March 27, 2019 - "Montenegrin lighthouses as destination icons" is the scientific monograph by Doc. Dr Andjela Jaksic-Stojanovic (Mediterranean Univesity, Montenegro) and prof. Dr Nevena Seric (the Faculty of Economics, University of Split) which recently emerged from the press.
The monograph is the first original research on the theme of lighthouses in Montenegro, and the Ministry of Science provided support for the realisation of this idea.
"The monograph is conceived so that in the introductory part it is given a description of the lighthouses and their significance through history: from the first in the port of Alexandria (II-III century BC) to today. It follows the display of lighthouses all over the world which are adequately valued and represent one of the key factors of the attractiveness of individual tourist destinations. It also presented the project "Stone lights" realised in Croatia, which has successfully integrated tourism, ecology and sustainable development by this valuable cultural and historical heritage and has set new standards for the future development of Croatian tourism. In the final part, a lighthouse fund in Montenegro was presented, as well as a presentation of the most important lighthouses from the historical, cultural, tourist and other aspects which would have been significantly enhanced by the quality of cultural and tourist offer of Montenegro by adequate valorisation," says Jaksic Stojanovic.
In the announcement of the publication, the authors state that they "are aware of the importance of the Montenegrin Lighthouses Fund from the cultural, tourist, artistic, historical and many other aspects" having in mind the experiences of other countries and the fact that in many of them "the lighthouses became a kind of destination icon and the key factor for attracting tourists ".
Apart from analysing the existing and collecting new information about the Lighthouse Fund of Montenegro, authors have also given concrete proposals for its adequate protection, promotion and valorisation through the application of different art forms, as they believe that they can link culture, tourism and art.
"Lighthouse tourism has begun to develop as a special form of tourism in the last few years, attracting an increasing number of tourists around the world, and therefore an adequate valorisation of this important segment of cultural heritage can be of great importance not only at the national but also at the regional and international level. It should be mentioned that there are spectacular examples of lighthouses around the world that have become destination icons - many of them are turned into mini-hotels, museums, galleries, idyllic venues for wedding, celebrations, receptions," says Jaksic Stojanovic and points out that the Montenegrin Lighthouse Fund must first be adequately protected to speak about its valorisation and promotion.
"All future activities must be based on the principles of sustainable development, the protection of cultural and historical heritage as well as environmental protection, because we can only talk about long-term development that will bring the expected benefits. Any commercialisation that deviates from these principles may further jeopardise this vulnerable and inadequately protected segment of cultural heritage, so it is imperative to work on the preparation of an adequate strategy for the protection, promotion and valorisation of the lighthouse fund at the highest level, involving experts from different profiles," she suggests.
The author points out that it is necessary to devise an entirely new, original and innovative concept, and some of the proposals are the application of various art techniques which will, by taking care of the protection of the lighthouses, make them more attractive.
"That's why the folk costume is one of the models and involving the engagement of artists from all over the world who, using land art techniques, using natural materials, dressed lighthouses in their national costumes. Also, other models of valorisation have been proposed, such as the application of video mapping techniques, whereby the island of Mamula and the entire environment would be transformed into a huge screen on the water where film projections, music projections, festivals would be performed. There are also many other solutions, such as art installations, the inclusion of a lighthouse in the scene of musical festivals, etc.," adds Jaksic Stojanovic and adds:
"How to set the lighthouses? My advice is to read this interesting monograph and enjoy the views of the lighthouses, their history, the legends related to their past, their beauty and the harmony with nature-at least a fraction of how much the authors enjoyed while working on the monograph. For starters, it is more than enough."
Andjela Jaksic Stojanovic points out that the work on this monograph was a scientific-research challenge because there is no adequate database on the lighthouse fund as well as data on their characteristics, year of construction, legends and stories related to their past.
"Those little available data are in archives and old writings, as well as in the stories of sailors and lighthouse workers. Also, lighthouses in Montenegro are not adequately protected, so their fate in modernisation is very uncertain. For this very reason, the work on this project was very challenging because apart from the analysis of archive material, nautical maps, available internet sources, it included conversations with historians, art historians, seafarers, lighthouses, locals and others, to reach additional data and information that are relevant to the processing of this topic. In addition to highlighting lighthouses and gathering data that are important for their future valorisation, a professional photo base of the lighthouse fund has been developed for the first time in Montenegro, which is of immense importance for their future promotion," the author says.