Protest of the SOC regarding the action of creating electronic database of cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija
Letter of the Holy Synod of Bishops regarding the action of creating electronic database regarding cultural treasures of Kosovo and Metohija
Regarding the action of creating electronic data of cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija by “the ministry of culture of Kosovo”, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church has sent a protest letter to the chief of the UNMIK Lamberto Zannieri :
At the end of December we found out from the electronic media that “the Kosovo ministry of culture in cooperation with Andrew Sparks , an officer of the administration of the Great Britain” started an action of creating electronic database regarding cultural heritage of Kosovo and Metohija. Mr. Valton Beqiri stated for the B92 on December 22, 2008 that the primary goal of this action is a protection and a promotion of the cultural heritage, as well as a presentation of it as “unique and indivisible” . It is not hard to understand what Mr. Beqiri wanted to say by stating this, or to get to know his real intentions. You are familiar, as the whole world is, with the fact that the Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija is much promoted in the world and that several monuments of this heritage is under the protection of the UNESCO. Cultural heritage is the inalienable part of one nation or one civilization, in this case Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church which had created for it this heritage and preserved it.
A matter of dispute is the fact that Mr. Beqiri wants, and for this he has the support of the aforesaid officer of the administration of the Great Britain in Pristina, to rename and reregister Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija as “ property of Kosovo”, or ,as he says, to record it as “authentic” meaning it is authentically to call it “Kosovo`s” in the political context of the illegal secession and declaration of independence of Kosovo. You are familiar, although, to whom these monuments belong to, and how they were registered, then how they were treated at the Memorandum Commission, and during all negotiations in Vienna, and even in the Ahtisaari`s plan which was not accepted.
Regarding these actions of “The Republic of Kosovo Ministry of culture” and involvement of the officers of the administration of the Great Britain in these activities, which places the ownership of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija in jeopardy, we express our harshest protest , because it is an attempt of usurpation of the ownership and changing the identity of our religious and national cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. State and republic all cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija belongs to the legal jurisdiction of the Republic of Serbia and the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, and some parts of it directly to the UNESCO. It has never been changed and must not changed for it is the authentic identity as the monument of culture of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Just to remind, during the Vienna negotiations all participants agreed to respect the Serbian and Orthodox identity of our heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. Our Church used same principles when it took part in the Commission of the Council of Europe for reconstruction of our destroyed churches, and not as Mr. Beqiri states, for “ establishing communications” with the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, regarding his pointless suggestions and plans.
Any kind of violent renaming or dispossessing our sanctuaries we will consider as violence against cultural heritage. Using labels like “kosovar” and “orthodox” heritage is a way to give a political dimension to cultural heritage, and at the same time using the same to further establish the illegally declared independence of Kosovo.
We ask You, Mr. Zannieri, to inform all international institutions about the position of our Church and to take anything what is in Your area of control in order to prevent creating the abovementioned database on such political foundations, which purpose is subjected to their political and nationalistic misuse.
On this occasion, the same letter has been sent to Ivy de Kermabon, the chief of EULEX in Kosovo and Metohija, Koishiro Matsuura, the Secretary General of the UNESCO, as well as to David Milliband, the foreign secretary of the Great Britain.