Lifestyle

29 Jul 2020, 22:04 PM

August 1, 2020 - The second Wild Beauty Art Festival is planned to take place from 31st July to 22nd August at several locations across Montenegro. Nine music programmes are planned for Black Lake on Durmitor - the already well-known site of the festival - as well as the UNESCO site Stećci, and for the new coastal home of the festival, the unique ambience of Luštica Bay.

The Wild Beauty Art platform was created on the initiative of the KotorArt team, after almost two decades of the latter festival’s existence. KotorArt is now a festival of national and international importance and provides an active contribution to branding Montenegro as a tourist destination with high quality and unique artistic and cultural content. Last summer, the first edition of Wild Beauty Art was held successfully, the idea being to ​​present the natural beauties of Montenegro not “only” purely as unique natural places in themselves, but also as spaces for top artistic creations.

The programmes planned for this summer have been carefully designed as a blend of artistic quality and musical works receptive to a wider audience, and will showcase a wide range of musical genres. In the next four weeks of summer, programmes with jazz, world music, popular melodies, but also art music are planned every weekend. The main events are scheduled for Friday at 6 pm on the Black Lake and Saturday at 9 pm in Luštica Bay. The festival starts on Friday, 31st July, next to the Black Lake, with a performance by the band Ars Longa, consisting of violinist Nenad Jovanović, flutist Tamara Knezević and double bassist Vasilija Gagović.

All Wild Beauty Art programmes are planned in the open, with maximum respect for the measures of the National Coordinating Body for Infectious Diseases, in order to ensure the safety of the audience, musicians and the festival team. Admission to all events within the Wild Beauty Art Festival is free, and the organizing team, sponsors and partners of the festival ask the audience to adhere to the NKT measures, especially in terms of wearing protective masks and maintaining physical distance.

The second Wild Beauty Art Festival is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro and the Tourist Organization of Zabljak, in cooperation with the National Restaurant Black Lake, Durmitor National Park, Lustica Bay and the International Festival KotorArt. The organizer reserves the right to change the programme in line with the epidemiological situation. The latest information on the Wild Beauty Art programme can be found on the Facebook and Instagram profiles of the Festival, as well as on the website www.wildbeautyart.me

Source: RTCG

29 Jul 2020, 18:19 PM
July 29, 2020 - Regardless of the general situation, the great Italian cartoonist Giorgio Pontrelli has once again confirmed his attendance at the 14th Herceg Novi Strip Festival (HSF), which will be held from September 4 to 9 this year at several locations. Pontrelli works for the most well-known Italian publisher, Sergio Bonelli Editori, as being the author of the series "One Age One Story," the cult comic Dylan Dog, and Stories from Tomorrow by the legendary writer and Dylan's creator, Titian Sclavio. For the American publisher DC comics he works on Batman, for the IDW series JI Zhou, for Boom Studios, CBGB.
 
 "Despite the complicated situation caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, preparations for the XIV Herceg Novi Comic Festival are still going on following the measures prescribed by the NKT, and we hope for the best. The introduction of the new EU regime regarding Montenegro required additional communication with special guests. For now, the situation is positive because most of the special guests already announced have stated that they will accept a fourteen-day quarantine upon return to their countries, in order to participate in HSF. This may be one of the biggest compliments that our Strip Festival has received in its thirteen years of existence," say the HSF organizers. 
 
They note that the status of Pontrelli as a special guest was announced in February on the last day of the Comic Weekend dedicated to the 400th issue of Dylan Dog (Dylan Dog). Since that announcement, the phenomenal Pontrelli has excelled in two episodes of Dylan Dog, as part of the famous saga called "666", which included numbers from 401 to 406 and completely changed the universe of everyone's favorite nightmare explorer. 
 
Pontrelli was born in 1977. He is a professor at the International School of Comics in Rome and entered the comic scene by publishing in Heavy Metal magazine. After a successful debut, Pontelli became one of the most sought-after authors. In addition to the aforementioned engagements, he also works for the Italian companies Mondadori, Euro, Lyon, Edizioni BD, and others, and in France for Soleil, Monster Allergy, and Edition Narrative. He has also made a name for himself in the world of film and television, and is a regular contributor to feature films, television series and TV commercials for which he works on visual identity and filming books.
 
Support for HSF also came from the legend of the Italian comic scene, Enea Riboldi, the illustrator of all the covers of the Dampyr series, celebrating its jubilee this year - twenty years since it appeared in newsstands.
 
"Riboldi was a surprise guest at last year's HSF when, enchanted by everything he saw, he promised to make a central poster for this year. That poster is now ready to go public, so we exclusively present you the official poster of this year's Herceg Novi Comic Festival. We hope that the days ahead will bring us improvements in every way and an opportunity to look forward to new drawings from the world's biggest stars here in Herceg Novi," conclude the organizers of one of the most important cultural events in our country.
 
