Commission Allows Commercial Construction on a Sarajevo Landmark

Bosnian national commission for protection of landmarks stripped the remains of a Sarajevo Ottoman-era inn off the protected landmark status to allow for commercial construction on the site, outraging Sarajevans. The ruins of Tašlihan, translated as “the stone inn”, in Sarajevo’s old town were declared a protected landmark in 2007. The inn was built in the XVI century and it was the largest structure of its kind in Sarajevo at that time. Fire in 1897 damaged it beyond repair.

The remains were unearthed by archaeologists in 1998, at the start of reconstruction of the adjacent Europa hotel, damaged in a bombing during the Bosnian war. The commission for protection of landmarks initially banned construction works at the site, but now the owner, an endowment agency of the Bosnian Islamic Community, is allowed to use it for commercial purposes. A member of the commission defended the decision by saying that no more than five percent of the original inn building was preserved.

The national commission for protection of landmarks was originally made from two members appointed by the Federation entity, one member appointed by the Republika Srpska entity and two members appointed by UNESCO director general. According to the rule book, four votes were needed for every decision. However, Bosnian Presidency decided in 2016 that UNESCO will no longer appoint commission members.

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