Date: Thu, 9 Feb 1995 10:56:33 EST
Sender: Turkish Studies Association <TSA-L@msu.edu>
From: Andras Riedlmayer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: REPORTS ON CULTURAL DESTRUCTION IN BOSNIA
Information on Cultural Destruction in Bosnia-Herzegovina
By Andras Riedlmayer and compiled by the Council of Europe,
9 February 1995
Since late 1992, the Council of Europe has commissioned at least
five reports, entitled:
"Information Report on the Destruction by War of the Cultural Heritage
in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina" -- Strasbourg: Council of Europe,
Parliamentary Assembly, 1993-
Reports nos. 1-5 (dated 2 February 1993-12 April 1994) were adopted as
Assembly Documents nos. 6756, 6869, 6904, 6989, and 7070. The reports
are based on research and site inspections of cultural institutions and
architectural monuments, carried out by expert rapporteurs commissioned
by the European Parliament. Copies of the reports are available from:
The Secretary, Committee on Culture and Education
Strasbourg CEDEX F-67006,
ACCESS VIA INTERNET & W W W
Excerpts from these reports were incorporated in: "Review of the Hague
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of
Armed Conflict" written by Prof. Patrick J. Boylan, Dept. of Arts Policy
and Management, City University, London, at the request of UNESCO.
Excerpts from that review can be accessed on the gopher maintained by
the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). From
Withing the menu "Related Treaties" items of interest include
- "Boylan. Review of the Hague Convention" AND ALSO:
- "Carnegie Symposium on Destruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina (May 1994)."
(a full transcript of presentations by Andras Riedlmayer, Amir Pasic,
W. Hays Parks and Thomas S. Warrick -- a copy of this transcript was
forwarded to the U.N. Commission of Experts Investigating War Crimes
in the Former Yugoslavia).
The following is a brief extract from one of the Council of Europe
reports, cited in the Boylan document as Appendix XII: Report on
Destruction in Croatia & Bosnia:
... The word "ethnic cleansing" is now in fashion, but it goes
hand in hand with another kind of cleansing - cultural cleansing.
What else can the deliberate destruction of mosques and churches
be called? In the Commune of Dubrovnik, the destruction of
traditional villages of great architectural value followed the
mass exodus of rural people in October 1991 before the Federal Army.
Yet cultural cleansing is also economic cleansing. The Commune of
Dubrovnik was looted of wine, animals, farm and industrial machinery;
its hotels were shelled and its tourist capacities severely damaged -
not least through the damage done to its cultural heritage. The
industry of Mostar was also destroyed and tourists may keep away
until its minarets are restored.
6. The Need for Information and Enhanced International Co-operation.
Amazingly, the picture of the extent of damage in Croatia is
incomplete. The Croatian Government does not know what the situation
of the heritage is in occupied Krajina and Slavonia. In Bosnia
information is even more fragmentary. What is the situation on the
battle fronts, and in the zones occupied by each of the parties, but
especially by the Serbs, who control about 70% of the territory of
Bosnia-Herzegovina? Without basic information - the type that the
fact-finding mission found - there is nothing we can do for
It is odd that we remain so ignorant, considering that the UN forces,
the UNHCR, and the ECMM are active throughout much of the war-torn
territory. They have much information, but which they are unwilling
to share. They could help heritage fact-finding missions with
transport, but they do not seem willing to share that either.
The latest mission had to rely exclusively on the assistance of
Croatians and Bosnians. If the international organizations are
unwilling or incapable to help international missions, they could
perhaps become more actively interested in the fate of the heritage
and use the qualified personnel within their ranks as heritage
7. Limitless Technical and Material Needs.
It is clear that the heritage of Croatia and Bosnia needs the
technical know-how of foreign experts. We cannot hide behind the
false reasons that it is too early to take stock of the situation
or that we should not patronise these people, for the Croatians
and Bosnians demand that West Europeans finally take a real
interest in their heritage, now and not later, when it may be
Are these monuments stable? Can you convince our authorities
not to pull them down? What can we do later with these buildings?
Do you have craftsmen who will be able to help us? These are the
questions that outsiders can bring answers to.
The material needs are limitless: emergency materials to cover
buildings and shore up walls; standard building materials to
repair roofs. Satisfying these needs goes beyond the capacities
of private associations. Our states must organise this aid,
and coordinate it.
If you have or need further information on these subjects,
please contact: Andras Riedlmayer (email@example.com).
The kind of information represented by this document is now being gathered on the web page