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Enea Riboldi- the official poster of the 14th Herceg Novi Comic Festival
 
27 Jul 2020, 13:06 PM

July 27, 2020 - Sometimes a single word can say so much. One such word is "Monticola".

Monticola is a genus of birds, of which there are two species in Montenegro. Monticola is also a Latin word for mountaineer, a man of hills and mountains.

The word "monticola", chosen by the well-established Centre for the Protection and Study of Birds (CZIP), was therefore the obvious choice for the name of the agency to promote Montenegro as a future bird-watching destination.  

The Monticola Agency was recently registered with its own website (monticola.me), offers and packages made available, and future guides passed all the necessary training and received licenses. Yet, the coronavirus epidemic put a stop to plans.

Or rather, hit the pause button.

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Black-Winged Stilt Photo: Marija Šoškić

 

“From the outset we wanted to use a bird species in the name. Monticola is a genus of birds of which there are two species - Monticola saxatilis, common rock thrush, and Monticola solitarius - blue rock thrush. One complements the other and together they cover most of Montenegro, and yet they are not so common and easy to see. Their secrecy best describes Montenegro, a country with hidden corners waiting to be discovered. "Monticola" is a Latin word meaning mountaineer, a man of hills and mountains, an epithet that best describes the inhabitants of our country," say Ivan Bakić and Bojan Zeković.

 

One of the fastest-growing branches of tourism

Bakić is also the Executive Director of the Monticola Agency, and Zeković, who is a long-standing ornithologist with the CZIP, and a licenced a tourist guide, will in future be taking enthusiasts on tours and bird-watching outings.

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Dwarf Owl Photo: Marija Šoškić

 

Bird watching is one of the fastest growing branches of tourism, at least it was until the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic.

In Montenegro, according to the CZIP and the Monticola Agency, this activity has only just gained momentum.

"One possible concern for us is that we started all our preparations just before the epidemiological crisis, so it may be that we will not be particularly successful. It is difficult to say what eco-tourism, of which our activity is part, will look like after the end of the pandemic. But so far it has been the fastest growing branch of tourism. Our activity is something that complements the classic very time-limited summer season, because its focus is on the period before and after the season - spring and autumn," says Bakić.

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Yellow Wagtail Photo: Zoran Popović

 

So what can Montenegro offer birders? A lot, says Bakić, speaking to Vijesti.

"The advantage of Montenegro in the foreign market is our biological diversity. In a very small area we have exceptional dynamics of landscape, and thus habitats, and following on from that, species. In addition to this we should not forget the people, especially the villages, and the cultural and traditional heritage aspects of life here, being different and well-preserved in relation to the rest of Europe. Something that seems neglected to an ordinary person, is essentially untouched nature, as it should look in the whole of Europe, but unfortunately is not the case," says Bakić.

Montenegro following Slovenia?

In Montenegro, several areas of international importance for birds (IBA) have been singled out. Among them are Šasko Lake, Ulcinjska Solana, Skadar Lake, Biogradska Gora and Durmitor.

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Hoopoe Photo: Marija Šoškić

 

Those areas were added to the IBA list before 2000, thanks at that time to ornithologists from Serbia. The CZIP, meanwhile, has identified at least 13 more potential IBA areas in the country, but these have not yet received official status.

"For the time being, we remain with the same number of official IBA areas. Birdlife International will be carrying out an audit soon and we will be contributing to this based on the knowledge we have gained through our research over the years. A lot of work has also been done through research for potential Natura 2000 sites, where areas of special protection have been recorded and proposed, and where 55 percent of the territory meets the criteria for protection. For now, only one other European country has such a high percentage of its area protected - Slovenia, which is considered the green capital of Europe," CZIP states.

According to the latest census, 349 bird species have been registered in Montenegro so far. Zeković says that four new species have been recorded, and that it is natural for numbers to increase, because ornithologists are increasingly present in the field.

And here, he adds, in addition to research, bird watchers also play a big role.

"They record and enter data and confirm that more 'eyes on the ground' means more opportunities to find something new and interesting," says Zeković. He also explains that the richness of the bird fauna of a country is observed and confirmed through the total number of registered species or, more often, the number of nesting species. As many as 213 species of birds nest in Montenegro.

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Yellowhammer Photo: Marija Šoškić

 

Zeković explains that this nest density index in Montenegro is significantly above the Balkan average; the Balkan average is 0.435, while the nest density index in Montenegro is 0.562.

"This is due to the diversity of habitats - from the coast, through salt pans, freshwater lakes, semi-steppes, canyons, dense forests, mountain plateaus and high mountain peaks. On the other hand, it is also due to the fact that Montenegro is located on one of the four most important bird corridors in Europe - the Adriatic Migration Corridor (Adriatic Flyway), through which millions of birds migrate to and from Africa every year," he said.

