Nov 06 - 2012
The Swedish foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders has taken with a great disturb the information that the cobblestones (setts) of “Çarshia e Vjetër” (the Old Bazaar) in Gjakovë/Djakovica have been removed and start being replaced with a stone pavement of a different structure. CHwB, herein, deems such undertaking seriously impairs cultural heritage values which “Çarshia e Vjetër” was bestowed with. Cobblestone is a material traditionally used in urban centers not only in Kosovo, but beyond; and which has already turned into a distinctive and indivisible component of historic zones, particularly of “Çarshia” in Gjakovë/Djakovica.
CHwB considers that the interventions in “Çarshia e Vjetër” should adhere to its authenticity! The design, material used, mastery and local context are inalienable features of the authenticity!
Therefore, such interventions should be based on respect for original material…
(Venice Charter, Article 9)
“Çarshia e Vjetër” of Gjakova/Djakovica (the Old Bazaar) is an urban space characterized by alleys, shops, old houses and religious buildings. Each of those individually represent significant cultural heritage value yet, when complementing with one another, establish a whole – an area called Historic Zone (known as Site), a category acclaimed in international conventions, too.
Each and every intervention in “Çarshia” should consider its urban and architectural integrity.
Historic sites must be the object of special care in order to safeguard their integrity and ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly manner… (Venice Charter, Article 14)
Local authorities should be aware that the responsibility for cultural heritage and its management goes primarily to the community that created it and, secondly, on those who safeguard it. These days we have seen a rousing community participation in opposing actions undertaken by the authorities.
Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the municipality that interventions undertaken are in accordance with the Law on Cultural Heritage, which requires the interventions be approved by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
CHwB braces as right the decision brought by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports to halt proceedings in “Çarshia e Vjetër” (Bazaar) of Gjakova/Djakovica. According to this decision, works have to stop instantly and the municipality should establish a communication line with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.
CHwB anticipates that municipal authorities fully adhere to the lawfulness.
CHwB recommends the exploit of this momentum and to set off a process of consultation with the community and the experts of the field. It is important that the resolve of Municipality to invest in “Çarshia e Vjetër” (the Old Bazaar) be accepted and appreciated by the local community.