Friday, 28 July 2017

Stecci to be Nominated as Joint Cultural Heritage by 4 Balkan Countries   
5 November 2009 | In a rare move of cooperation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro recently agreed to nominate the medieval tombstones, known as stecci, scattered across the four countries as their shared cultural heritage to the UN World Heritage List.

“The culture of stecci has crossed political borders of our states and has become a component of national cultures in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro,” Croatian Culture Minister Bozo Biskupic said at a news conference, cited by Reuters, and added, “We shall work together in the future to analyse and popularize phenomena that are common to us.”

Known for their unique reliefs, complete with decorative symbols and writing, the stecci are medieval gravestones that originated in the twelfth century. Although different theories exist on their origins, they are often linked to the heretic Bosnian church.

According to the report, about 60,000 of the tomstones have been discovered in Bosnia and nearly 10,000 in the three neighbouring countries.

The former Yugoslav republics share centuries of common history and cultural heritage as their borders had fluctuated under occupying powers that have included the Ottoman Turks, the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Nazis, the publication noted. Currently, each country has its own cultural and historic monuments on UNESCO’s list of protected heritage but this is the first initiative to nominate common cultural heritage jointly.

Croatia has seven cultural and natural sites on the UNESCO list as well as seven specific cultural phenomena, such as folk songs, some of which it has shared with Bosnia. Serbia has six monuments on the list and Montenegro three, including the Mediterranean historic town of Kotor. Bosnia has two bridges from the Ottoman-era on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Read more about Bosnia's stecci on




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