The State not recognizing potential

He adds that, compared to other European countries, 213 species nesting in Montenegro is a relatively high number, if we take into account that Montenegro is one of the smallest European countries.

"For example, Montenegro is 39th in terms of area, while in terms of the number of nesting birds it is in 23rd place, just below Hungary, which is almost seven times bigger than Montenegro. Also, there are more nesting birds in Montenegro than there are Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Denmark, Slovenia or Switzerland," says Zeković.

When it comes to birds, the statistics look good for Montenegro. However, the state has not yet tapped the potential of bird watching as a branch of eco-tourism.

"This type of tourism has been totally neglected, especially bearing in mind the potential it has. In previous years, tours were led by foreign guides who, by coincidence, or borne simply out of desire and love, knew our country very well. The first bird watchers therefore came with foreign agencies, and foreign guides. CZIP has previously held workshops for guides and locals on this topic, either working with other organizations or independently, under its own auspices," says Bakić.

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Little Egret Photo: Marija Šoškić

 

Monticola organizes bird watching on Lake Skadar, on the territory of the Prokletije National Park and Ulcinj Saltworks.

The original tour prices have now been adjusted, but are still high, given domestic circumstances.

A visit to Lake Skadar costs 1,100 euros, or 900 euros with the reduction. Bird watching in the north - on Durmitor, Biogradska Gora and Prokletije, cost 1,500 or now 1,200 euros, with the discount. "In the beginning, our focus was entirely on the foreign market, with two thematic tours that cover the north and the south.

This is especially due to the fact that these two tours cover different species, habitat types and climatic conditions.

Someone who comes from Finland will not want to spend a vacation in the forest and mountains, but on the coast, observing species that they cannot see in their own country.

The same goes for visitors from Mediterranean countries who will appreciate the three-toed woodpecker more than the flamingos from the Ulcinj saltworks.

This means that each in addition, each package must be adapted not only to the country from which the visitor comes, but also to his or her interests - being simply a nature lover or a so-called “twitcher”, a person who has a list of species he wants to see during his stay, which is not so easy with birds, because they are unpredictable, explains Bakić.

For CZIP and the Monticola Agency, the Western European market is crucial.

"Western Europe is the key inbound market for us; these are countries that have a highly-developed culture of bird watching, for example in Great Britain and the Netherlands. The situation with the current pandemic has, of course, had a very negative effect on our business, as is the case all over the world, but we are adapting, monitoring the situation and hoping that there is a future for our business. In the coming period, trips of smaller groups in search of a vacation surrounded by nature will become more and more popular, and that is exactly what we offer," says Bakić.

They say that they are certainly considering bird watching options for the local population and add that the goal is to continue with activities in what is the primary job of CZIP - nature protection based on research.

Speaking to Vijesti, they explain that while they are observing birds with the visitors, they are not limited to just that during the tour.

"A successful and experienced guide will introduce you to all the important plants and butterflies you see, mammals whose tracks you come across, they will provide information about conservation of the habitat, its function, threats and its beauty. In addition, bird watching is not a luxury form of tourism, which means that it brings together nature lovers who want to support the local population through traditional accommodation, local cuisine, local products and contact with people living in areas that are important for the survival of certain species," say Bakić and Zeković.

 

A vital connection

Bird watching in Montenegro has so far only been organized by Lake Skadar National Park. Now CZIP is also offering packages, and bird watching on Ćemovsko Polje has also been announced.

CZIP says that it is vital for everyone who offers similar services to connect. "Bird watching is a relatively new tourist activity in Montenegro, and we must connect all stakeholders - national and local tourism organizations, national parks, those who offer accommodation, guides, all this in order to promote Montenegro as an interesting new market for this type of tourism. We have already taken some steps in that direction towards connecting, and we are especially glad that there are some similar initiatives with tourism organizations recognizing that bird watching can significantly enrich what their municipalities can offer tourists," stated CZIP.

A few years ago, CZIP trained several guides in bird watching at Ulcinj Saltworks.

“The intention was to involve the local population and provide a source of income for young people from Ulcinj. Despite the good will, the project did not come to fruition at that time because there were problems accessing Solana. Those obstacles have now been removed, so we hope that after the end of the epidemic we will still be able to build on the capacities we discovered within the young talented people in Ulcinj, who would certainly do the job with love and pride," the NGO states.

 

All proceeds to go towards nature protection

CZIP points out that all revenue generated by providing services through a travel agency will be reinvested in the work of NGOs.

"More precisely, the income goes directly into nature protection. CZIP has been organizing volunteer tours for years, so we wanted to use this experience to respond to the requests of those who wanted to hire us and thus support our work and mission, but could not do so due to legal restrictions. Providing tourist services doesn’t just mean managing tours, but also implies responsibility for clients, primarily their safety and well-being, and then also the provision of quality, which is ensured by legal provisions. In that sense, we aim to respond to the requirements of the state, so that our tours, unlike many in the region, are led by ornithologists who additionally and importantly have a tourist guide's license," said Bakić.

