Pristina: Visoki Decani monastery isn’t most endangered monument in Europe

Source: N1

Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani, and Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, said on Friday, that the Serbian Orthodox Church Visoki Decani medieval monastery did not meet the criteria to be included in the program 'Seven Most Endangered Monuments' of Europe.

Osmani and Kurti sent a protest letter to Europe Nostra back in March, denying its report on the monastery’s endangerment, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, which published the letter, said.

Europa Nostra, an organisation dealing with cultural heritage on Thursday included the monastery situated in the south of Kosovo, on the list of the most endangered cultural heritage sites in Europe in 2021.

„Within the system of cultural heritage, the monument has a special significance and extraordinary cultural values. However, this nomination does not meet the most important criteria of your program, the one related to arguing the danger that threatens the monument,“ the letter said.

Osmani and Kurti told the organisation that they „accepted with utter concern the completely wrong statement“ in the text of the nomination that Kosovo’s status is unresolved.

They added that was not the first case when „the program is used as a means to move forward a hidden and not at all principled agenda, which has nothing to do with cultural heritage.“

„If passed, this would be a dangerous precedent. The extreme politicisation of cultural heritage does not serve the right goals. Still, the special interests of states which abuse European and international platforms of cultural cooperation in the service of peace and general prosperity,“ Osmani and Kurti added.

They warned that the monastery did not nor should it have any links to the
Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations.

Petar Petkovic, the head of Serbia’s Government Office for Kosovo, said that the Osmani and Kurti reaction to the Europa Nostra list of the most endangered cultural monuments in Europe was another proof „of the endangerment of Serbia’s cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo and Metohija.“