Prizren Municipality demolishes old buildings without the consent of Cultural Heritage Institutions

The Municipality of Prizren on Monday announced that they have begun with the demolition of old and deteriorated buildings that are under demolition and pose a danger for passers-by. Based on the announcement of the Municipality, after the evaluation of the commission formed by the Directorate of Emergencies, the facilities that are dangerous to the citizens have been identified. According to the Municipality's announcement, their selection is based on the fact that the objects in question do not have cultural heritage values and are not found in the Historic Center of Prizren.

However, the cultural heritage authorities respectively the officials of the Regional Center for Cultural Heritage in Prizren claimed that they were not part of the value evaluation process of these buildings. According to the legislation, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) respectively the Regional Center of Cultural Heritage (RCCH), is the only competent authority for the evaluation of inheritance assets, in which case it should be remembered that the updating of the temporary list of protected monuments is a dynamic and continuous process. Therefore the findings of the municipal bodies for the lack of values of these buildings are ungrounded and unlawful, for the fact that RCCH is not included in decision-making.

EC Ma Ndryshe considers that the Municipality may have arguments that, for the sake of citizens' safety this action was necessary, but nevertheless reminds that the values of these buildings can be ascertained only by cultural heritage authorities. Therefore it recommends that; for the buildings in question preventive measures should be taken in order not to jeopardize the life of the citizens and the occasional passers-by. Considering that the demolition of cultural heritage assets represents an irreversible value process, EC Ma Ndryshe urgently asks the Municipality to consult with cultural heritage authorities before proceeding with any demolition process.