An online store is also available on the Monticola website. On monticola.me, those interested can find souvenirs, bags, t-shirts, posters and many other items with bird motifs.

"All the products can be bought directly from the agency's website in order to be able to pay the necessary taxes, but all the revenue that Monticola makes through its business - organizing tours or through web shops - goes to nature protection programmes implemented by CZIP," the organization states. 

 

HRB

26 Jul 2020, 12:58 PM
July 26, 2020 - KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days, in the search for new forms of art communication, has pioneered several new ideas, continually reflecting on and upgrading them. One of them is "Music of Boka," which, due to its unique energy, caused very positive reactions and cordial feelings among the residents of Kotor.
 
Thanks to Music of Boka concept, several days a week, residents of the Old Town of Kotor, Dobrota, Kamp, Sveti Stasije, Mua, Prcanj, and Perast wake up to the sounds of the Boka Navy Circle performed by Kotor musicians, who are closely connected either with the Festival or the City Music of Kotor. In the early hours of the morning, these festival musicians play from a boat using the sea as a perfect sound transmitter and the hills that surround the bay as an ideal acoustic box. 
 
The repertoire, which is exclusively composed of the Boka Navy Circle, is perfectly chosen with conscious intention.
 
The traditional circuit is one of the essential elements of the Boka Navy's recognizability, known as the Circle of St. Tripun, and is a combination of medieval sacred and later secular aspects from the life of sailors. There is no singing, but there is one poetic text, written at the end of the 19th century by Pavo Božov Kamenarović, a naval captain from Dobrota. The verses highlight the national revival ideas in the 1960s, when breadth, civic and religious tolerance, and a sense of brotherhood, otherwise so cherished in Boka, were clearly emphasized.
 
The idea of ​​the Festival, to wake up Boka's inhabitants with the sounds of the Boka Navy's Circle, comes from the verses:
 
All together - all in a circle
Give each other our hands,
Let's confirm everything around
To love brotherly harmony;
Let us follow this principle
what our grandfathers gave us,
And God will provide - yes cheerfully
Sons will follow us.
 
The locals who wake up to the sounds of the St. Tryphon's Circle find themselves energized by the message transmitted perfectly by the verses. Some respond by playing from the shore, from their balconies and terraces, confirming these messages of peace and togetherness.
 
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Photo by Duško Miljanić, Source: KotorArt FB page
 
"It is a great pleasure for us musicians to have the opportunity to highlight music as an integral part of Boka's culture. People react with enthusiasm when they hear the sounds of our favorite melody from the boats in the early mornings, "says Dario Krivokapić, chaplain of the City Music of Kotor, which is a partner of the Festival for this segment of the program.
 
The Music of Boka continues tomorrow morning along the shore between Maceo and Sveti Stasije. And on Wednesday, July 29, entertainment will be organized for the inhabitants and guests of Perast. 
 
24 Jul 2020, 13:41 PM

July 24, 2020 - Although there will inevitably be less and less work for all of us in the next period, and although there are no indications from the tourist season - beautiful stories are unfolding. Namely, the young Boka artistic and engineering team has become one of the select few globally who are engaged in an exciting business - the creative painting of sails. Michael Neundlinger gave them a chance to try it out, entrusting them with the 18-meter-high sail of the cruiser "Selena."

Thanks to the recommendation of Marjan Dimitrijevic, a Slovenian sailor who has been running the company Avel Yachting in Tivat for many years, Michael contacted the Montenegrin academic painter Jana Farkas asking whether she could paint the logo of his company Nirvana Yachting on the large sail. The logo shows an angel with overlapping semicircles.

It initially seemed like an impossible job to Jana. But her research spirit and habit — otherwise uncharacteristic of fine artists — of working as a team still encouraged her to dive into the project. The stakes are high because in projects like these, there is not much room for error.

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Jana Farkaš and Aleksandra Stajović, Photo by Antonela Stjepčević

Jana needed help because disassembling the logo on such a large scale would technically be a very demanding job to carry out yourself on an 18x4 sail. Aleksandra Stajović, an architect from Budva, enters the story, who had no painting experience before working on this project.

"I had never tried something similar in my life, nor did I have any idea whether I could do something with a brush, especially not on such a large scale. But it happened. And I'm proud to have been a part of this story, "says Aleksandra, who successfully solved one of the most challenging tasks in the process.

