or to have been Serbian property simply according to the type of destruction. But even in this there are exceptions. In Hervatski Giutic the consultant was informed by a elderly person who had returned that the only Serbian home there had been demolished by the ASRK forces, because this had been the home of a Serb who had married a Croatian woman. They had built the house just prior to the occupation. The ruins were seen by the consultant*.

48. Consequentially the former "Section North", having been ethnically more Croat, contains considerably less reusable building fabric than the former "Sector South", ethnically more Serb and in places only Serb.

49. In reverse it is obvious that after Operation "Storm" the same knowledge of the ethnic dwelling pattern helped the Croats also to act destructively. This resulted less in structural damage to buildings, but rather in setting them partly on fire, in looting and dismantling installations. The few checks which the consultant made, showed conscientious removal of whole kitchen fixtures, stoves, sinks and cupboards*, including the careful removal of electric switches* and the scattering of clothing and furniture*. Consequently pre-1991 ethnic Serb regions which saw little or no fighting during "Storm", particularly in the centre of the former Sector South, suffered after "Storm" less structural damage (with certain exceptions), but still suffered many break-ins and extensive looting.

50. There seems to be a pattern that in exclusively Serbian villages or small towns, if ASRK military had been established there, many houses were violently damaged or destroyed*. This would be by Croatian military or paramilitary action and very probably after "Storm", assuming that the Serbs did not destroy their own property and assuming that in the respective areas the Serbs had left before the Croatian "Storm" forces arrived. One example of this type of destruction is the town of Kastel Zegarski*, another is Kistanje*. In this particular case the Catholic Church of Croatia has protested on the top political level in Zagreb against the action of the Croatian forces. The consultant was personally informed about this by the spokesman of the Croatian Bishops Conference, Dr fra Ilija Zivkovic.

51. Croatian flags were seen on several houses on the way. The explanation given to the consultant was that this signalled to fellow Croats that the houses, known to be Serbian property, were now inhabited by Croats, the message implied being "Croats stay out! Don't plunder!" This is necessary because plundering and looting does not seem to have been completely stopped. In fact on several occasions the consultant saw people on the road, coming out of nowhere, with no built-up area in sight, pushing wheelbarrows laden with household equipment. One house looting seems to have been proudly "signed" by a military unit in latin lettering with their unit number painted on the wall*.

52. All along the main roads, particularly in the former Sector North, there are building reminiscent of shops, small hotels, bars or restaurants, in use or even built during the occupation and prior to Operation "Storm". The accompanying ECMM officer Jan Gallus had seen many of them while on missions in former UNPA Sectors North and South areas during the SRK occupation and prior to "Storm". They then were undamaged. Now, after "Storm", all have been broken into, mostly vandalised and looted, some have been set on fire, none are usable.

53. It seems that during the SRK occupation there was considerable confidence in the future of the SRK, as there are quite a number of houses built quite recently, certainly after 1991, yet unfinished: the walls up, the roof on, no doors, no windows, no wall coverings, no valid infrastructure, and yet with no signs of major recent systematic destruction. This phenomenon is more perceptible in the ethnic Serb areas.

54. The consultant met on a few occasions native Serb inhabitants of the region and who had stayed during SRK occupation and after Operation "Storm". They do not feel threatened by what are now nearly all-Croat neighbourhoods, but they are nevertheless very careful when leaving the house. Contrary to the Croat population, these Serbs apparently do not receive the old-age pension to which they claim to be entitled. This was said in Tolusco.

e. Some observations on population, housing, infrastructure, education and economics

55. Places such as Petrinja, Gracac and Topusko, little towns or small urban communities with a few thousand inhabitants, seem to be repopulated more quickly and so are more able to rebuild the community provisionally, to set up schooling, nurseries and shops*, install churches service environments (in church ruins*, in restaurants*). It seems that in these places approximately 20 % of the earlier population has come back, and also many displaced persons. The consultant was told by an inhabitant of Gracic that she had been resettled from elsewhere in Croatia to Gracic.

56. It is partly due to the rough winters that the small communities of some dozen people do not yet show signs of repopulation. Driving through country villages along the road or further in the interior during daytime gave the impression that living there at present is impossible, that no life has yet been reinstalled. Driving back after nightfall through the same areas revealed a small but astonishing number of lights. As electricity in most cases has not reached these small villages of the former UNPA Sectors North and South, these must be light from generators, candles, petrol - from people staying there. Estimates about the present population are very vague. The consultant was told that it might be 15 to 20 % of what it once had been.

