PETITION AGAINST THE CABLE CAR AND DESTRUCTION OF THE BELGRADE FORTRESS
We urge all responsible authorities, decision makers as well as institutions in charge of the urban planning and the protection of heritage in Belgrade and Serbia to take urgent steps to stop the construction of the cable car that would connect the Belgrade Fortress and Ušće Park.
The Belgrade Fortress is the key historic urban site for understanding the development of Belgrade and the presence of the various civilisations from Prehistoric times, and must be safeguarded as a whole. We believe that its integral and holistic protection is of crucial significance for the protection of historic layers, specificities and identities of Belgrade and Serbia. This protection is guaranteed by the Law of the protection of cultural heritage of the Republic of Serbia; the Law on Spatial Plan of Republic of Serbia 2010-2020; Urban plans of Beograde, and numerous international and European conventions, as well as by the scientific and professional standards. Intervention of constructing a cable car would irreversibly jeopardize the integrity, authenticity, appearance and landscape of the Belgrade Fortress, and create irrecoverable loss for the present and future citizens of Belgrade, Serbia and the world.
We highlight that this project not only jeopardize national laws and international conventions ratified by Serbia, but it puts at risk the position of Serbia as a full-right member of international and European organizations and academic institutions in the sphere of cultural heritage. Furthermore, such project would threaten the possibility of key strategic, international projects that Serbia has been realizing in the sphere of cultural and natural heritage protection. Among these is the transnational nomination for the World Heritage List “Frontiers of the Roman Empire-Serbia”, which is on UNESCO Tentative List since 2015. Belgrade Fortress, together with the Roman castrum, is one of the most important sites for this World Heritage List nomination. Successful nomination to World Heritage List would position Belgrade on the map of cultural tourism much better than the new cable car would, and would protect the specificities of historic layers of Belgrade.
The plan for the cable car construction, as well as numerous devastations of protected cultural monuments and inadequate transformations of the historic urban landscape of Belgrade, do exactly the opposite. Belgrade, the city that has been destroyed so many times in wars, does not deserve the present-day destruction which is due to the incompetent and inadequate interventions and investments in the historic urban landscape. The plan for cable car construction and other serial inadequate transformations of the historic urban landscape of Belgrade, represent obvious violations of national laws, planning documents, and international standards and principles of heritage protection and enhancement. Most importantly, they violate the right to heritage as a common good for all citizens, and sacrifice common good for the profits of the few.
Therefore, we urgently appeal to the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the responsible Assembly committees, to the Ministry for Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Construction, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication, as well as to the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia and the City of Belgrade, to take urgent steps to stop the construction of the cable car, in accordance to the highest professional standards and legal responsibility for common heritage that have been entrusted to them. We demand that all responsible institutions, local and state authorities comply with professional, legal and internationally accepted standards of cultural heritage safeguarding.
The initiators and institutional signatories of the Petition:
Europa Nostra Serbia, country representation of Europa Nostra
Europa Nostra, the largest European civil society organisation for cultural heritage
Association of Conservators of Serbia, a national professional association that brings together experts and scientists from different fields of cultural and natural heritage protection
Serbian Archaeological Society, the oldest professional association that brings together experts and scientists dealing with research, conservation and communication of cultural heritage
Serbian Musuem Association, professional association of museums and museum experts
ICOMOS Serbia National Committee, National Representative of the International Council for Monuments and Sites
ICOM Serbia National Committee, National Representative of the International Council for Museums
Institute for the Danube Region studies, Belgrade
Center for Theoretical Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University
UNESCO Chair of Cultural Policy and Management, University of Arts, Belgrade
Institute for Urban Politics, Belgrade
Department of Art History, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University
Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University
Balkan Museum Network, a museums network in the Region of the Southeast Europe
South East European Heritage Network, network of civil society associations dealing with the preservation of cultural and natural heritage
Association Independent Cultural Scene of Serbia
Arh. Bojan Kovačević, Chairman of the Academy of Architecture
Prof. dr Mileta Prodanović, Rector of the University of Arts in Belgrade
Numerous museum curators, conservators, architects, heritage educators and researchers
Evropa Nostra Srbija Contact the author of the petition
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