UNESCO’S NEW ATTACK AGAINST SERBIAN HOLY PLACES IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

Subject: UNESKO’s new attack against Serbian holy places in Kosovo and Metohija

May 09, 2008.

Source: Diocese of Raska and Prizren and Kosovo and Metohija

UNESCO’S NEW ATTACK
AGAINST SERBIAN HOLY PLACES
IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

It is with sorrow and disbelief that the Diocese of Raška and Prizren and Kosovo and Metohija has learned that UNESCO is preparing a new attack on Serbian holy places in Kosovo and Metohija.

In the past several years, in fact ever since the arrival here of the international community in 1999, UNESCO has become notorious for its infamous activities in Kosovo and Metohija. As early as its first missions to Kosovo and Metohija and their official Reports from the field, which were followed by active steps, UNESCO openly and unambiguously took the side of the Albanian minority rebel faction inciting and supporting its illegitimate aspirations for seceding from Serbia.

UNESCOs entire activity was characterized by efforts to take the care for Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija from the hands of the Serbian people and to transfer it to Albanian institutions in Priština. This process went hand in hand with the tendency to rename Serbian cultural and spiritual heritage designating it “Kosovan, orKosovar” or “Bysantine” or “Balkan.” It was also accompanied by publishing propaganda materials often passed around at international conferences organized by UNESCO and that other UN organization -– UNMIK. These materials, trading in untruths and falsifications falsely represent Serbian cultural heritage as Albanian or Roman Catholic or anything but what it really is, namely Serbian.

Even the feeble attempts of UNESCOs experts in the field, such as restoration works on Bogorodica Leviška in Prizren, have proved o be a complete fiasco. However, they did serve the purpose of showing that we are dealing here with mere manipulations and politically motivated actions designed to promote the process of taking Serbian cultural heritage out of the hand of the Serbian people and sugar-coating the transfer of this heritage into the hands of Albanian institutions in Priština with a view to creating a new state of affairs in this phantom state of “independent Kosovo.” (A reminder: after the unilateral proclamation of independence on February 17 2008, these Priština institutions have ceased to be legitimate.)nited

UNESCOs behavior was in complete accordance with the general policy of the socalled international community, which is nothing more than a few western countries, whose activities, beginning with the preparation for bombing and then the bombing itself, through the years of international administration, represented by UNMIK and KFOR, have always been directed towards one single predetermined objective, namely the dismemberment of Serbia and robbing a sovereign state and a member of the United Nations of a part of its integral territory.

A most recent illustration of this is the illegitimate agreement signed by UNESKO and UNMIK in January 2007 on the transfer of restoration and conservation activities related to Serbian cultural heritage, which is to be financed by the State Department, without any consultation with, or participation of, the owner and keeper of Serbian holy places. Regrettably, a thankless role was played by the UNESCO Serbian mission in Paris.

It is not difficult to imagine what the historical consequences of such a shameless act as stealing the cultural heritage from a nation will be or how this act will affect the identity of that nation, in this case the Serbian nation, its inner self and its survival on the stage of history. It is a conscious and calculated attack on the very foundations of spirituality and the inner being of the Serbian nation, on everything that makes it recognizable in history, everything that has kept it safe on its journey between all the Scyllas and Charybdese of this world.

This inevitably brings us to the process of renovation of the Serbian holy places which were destroyed in the pogrom perpetrated against the Serbs on March 17, 2004 and which are now being rehabilitated in accordance with the Memorandum on Rehabilitation signed by the Serbian Orthodox Church and Albanian institutions in Priština in 2005. This process is characteristic of the position of the international community described above and, in addition, has proved catastrophic in its execution on the ground and yet it continues to be implemented thanks, unfortunately, to the support given to this ruinous policy of the so-called international community by a segment of the Serbian Episcopate.

In view of the fact that in spite of many attempts to implement the above-mentioned restoration and conservation policy in Kosovo and Metohija, UNESCO was unable to make much headway in this area, and we are now witnessing the newest attack of this agency on Serbian cultural and spiritual heritage —this time with the help of the expertise and financial resources of Russia, which would act within the framework of UNESCO’s project and plans.

According to published information, it is planned to include “Russian architects, construction engineers and art historians” in the project. Russia is to provide “the necessary organizational and expertise resources,” and to work under the auspices of the UNESCO project.

Remembering the fiasco of the rehabilitation process under the Memorandum and its catastrophic ineptness both from the political point of view and because of the unacceptable quality of work produced, the Diocese of Raška and Prizren and Kosovo and Metohija expresses its resolute opposition to UNESCOs newest idea, as well as to its attempt to ignore agreed procedures with a view to implementing its programs in the nowindependentKosovo. The Diocese also remains firm in its well-known position that any rehabilitation process related to the holy places in the domain of the Diocese of Raška and Prizren and Kosovo and Metohija, as well as any inclusion of international institutions in the rehabilitation process can be carried out only in accordance with principles set forth and defined by the Diocese.

So far, the incursions made by UNESCO into the area of conservation of Serbian cultural heritage and the models of its engagement therein do not augur well for future collaboration in this area.

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