57. Petrinja is also an example of another demolition mechanism of the SRK administration and which has placed its economic future and thereby also any cultural future it might have in very imminent danger. The town was the site of one of the biggest meat-processing plants in the whole of Europe, the internationally famous Gavrilovic sausage factory, with top-class equipment, with 9,000 employees some of whom were also shareholders, and with immense subcontracting activities to regional agriculture and local industry. This factory survived intact the period of 1991-1995 but was sold by the SRK administration during to an Austrian citizen without consultation of the share-holding labour force. The consultant was told by the town's public relations manager that at present the factory employs less then 20 people. The new owner is said to have sold off parts of the enterprise, including machinery, and is continuing to do so with no apparent interest of reopening the factory; he is said to have stated that he has already recovered his investment. If this process of decomposition continues, there will be no immediate economic and thus no cultural comeback for the city of Petrinja. It may not be the only such case.

E. Recommendations

Recommendation 1

To develop forms for effective and precise registration of condition and damage done to sites, buildings and movable cultural heritage - to be agreed on and used by all concerned - on the local, provincial, national and international levels. The form Dr Colin Kaiser has designed for ECMM could serve as a base. Ideally it should be useable also by lay people. Institutions with potential experience or even forms already in use are: Iccrom, Icom, Icomos, APT, AIC.

Recommendation 2

A commission should be established under international guidance

- to bring together all existing inventories of ecclesiastic and secular public buildings and their content in the former UNPA Sectors North and South

- to establish these, where they do not yet exist

- to supplement them where they may be incomplete.

This commission should be

- composed of international consultants (Icom, Icomos, Iccrom etc)

- include representatives of

- the Croatian Catholic Church

- the Serbian Orthodox Church


- the Croatian Commission for the evaluation of war inflicted damage to the cultural heritage.

As the inventories become available, assessment surveys should be carried out in the respective areas by the professional members of this Commission in order to facilitate estimating the costs of conservation and repair.

Comment to 1 and 2: Both should be enacted as soon as possible. Every day the risk of further loss of information and objects is growing.

Recommendation 3

Priority should be given to establishing and publishing inventory lists of moveable and unmoveable cultural heritage, not only of Serbian Orthodox and Croatian Catholic heritage, but also of all other cultural and religious heritage on the territories of former Yugoslavia.

Comment: Once these lists are established, they should be also accessible to all concerned, Croatian and Serbian authorities included. Through their independent verification light can be shed on what has really happened (and what is hearsay) before and during these last 5 years of war.

Recommendation 4

To follow up not only the Croatian demand for a fact-finding mission on the situation of the Croatian Heritage in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but also with respect to the cultural heritage of other ethnic and religious communities on the territory of former Yugoslavia. This is necessary in order to arrive at a more complete picture of the situation of the cultural heritage but also to establish equal information for all the parties concerned.

Recommendation 5

Police protection of any religious sites in the former UNPA Sectors North and South should be organised more efficiently and in collaboration with the respective religious authorities. In the case of the now Croatian regions contact should be established with the Serbian Orthodox authorities in Croatia, with the agreement of the responsible Metropolitan, the Hon. Met. Jovar of Ljubljana, and with Croatian cultural heritage institutions such as SAPH in Zagreb together with its branches and, depending on the case, with the Museum Documentation Centre and other responsible bodies. In the case of eastern Slavonia the respective Catholic religious representative and Serbian professional civil bodies are the relevant authorities.

Recommendation 6

Protection of unguarded Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and other private property wherever situated in the area of the former Yugoslavia.

Recommendation 7

Information and coordination of individual, national and international efforts and activities regarding cultural property, its rescue, preservation and conservation in the countries of former Yugoslavia, should be further reinforced by

- a major meeting in the near future of all international organisations, institutions and persons interested and concerned, to work towards concrete proposals regarding approach, coordination and realisation of material, organisational, educational and financial help and know-how

- setting up a site on the Internet and/or permanent conference or mailbox, in which to announce whatever is known to be going on in relation to the subject

- (possibly, if a reasonable structure emerges) annual meetings of those concerned.

Appendix 1

Site visits in detail, data and comments

Sites are listed in alphabetical order.

The data following the name of each community is taken from Popis 1991 (Bibliography P.2), the official publication of the 1991 Yugoslav census of the Croatian (pre-war) territories. This publication contains a very detailed ethnic distribution key. In the following table the difference between the sum of Serb and Croat inhabitants of any one agglomeration and the given total of its inhabitants is the number of inhabitants with another ethnic or national adherence (whether Macedonian, Slovenian, Muslim or Hungarian, Bulgarian, German etc). It is noteworthy that this publication differentiates between the "Total of inhabitants" and the "Total that chose to ethnically declare themselves" (translation from the Croatian text - T.Petric).

Abbreviations used in this appendix:

CC: Catholic church

d - mentioned in the Domljan report (R.3)

damCC: damaged Catholic church

damSOC: damaged Serbian Orthodox church

eCC: extinguished CC

e - mentioned in the ECMM reports (R.4)

inhab: inhabitants

m - mentioned in the Mileusnic publication (P.11)

Municip: municipality

no-ac:- no access because of winter conditions

s - mentioned in the preliminary SAPH report (R.5)

seq#: number of site in the sequence of the travel (para #..)

