Cultural Heritage in Times of Destruction

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Jelena Jovanovic, Sapienza, Università di Roma / Istituto Serbo di Ricerca, Studio e Promozione del Patrimonio Culturale, Rome, Italy


    Most of the time cultural heritage professionals and conservators try to protect our heritage against the natural process of deterioration. Besides the inevitable natural causes of decay, the past two decades were marked by destruction of cultural heritage in conflict areas, both movable and immovable, tangible and intangible, on a symbolic scale that has been unrivalled for the past several centuries. Next to the inevitable natural causes of decay, we are nowadays compelled by teft, war and vandalism around the world. This presentation will be focused on the Unesco Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and specifically on the case study of four medieval monuments in Kosovo and Metohija, inscribed on the Unesco List of World Heritage in Danger: Dečani Monastery, Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, Our Lady of Ljevis and Gračanica Monastery. Its goal is to deepen the understanding of art and cultural heritage in their role of facilitators in the cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create ‘unity in diversity’. The presentation aims also to open several questions and raise topics that can cast light on possible solutions and immediate active initiatives: – How can we rise awareness on manmade disasters? – What tools do the cultural institutions have we to prevent the manmade damages? – Are the national risk management programmes sufficient to respond to this changing reality? – Cultural diplomacy on the fast lane: mitigating the disasters’ effects or preventing ‘damnatio memoriae’?