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Center for Balkan Development
TEL : 978-461-0909
FAX: 978-461-2552
[email protected]

Press Release
June 27, 2000

For immediate release

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June 27, 2000

For further information, contact Andras Riedlmayer at the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Project (617-495-3372), or Glenn Ruga at Friends of Bosnia (978-461-0909).


BOSTON -- The Cambridge-based Kosovo Cultural Heritage Project (KCHP) in collaboration with Friends of Bosnia, has received a grant from the Packard Humanities Institute for the reconstruction of three historically significant buildings in Kosovo that were badly damaged by Serb forces during last year's war.

The three buildings to be restored are the Kulla of Zenel Bey in Pec/Peja (19th century), the Kulla of the Kosovo Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Decani (19th century), and the the Mosque of Kel Hasan Aga in Rogovo/Rogova (16th century.)

Kullas, stone mansions typical of traditional Albanian residential architecture of this region, suffered tremendous damage during the recent conflict and are an endangered architectural type. Kosovo's mosques, one third of which were destroyed or damaged in the war, also represent an endangered heritage of indigenous European Islamic architecture.

The reconstruction of these buildings will be carried out under the supervision of the Kosovo Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Pristina and will also involve students and faculty of the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Pristina and other local bodies involved in cultural heritage in Kosovo.

These pilot projects are designed to establish methodologies for historical preservation in the local context and also to foster links between local institutions in Kosovo and agencies and professionals abroad involved in architectural preservation and reconstruction. The projects also aim to serve as catalysts for the reconstruction and development of the surrounding neighborhoods and to revive and develop traditional building crafts and techniques.

The first phase of the project will include a workshop, organized by Andrew Herscher of the KCHP and hosted by the Faculty of Architecture in Pristina, 2-13 October 2000. At this workshop, supported in part by a grant from the ArtsLink Program, local and foreign experts and students of the Faculty will examine current theories and practices of historical reconstruction in a post-war context. Buildings selected for the pilot reconstruction project will serve as case studies and the results of the workshop will be used in carrying out the project.

It is anticipated that the reconstruction of these three buildings will be completed in the autumn of 2001.

For photographs of these and other buildings, see Burned Books and Blasted Shrines: Cultural Heritage Under Fire in Kosovo