The situation in the UNESCO area of Kotor is more than worrying, especially from the perspective of the cultural landscape, which has been irretrievably destroyed at many locations. Although a moratorium on construction in a protected area is in place, urbicides are developing unhindered by threatening to finally close the story of the UNESCO status of Kotor. The Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Reactive Mission is underway, and one of the local experts who hosted colleagues was Prof. Dr. Ilija Lalošević.
System of Protection for UNESCO Status of Kotor is Not Functioning
Although in a relatively good state, old city centers are not immune to the general marginalization of the profession, which has been systematically implemented for more than a decade, and as a final result is the fact that the institutions of protection, above all the Department for the Protection of Cultural Goods, allowed the biggest devastation, such as building the Pentagon, the beach in Dobrota, the Turkish Cape, a five-floors hotel in Perast.
UNESCO has warned the US since 2003
The Reactive Joint Mission of the UNESCO and ICOMOS is here in Montenegro to determine the state of the protected area and Montenegro's progress in implementing the demands made at the Bahrain summit, albeit at previous sessions.
The UNESCO mission visited Montenegro for the last time in 2003, followed by a sharp warning in the 2004 summit. Although it was to be expected that we will work to establish a more effective protection system, and the warnings were mostly concerned with the treatment of the cultural landscape, we have gone a few steps backward - the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Kotor has been drowned in the Department for the Protection of Cultural Goods, and Kotor experts have taken the right to make decisions. A former director of the Regional Institute, nowadays a full professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Podgorica, Dr. Ilija Lalošević, points out:
"All our previous experience is neglected. The director who came after me dropped the Technical Department, to which we could especially be proud of. Apart from the fact that this Technical Department, with the eyes of the conservators, has renewed most of Kotor, we are talking about a team that has carried out conservation work on numerous facilities throughout the former Yugoslavia. With the Provincial Institute of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments has named one of the best in the former state."
Based on Joint Reactive Mission Report, UNESCO Status of Kotor to be discussed at Committee Session Next Year
During the visit of the Reactive Joint Mission, Professor Lalošević was a contact person in front of the member state, and he met with experts from the World Heritage Committee and ICOMOS on two occasions and was their host.
According to Prof. Dr. Ilija Lalošević, the Reactive Joint Mission would make its report in 15 days, and its content will be the subject of debate by the UNESCO Committee on its next session in 2019. Professor Lalošević is not particularly optimistic about the future status of Kotor: "By the state of the field and the earlier reports that have come from 2003 to today, everything is worse than the gorge, as well as the moratorium that was introduced, albeit only on paper, according to the latest guidelines, which were made at the session in Bahrain, where, inter alia, it requires an extension of the moratorium- it is clear that the situation is not good."
The President of the Municipality of Kotor, Vladimir Jokić, stated earlier that the local authorities are communicating with competent national bodies on an expert level to try to develop the action plan that will preserve the area and be the basic stone for its sustainable management and development in the future.