"At the very beginning, Jana involved me in the story to help them put the logo on the large surface of the sail, which I did in AutoCad and PhotoShop. After that, I came to the Delfin's hangar to help draw the logo and see how it would come out. Then Jana suggested I stay part of the team until the end. I was really pleased about that because I love challenges. And off we went. After about ten days we reached the finish line. It was not a problem for me to envisage what we would do, I always imagine what I, as an architect, transfer to paper, that is, to a project. But when we started drawing, I realized that the process was much more demanding. We realized that improvisations were necessary for us - we managed with the help of a stick and a rope to precisely position the semicircles that form the logo. The very patterns that follow those semicircles we had made over our moulds. It is inconvenient - you have a material as a base - in this case, a sail - which is very expensive and does not allow for mistakes. Hence, we had to measure and check everything three times before we picked up the brushes," says Aleksandra, who, like Jana, even more than the final product itself, is proud of the work process.

Jana explains that all their internet searches were in vain - very few people in the world do this job, and information on how to do it is not available.

"This is very little done in the world. People decorate sails with stickers, sewing, screen printing, and use other methods. But almost no one does it by hand, especially not with a brush. We have carried out this task more than professionally. I am delighted. I must emphasize that the instructions for the process we went through do not exist on Google; it does not exist on the Internet. Aleksandra, with her architectural foresight, my drawing and painting abilities, and the people who helped us with the precise brush work - we completed the project successfully to the satisfaction of ourselves and the investor," says Jana.

"This is a Boka story, the story of all of us. We are very proud to have discovered that we can, that something that you can get almost nowhere else in the world, you can now get with us. I am especially looking forward to the opportunity to hire my colleagues and friends. The investor is very satisfied with the work done and promised to promote us."

"Jana and her crew entirely understood, captured, and conveyed the spirits of my concept and intention through their artistic work. The Nirvana Yachting motto is the art of competitive sailing. The angel wings that we need to catch the winds - Da Vinci's Flying Concept that we transferred to the sail to help us capture the power of nature," said Michael Neundlinger, whose SY Selena has been berthed in Porto Montenegro for the past few years.

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Nirvana Yachting, Photo by Michael Neundlinger

Michael believes that the endeavor carried out by Bokelians will be of great interest to magazines dealing with yachting and sailing. For a start, he promises to help place this beautiful story in the next issue of Porto Montenegro magazine.

"We hope that this is just the beginning of a beautiful and creative story. As soon as we have a new sail, we invite you to join us, to come and see what it is and how we do it. And in the end, if you recognize yourself in all of that, you become part of our team. For a few hours or a few days, it doesn't matter. This is our common story, and we want to position and further develop it, "said Jana Farkaš, adding once again:" I am proud of the fact that this is a project of Boka and Bokelj. I am pleased that Boka has succeeded in something that is rarely done in the world. "

Apart from Jana and Aleksandra, Bojan Čelanović and Petar Čečur also took part in painting the angel on Michael's sail. Also, many YC Delfin friends who, during the previous two weeks, were interested in discovering the new and unusual among sailboats, added a few strokes.

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SY Selena with the angel on its sail, Photo by Jana Farkaš

23 Jul 2020, 15:13 PM

July 23, 2020 - As part of the "We Live Culture" campaign by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, a research, educational and creative project has been launched in the area of ​​Boka Kotorska aimed at preserving and valorizing its cultural heritage, entitled "My Museum - Boka Kotorska."

The project's idea is to create a website, which would serve as an online platform for the digital presentation of cultural-historical-artistic material provided by a broad range of paticipants. In the initial phase of its preparation, a Viber community was formed, drawing great interest among fans of Boka's cultural treasures and it now already has about 420 members and a Facebook page, which publishes all the most essential information related to the project and also shares educational content.

The goal of such a project is to enable people to actively participate in valuing and preserving the space in which they live, their heritage, and their culture.

Citizens from the area of ​​Boka Kotorska and beyond are invited to submit material on persons, memories, legends, customs, rituals, practices, skills, crafts, localities, objects, speech, language, useful objects, or objects of artistic value. The main goal is to draw attention to values ​​that are not entirely or not professionally valorized and have specific importance in the context of the tradition of a family or community. Particular emphasis is on dialogue and interaction of family members, conversations within the family and the local community, especially inter-generational communication. Young people will have the opportunity to learn more about family, domestic or collective culture, and the process of its evaluation and presentation.

A Guide to Heritage Research has been specially designed for children. It should bring them closer to their heritage and make it easier for them to understand the concept of heritage, as well as enabling them to understand what interests them and then better research, describe and submit material. The idea is for children and young people to interview older members of the household and write down testimonies about the past and culture. It will also be essential for them to understand all the useful and beneficial ways digital technologies can be used.

The project is aimed at amateurs and professionals - heritage lovers, scientific researchers, artists, and anyone whose personal and professional interest may not even be related to the Boka Kotorska, but support the idea of ​​the project. They can involve heritage researchers of different profiles (archaeologists, ethnologists, anthropologists, historians, art historians, conservators) and choose one motif, angle, or theme that they want to make visible to a broad audience. It would ensure that their research topics are accessible and increase the general public's understanding of who deals with heritage, especially the legacy of the Bay of Kotor, and in what way.