SOC: Serbian Orthodox church

SOM: Serbian Orthodox monastery

bold print used for the rubrik community: municipal capitals

bold print used for the number of Croat or Serb population: majority


Where possible colour negative photographs have been taken in part as visual notes, in part as proof of statements - 380 and 60 slides.












S 18






1942 from CC to SOC, locked interior not checked


Tit -Kor.

S 9






damage from World War II



S 12






School very damaged, village unpopulated

Donji Kasic


S 22






front-line community, heavy structural damage inflicted from the South (Croatian) and from the North (Serbian), walls and tower up*



S 10





no ac

no people there, church upright



S 5






local damage

*post "Storm" partial structural damage at the base of one apse, *altar furnishings damaged by fallen lustre - CC disappeared



S 13






*small damage to windows



S 14






*vandalised Serb farm with dead animals*

Gornja Bacuga


S 3






*CC large parts blown out,

SOC upright - no stop

Gornji Karin


S 24






-Franciscan Monastery mined, some walls still upright, mine signs

*SOC open, unsealed, left in a hurry




S 4







*Roof gone, main walls upright, apse destroyed



S 2






*CC - heap of stones, parish home blasted, some walls still upright

Islam Grcki


S 23






*emptied of everything

burned trees all around



S 11






*some furnishings lying around, ikonostasis OK, broken door lock




S 16






*no intrusion at all, some grave stones dislocated - minor damage



S 30






*first Croatian settlement to be destroyed. CC heap of rubble around some columns, chapel heavy damage



S 26






*locked, inaccessible, outside fine



S 31






no observations on buildings









no visit, OK from the outside

Krka SOM-d,s


S 27






*structurally OK, SOC OK, quarters in some upheaval, nothing much removed

Krupa SOM


S 15






*seen from the outside, signs of mines all around hindered approach



S 17







*heaps of stone, no wall left

*chapel on cemetery OK



S 1






*St Lovo and *St Catherine no traces left, *provisional SOC in downtown restaurant



S 20






*dynamited, heap of rubble left



S 7






*interior OK with some small traces of vandalism (items on the floor)



S 28






no damage noted



S 21






*CC no stone left on another

*SOC damage to windows and hole in the roof



S 6






*heavy artillery damage, south wall and roof gone, rest crumbling




S 8






*WW II - structural damage, no windows



S 29






CC - recently fully renewed, exact damage unknown, roof and some upper walls, interior partly vandalised - beheaded sculptures



S 19






enormous amount of reconstruction achieved, dome and public buildings in good shape, *concert hall still in ruins - structural problems. Guided tour by Prof R. Juric P.12.

SOC exterior OK, some spraying.

Comments on certain of the agglomerations and sites visited


A mainly Baroque town, formerly of nearly 19,000 inhabitants, its origin going back to 1240 AD, mixed ethnic population, with a remarkable number of educational institutions and a university.

Condition of the city: most houses hard hit and many demolished.

Damaged sites: 2 Catholic churches completely demolished, St Catherine and St Lovre (Laurenz) - disappeared*, the Monument of Stjepan Radic blasted, the Serbian Orthodox church damaged during Operation "Storm" as there was military action around it: a Serb tank ran over a gas bottle! Church not inspected. The Serbian Orthodox inventory and archives apparently removed to the Serbian Orthodox authorities in Zagreb.

Other Information: According to the public relations officer of the town, Vladimir Demetrovic, 80% of the material infrastructure was completely destroyed and so too the economic infrastructure. So far some 2,000 people have come back at the rate of a few families a day. Some nurseries, primary and secondary school classes and university courses have reopened.


Upon arrival at Krka, the two police officers on guard told the ECMM officer, that written permits for visiting and photographing for each person had to be produced, signed by the municipal police chief in Knin. This being the last visit planned for that day, for lack of time and daylight the visit had to be delayed to the way back to Zagreb. Because of this need for permits, all available time in Knin had to be spent on getting the police chief's permission to visit the Krka monastery under his jurisdiction and regrettably no time was left to inspect any Knin monuments.


The meeting with Madame Z. Stanicic was the only occasion to really address practical conservation problems. One topic was the present difficulty of surveying churches in the hinterland. She informed the consultant that the large Orthodox churches in Drnis, Knin and Vrlikahad had been locked by the Serbs before leaving, with no information left about the keys. She had visited the convent sites on 9 August 1995 and the Monasteries of Krupa and Krka had both been carefully emptied prior to the departure of the monks.

