May 29, 2018 - There is a vast cultural heritage of Italy on the ground of our country, from Boka to Ulcinj. If nothing else, Venice reconstructed Kotor after the terrible earthquake in 1667. So, a considerable part of our cultural heritage is also part of the Italian cultural heritage. In that sense, the State of Italy, through its funds, as part of its capabilities, assists certain projects in Kotor, such as the restoration of the three lions on the outside of the town walls or the gold and silver thread link workshops in Venice, which is essential for making the ornaments on the Bokelian folk costumes.
Nevertheless, the most significant project so far realized is undoubtedly the restoration of all three of the city gates, which began in March this year. In the words of the President of the Community of Italians of Montenegro, Alexander Dender, the realization of this project, which has been prepared for years, wouldn’t be possible even now without the great understanding and conscientious support of the mayor of Kotor, Vladimir Jokić.
Today, the mayor is honored to discover the restored Gate of the City -Vrata od grada, also called Porta Marina, at a solemn presentation. "This and such projects contribute not only to the cooperation between Montenegro and Italy but also to the preservation of what is a common cultural heritage in these areas. The Municipality of Kotor will be open to such initiatives and ready to support all the projects that will contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage of Kotor. I hope that the restoration of the main city gate will be only the first step in the restoration of what is the spirit, and I can say, the glory of this city," said Mayor of Kotor Vladimir Jokić, removing the curtain from the restored main city gate of the Old Town.
On the main gate of Kotor, as well as on the southern slopes of Gurdic and the northern slopes of Skurda, conservation and restoration began in early March with stone cleaning and damage. It is a project for which the Community of Italians in Kotor, through the Italian region of Veneto, provided funds for 78.000 euro, of which the Municipality of Kotor provided 20 percent of the funds. The project was supported by the Italian Embassy in Montenegro and the Italian company "Pizzaroti", all under the supervision of experts from the experts of Kotor branch of the Center for Archaeology and Conservation of Montenegro.
The main contractor is the specialized Italian company "Laira" from Padua. During the restoration, the Porta Marina did not change the actual appearance that emerged after the Second World War, but on the cleansed and sanitized stone floor, you can now clearly see the recognizable silhouettes of two griffons, and the coat of arms of the Empire and the Kingdom of Austro-Hungary which stand on the cape above the door since the beginning of the 20th century.
The architect conservatory from Padua, Adelmo Lazzaro, presented a team of colleagues from Italy who professionally carried out a demanding job, adding that all the activities had been video documented. Deputy Ambassador of Italy in Montenegro, Antonella Fontana, thanked the team working on the main town gate for the past three months, regardless of the time conditions, and the Italian community, which through likely projects, fosters links between the two countries and have a shared concern for cultural heritage. She also marked the great contribution of the Pizzaroti company in the presentation of Italian culture in Kotor.
"I particularly thank the Veneto region, which continues to invest in its cultural heritage here in Boka Bay, thus maintaining this extremely strong, age-old and important link between Boka and Venice. Thanks to this, we can still feel the spirit of Venice and Serenity here in Kotor," Fontana said.
Speaking about the project, the President of the Community of Italians of Montenegro, architect Aleksandar Dender, announced that the restored Gate of Gurdic and the Gate of Škurda would be inaugurated on June 9th.
"This partnership project will surely open the doors for new joint performances of the Kotor Municipality and the Veneto region, which each year allocates significant sums of money to rebuild and protect its cultural heritage on the Adriatic coast," said Dender.