Another way to engage researchers and experts would be through the use of the material itself. An interactive map of the Bay of Kotor and Montenegro with recorded locations where the content arrives will be provided. Processed material will be marked with one color, and unprocessed with another. The map will provide direct access to content related to a given location.

The ART segment is open to artists of all backgrounds and interests to stimulate creative thinking about heritage and heritage themes - its recognition, understanding, preservation, presentation, and endangerment.

Anyone who wants to contact the project initiators can do so via the Facebook page or the link for the Viber community Join #Moj muzej - Boka Kotorska or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

21 Jul 2020, 23:15 PM

July 21, 2020 - The traditional "Fašinada" event will be held also this year, but following counter- COVID-19 rules. It is to be held this Wednesday, July 22, for the 569th time. The ornate boats from Perast will set sail for the island of Our Lady of Rocks before sunset, at 6.30 pm.

"This year, due to the current coronavirus situation, the Fašinada will be held in more unusual conditions as we have to maintain distance between people in boats. There will be four people in the first boat; we have provided a boat 10 meters long to ensure the distance prescribed by the National Coordination Body's measures. The second boat with singers will be subject to the same regulations. Due to social distancing, there will be a maximum of two people in the other boats. This year we do not expect a big crowd due to a much smaller number of tourists compared to previous years," said Perast parish priest Don Srećko Majić to Boka News.

Fašinada - a tradition that has never been interrupted

The Fašinada is a tradition that has never been interrupted and has the characteristics of both a religious and tourist event, being a custom that you can not see or experience anywhere in the Mediterranean," said Don Srećko Majić.

Legend has it that Perast fishers found the icon of the Our Lady with Christ on the rock (which is today on the main altar) and decided to immerse stones and shipwrecks to build an island and church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rock. Since then, the unwritten vow of Perast sailors is to immerse new rocks around the island before each trip out to sea, contributing to the strength of the base of the temple of their patron saint.

It is probably for that reason that Fašinada was created. The event is named after the Italian word "fascia," which means ribbon or bandage. It is so-called because the convoy of boats, decorated with tree branches and filled with stones, is linked in a chain. Only the pastor and men are in the boats, being the ancestors of famous sailors and more prominent Perastans, while women greet them from the shore.

Every year on July 22, at sunset, a convoy of boats goes to the island to fulfill their ancestors' legacy by throwing stones around the island. The island with the original church was built at the end of the 15th century. The church expanded following the changes in the island's dimensions. Today's church was built in 1630 and is one of Boka's most important historical and cultural monuments.

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Fašinada, Photo Boka News

The traditional Fašinada Cup regatta will not be held this year

Due to the worsening of the epidemiological situation in Kotor and Tivat and indeed the whole of Montenegro, the management of the Sailing Club "Lahor" from Kotor has decided not to hold this year's edition of the international cruiser regatta "Fasinada Cup."
 
"We are reluctant to make this decision, but we believe that in these times of crisis, we should be an example of responsible behavior and reduce the possibility of the virus spreading," said Sailing Club "Lahor" last week.
 
Source: Boka News
20 Jul 2020, 13:15 PM

July 20, 2020 - On the program of the 19th KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days tomorrow at 9.30 pm in the Church of St. Spirit, as part of the KotorArt Talents series, soprano Petra Radulović will be performing alongside the pianist Professor Oleksiy Molchanov.

Petra Radulović is studying solo vocal performance at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. During the last year, she had notable performances in the capital of Serenissima. Among others, she performed with the young pianist Andrija Jovović, whose concert, also at the Festival, is scheduled for Saturday, July 25, in the Church of St. Spirit at 9.30 pm. Both appearances by these young performers will be broadcast live on Kotor's Cinema Square, in partnership with the Ombra cafe. It is also possible to follow the concert virtually, via social media platforms Youtube and Facebook.

On Friday, July 24, at the Cinema Square at 9 pm, KotorArt will start a series of talks with relevant artists, festival directors, and intellectuals, as well as on the impact of the coronavirus on cultural life, art, and festivals. The first conversation is reserved for two prominent Montenegrin artists, guitarist Miloš Karadaglić and pianist Ratimir Martinović, Director of KotorArt, who will host the evening. They will discuss various experiences within the current situation and its impact on the world of music, the position of art in Montenegro in these circumstances, and the perspective and ways of adapting to the new reality.

The weekend at the Festival is traditionally reserved for Jazz Square. On Saturday, July 25, in the Luštica Bay Amphitheater at 9 pm, the MP trio's performance is planned, which will be presented to the festival audience in Kotor on Sunday, July 26, at the Cinema Square at 10 pm. MP Trio consists of famous jazz musicians Miladin Perunicic (guitar), Davor Novak (bass guitar), and Ivan Ivanovic (drums).