The main problems with moveable heritage items stem from the bad climatic condition in evacuation sites: too much humidity, mould and insect infestation. No material and support had been received from outside, conservation had to be done with the means available. A particular problem in Split concerned the paintings on stone support where there were major adhesion problems. The consultant promised to contact the Icom Conservation Committee.

Some problems were due to the reorganisation of SAPH; with its newly centralised structure problems were emerging over responsibility and competence for the different branches.

Mrs Stanicic recalled that as a consequence of the 1987 earthquake all churches had been in good shape and freshly restored.


All along the way cemeteries of both confessions, separate or at the same site have been seen, partly close to churches, partly out in the country along the road. There was very little sign of vandalism and most of the ones the consultant saw seemed untouched. Exceptions with some signs of damage are S17, S22 and S30.

Appendix 2 Map

Appendix 3 Bibliography

P - Publications

P1- "CHURCH", Calendar of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate for 1986, Belgrade 1985: the list of the eparches of the Serbian Orthodox Church; Croatian Government publications

P2- "POPIS, stanonistva 1991", the results of the census 1991 for Croatian territories, Zagreb 1992

P3- "Museums and Galleries of Croatia", MDC, Handbook of cultural affairs No 7, Zagreb 1993

P4- "Atlas of the Republic of Croatia and of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina", Zagreb 1993

P5- Guide Bleu, "Yugoslavie", Paris 1988

P6- Zarko Domljan, e.a. "Enciklopedija Hrvatske Umjetnosti", Vol 1 (A-N), Zagreb 1995

P7- Ivivca Golec, "Povijest grada Pertrinje", Zagreb 1993

P8- "Icon painting of the Knin "Krajina"", Exhibition Catalogue, National Museum, Belgrade, 1995

P9- Laurent Joffrin, "Yougoslavie, suicide d'une nation", Paris, November 1995

P10- NZZ-Folio No 9, "Der Krieg auf dem Balkan", Z�rich, September 1992

P11- Slobodan Mileusnic, "Spiritual Genocide 1991-1993", Belgrade, 1994

P12- Eduard Sprljan, Pavusa Vezic (ed.), "The years of suffering, Zadar 1991 - 1994", Zadar, 1995

R - Official reports

Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly

R1- "Information reports on war damage to the cultural heritage in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina", presented by the Committee on Culture and Education, in particular #5, 1994 & #7, 1995

R2- "The cultural Heritage of Croatia", Sub-Committee on the Architectural and Artistic Heritage, June 1992

R3- "The situation of the cultural heritage in Croatia" report and letter from Dr Zarko Domljan, Head of the Croatian Special Guest Delegation, October 1995 [referred to here as the Domljan report]


R4- European Community Monitoring Mission, Humanitarian section, "Cultural heritage reports", Zagreb: No 1 (Dec. 1994), No 2 (April 1995), No 3 (July 1995)

R5- SAPH "Der Zustand der kroatischen sakralen Kulturdenkm�ler auf den infolge der milit�rischen Aktion 'Sturm' befreiten Gebieten" (preliminary Version), Zagreb, September 1995 - yet not published

R6- SAPH "War damage to Croatian cultural and natural heritage" (interim report), Zagreb, October 1995

R7- Branca Sulc, MDC, Zagreb "Art theft in periods of the Republic of Croatia", manuscript, October 1995 presented at the "Art theft" conference, London, November 1995

R8- Branca Sulc "The register of museums and galleries on the occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia ... with an additional report from the liberated part", manuscript, August 1995

R9- Marco Omcikus, a.o. for the Society of Art Historians of Serbia, "A comparative analysis of the reports on the damage to Orthodox temples on the territories affected by armed conflict in the 1991-1995 period", November 1995

D - Unpublished documents

D1- Letter of the Holy Archdiocese Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church to the President of the Synod, with copy to the Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb-Ljubljana

D2- Institute for the restoration of works of art, Zagreb, Record of the "Inspection and classification of the inventory of Orthodox religious buildings in the area of the Glina municipality after the military-Police action 'Storm'" (in preparation of its transfer to the Gomirje monastery: note consultant), corrected and supplemented version with spaces for signatures of

  • Dr Stanka Domic, SAPH

  • Father Makarije Mandic, Gomirje monastery

  • Mr Zadko Bielen, Institute for Restoration Zagreb, 15 November 1995

D3- Branca Sulc, MDC, "Report from the meeting on the application of the Hague Convention in the context of the Unesco project Vukovar - preservation of cultural heritage", Zagreb, 13 October 1995. Summary translation from Croat by Matjaz Gruden, Committee on Culture and Education

D4- Branca Sulc "Proposal of the program of cooperation betweeen Icom Committee for Conservation and MDC", 24 August 1995

D5- SAPH "Notes from the talks held at SAPH with the Council of Europe envoy, Mr Hans-Christoph von Imhoff" (on 6 and 11 December 1995) Zagreb,1995