LIFE’S MOST PERSISTENT AND URGENT QUESTION IS, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?’
Martin Luther King, Jr
“It was when I was hearing from the media about the destruction of the colonnade at the archaeological site of Palmyra, in Syria, that I was contacted to back up the call to safeguard the Serbian Medieval Heritage in Kosovo which mainly consist of churches.
It is with heightened conviction that, through my voice, the French Federation for UNESCO advocates supporting the citizens’ and institutional commitment in favour of this cultural and artistic preservation.
I often had the opportunity to take walks within the magical city of Palmyra and to enjoy its charm and beauty. That magical city became a martyred city falling into the hands of barbarous people to whom neither the human life nor the memory have value.
Of Serbia and its heritage I know little, given that, for the time being, my Serbian trip was limited to the TESLA’s egalitarian dream, that man of great genius.
The atrocity of barbarism and crime can wipe out the most beautiful human accomplishments in a second. However, general indifference, due to disregard or contempt, can lead to the same kind of destruction. And indifference is precisely what currently jeopardizes the Serbian Medieval Heritage in Kosovo.
How could we possibly apologize in the future for those potential destructions by merely claiming and using as a pretext our current helplessness? Being very proud of our relationship with UNESCO, we consider that it is UNESCO firstly that we must call on to guarantee the preservation of the above said heritage, an outstanding heritage of the mankind and the mankind’s memory.”
Yves Lopez, President of the French Federation for UNESCO
“Federico Mayor, one of the most successful former directors-generals of UNESCO, fiercely opposes the campaign for Kosovo to become a member of that organization. Asked by Radio Television of Serbia reporters how he would vote in a UNESCO vote on Kosovo’s membership today, Mayor said he would, without any doubt, vote against it. Mayor pointed out that while he had served as UNESCO director-general, from 1987 to 1999, he had five times condemned NATO’s military campaign in Kosovo.The invasion of Kosovo was not approved by the UN, and it is always possible to reconsider that issue, he stressed.” Source: Tanjug
Federico Mayor, Illustrious UNESCO Director-General
Everyone I know in UNESCO wants to save the world heritage and opposes Kosovo’s bid to join UNESCO. If Kosovo enters UNESCO, the human disaster will continue and the world heritage will be in great danger. For several years now, I have been advocating for the values of UNESCO, but today the question of their future deeply torments me.
Kosta Zivanovic, President of the University Club for UNESCO
For any Byzantine art specialist, the Serbian medieval art is a key pillar of his research. Serbian medieval monuments in Kosovo, be they part of the World Heritage List or not, are essential components of understanding the European Orthodox Civilization. We must do everything to preserve the whole Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo, out of respect for our human dignity and the UNESCO’s ideals.
Ana Dumitrescu, Byzantine art specialist, Former International UNESCO expert , Metamorphoses UNESCO supported project Director
To defend the cultural and religious heritage in the world – this is one of Unesco’s missions. Can a country that does not report, condemn, or prevent the constant damaging and destruction of churches and cemeteries on its territory demand to join this institution? I don’t think so and this is why today I oppose the entry of Kosovo in the UNESCO. As I have created several documentaries through Pristina, Prizren, Pec, Kosovska Mitrovica, and Decani over twenty years, continuing to receive several reliable testimonies on the local situation, there is no doubt that the political authorities that currently govern Kosovo do not make the necessary efforts sufficient for the protection of the places of Christian worship and memory from the abuses that certain Albanian extremists commit. The same applies to the people: a few days ago, once again four Serbian children were attacked and hit at Gornje Kusce and many Orthodox pilgrims were attacked at Pec. Until guarantees for the protection and restoration of buildings and tombs that maintain the memory of the centennial Serbian and Orthodox presence are not ensured, to me Kosovo cannot demand to become a member of UNESCO. If the decision resulted differently, I would naturally stop to practice my function as UNESCO Cross-Cultural ambassador. This title was given to me in May 2012 for my “unremitting commitment to cultural rapprochement, to the promotion and the struggle for the safeguarding of communal human heritages, material and non-material (but also of those not institutionally classified), as well as for the important commitment to the daily implementation of cultural diversity.” How would I continue to be affiliated to an institution that, to me, would contradict its mission and my action?