In addition to these programs, KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days continue with the concept of the Port of Art, which includes performances by young musicians from the terraces of several Kotor palaces, giving a unique atmosphere of the Old Town during the Festival, as well as morning concerts "Boka Music."

The KotorArt International Festival, an event of national importance for the culture of Montenegro, won the most prestigious award in the field of tourism "Wild Beauty Awards" and was declared the best event in Montenegro for 2018. Every summer, KotorArt gathers an impressive number of international artists, and with over 200 programs (dozens of central and over one hundred accompanying programs) at numerous ambient locations in Kotor and across Boka. It attracts tens of thousands of visitors, making it one of the most visited festivals in the region. 

20 Jul 2020, 12:55 PM

July 20, 2020 - The fishing port planned for the southern part of the Montenegrin coast, will provide a sufficient number of safe berths for Montenegrin fishers. It will undoubtedly be another tourist attraction of the Ulcinj region, believes the Director of the Institute of Marine Biology Aleksandar Joksimovic.

Fishers use only a certain number of berths in existing ports and marinas, which also creates an administrative burden for them. This problem is especially evident during the summer months, when the tourist season is in full swing, and when a large number of yachts are staying in our ports and marinas," explains Joksimović.

The scientists of the Institute of Marine Biology pointed out the need for this port, within the process of negotiations between Montenegro and the European Union, through the working group 13-Fisheries.

They also participated in the development of the Fisheries Strategy of Montenegro 2015 - 2020 with an action plan for the transposition, implementation, and enforcement of the Acquis Chapter 13-fisheries. They gave particular importance to the provision of fishing infrastructure and logistics on the coast.

"Along with the rejuvenation of the fishing fleet, whose average age is close to 50 years, safe berths for fishing boats must be provided.
He points out that the development of modern fisheries largely depends on logistics on the coast.

"Once the fishermen have a safe fishing port, they will undoubtedly sleep more soundly, because at the moment every storm and squall carries the danger of breaking the berths and damaging the boats. It is known that the south wind is strong and hazardous, which develops from the Otranto Gate and batters the coast of Montenegro.

Once the first berth sites on the coast are built, fishers will have a more accessible opportunity to sell their catch in controlled conditions. It certainly gives a new impetus to the control by the competent institutions but also provides better and more accurate statistics on the annual catch of all fishermen. Such well-developed and modernized fishing is the future of the coastal region of Montenegro, and our society has a chance to have healthy food from the sea on its tables, says Joksimović.

Research of marine fisheries resources, which the Institute continuously conducts within national government programs for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs, and international scientific expeditions (MEDITS and MEDIAS), shows a well-preserved fish stock in Montenegrin seas compared to other areas of the Adriatic.

"More precisely, this fact gives us the right to request the exemption of Montenegro from restrictive measures, i.e., the Decision on reducing the number of fishing days and catches, both for demersal and pelagic resources, at all meetings of the General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean."

We have won key battles in this area, and for now, the decisions of the GFCM and the EU do not apply to countries that have small fleets and make low catches annually. This is of exceptional importance for the fisheries of Montenegro because we want to strengthen and modernize our fleet, with safe and robust ships, which can make better catches," said Joksimović.

He believes that this fact gives an opportunity to the processing industry, which should, with the help of European funds, open small, family factories for processing fish and fish products in the hinterland of the Montenegrin coast.

"Such a final product will undoubtedly have a higher economic value than raw fish. These products should find their way to the tourist gastronomic offerings of our hotels and restaurants, which should be taken into account. Of course, we should also increase the consumption of fish and seafood among ​​our own people, considering that food from the sea is rich in healthy proteins and omega fatty acids," states Joksimović.

As an essential link in all aspects of this economic activity, the Director of the Institute of Marine Biology, emphasizes the vital role of fishers, as members of all national working groups.

"Fishers are the most vital here because without them there would be no fishing. They know best how hard and demanding the work is. Their suggestions and comments are of great importance in all initiatives and projects related to fisheries. As much as possible, we always accept suggestions and work to maximize their interest, says Joksimovic.

As a scientific research organizational unit of the University of Montenegro, the Institute is a link between fishers, their needs and requirements, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Administration.

"Because of their trust in the Institute, everything they notice, they immediately tell us, ask us for our opinion, look for scientific answers to the processes and changes in the sea, which they see. Through this mutual communication, we enrich knowledge, and we come up with essential data. We are especially dedicated to the appearance of new invasive species, which we have recorded in recent years. Fishermen are happy to receive the scientific teams of the Institute on boats, which in their regular activities get the original data on the state of our fish stock, which is indeed the best possible way of doing so," states Joksimović.

On the other hand, he adds, the Ministry has a reliable scientific partner in the Institute, especially with regard to making important decisions based on scientific data.

"In that way, we are all certain that fishing must be sustainable, respecting all the principles and codes of responsible fishing, which we have been cultivating in Montenegro for decades," says Joksimović.
He also points out that the Institute carries out broad international cooperation in the areas of Mediterranean and Adriatic fisheries, and sea ecosystems, which is borne out through many completed and ongoing projects, within which the Institute is a vital partner.

"Our wish is to make the best use of our "blue" field and to, as much as possible, increase the consumption of healthy fish and seafood in our society," concludes Joksimović.

16 Jul 2020, 13:23 PM

July 16, 2020 - This year's celebration of July 13, Statehood Day of Montenegro, will be remembered for an unpleasant event in Kotor - celebrations with torches led to a fire on the walls of the San Giovanni fortress above the Old Town, thanks to which Kotor and Boka Kotorska enjoy UNESCO protection.

While the Municipality of Kotor comes with implausible explanations that this was an accident caused by celebratory euphoria, professionals and the public are still in disbelief - cultural heritage of global importance has been allowed to burn due to human negligence and irresponsibility.

The former director of the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Kotor, Prof. Dr. Ilija Lalošević, said yesterday that he was shocked by what happened on the ramparts two nights ago. For twenty years, he emphasizes, there has been a ban on lighting with naked flames on the cultural-historical monument in Kotor.

Lalošević, who also received his doctorate on the Kotor Fortress and fortifications from the Venetian period in Boka, is one of the best connoisseurs of the walls, bastions, and other buildings that make up the complex system of the medieval Kotor fortress. He led the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments from 1999 to 2004. He says that at the initiative of that institution, the traditional illumination of the Kotor ramparts with naked flames during major festivities, such as Boka Night, was abolished.

"Just after one Boka Night, I, as the Director of the Institute, climbed the ramparts and went to the fortress of San Giovanni with the then representative of UNESCO, Mr Fubomishi Kudo of Japan, who was on an official visit to Kotor. He was astonished to see the remains of burnt sawdust and oil on the walls, and he could not believe that something like this was being allowed on this valuable architectural and cultural heritage. He was so shocked by the condition of the ramparts that he immediately took $ 2,000 out of his pocket and donated it personally for the cleaning and refurbishment of the Kotor fortress. Since then, any illumination of the Kotor walls with the use of naked flames has been strictly forbidden." Dr. Ilija Lalošević is the laureate of the highest recognition of the city of Kotor - the November Award - for his contribution to the protection and improvement of the Kotor fortress and walls and their inclusion to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017.

Kotor police remain silent
Even after two days, the Kotor police have not explained how they allowed the holding of a hazardous public gathering - a torchlight procession on the walls and along the waterfront on the occasion of the celebration of Statehood Day on July 13.

A public gathering violated the current orders of the Ministry of Health issued to prevent the spread of coronavirus and was organized contrary to the Law on Public Order and Peace, the Law on Explosive Substances, and the Law on Protection and Rescue. The unknown organizers turned the celebration into a scandal because torches carried along the walls by participants caused a fire that endangered part of this cultural monument, which is under the first category of UNESCO's protection. Kotor firefighters, with the help of participants in the torchlight procession, extinguished the fire that was reported to them at around 10 pm, and was brought under control at 1.30 am. It was completely extinguished just after 5 am the following day.

The Mayor of Kotor, Zeljko Aprcovic (DPS), told "Vijesti" yesterday that it was not true that a pine tree had caught fire on the ramparts on the hill of Sveti Ivan above the Old Town.

"This is not true. All the pine trees below San Giovanni are still there. Only grass and low vegetation have burned, " said the Mayor. However, the Commander of the Protection and Rescue Service of the Municipality of Kotor, Maksim Mandić, told "Vijesti" that several hundred square meters of low-lying vegetation and one pine tree had caught fire.

Aprcovic did not comment that the organizers of the torchlight procession at the Kotor Fortress violated the seasonal ban in force on lighting fires in the open and in public areas, which was signed by the Mayor, and which is valid from June 1 to September 30. Kotor is also awash with posters from the Municipality and Protection and Rescue Service drawing the public's attention to the fact that they must strictly abide by these orders and "refrain from any action that could lead to an uncontrolled fire."

"We are surrounded by the indescribable beauty of the Bay of Kotor and thousands of years of old buildings under UNESCO's protection. Please preserve them with us for future generations. Every tree is an invaluable gift of nature, it can disappear instantly in flames, but it takes decades for another to grow. Do not do anything that can contribute to its disappearance, because life has been chose here." Breaches of seasonal bans on lighting fires and "leaving burning objects in places where there is an increased risk of fire," are met with fines of 30 to 2,000 euros.

Responses from the Regular State Prosecutor's Office in Kotor, which initiated an investigation, and data obtained by the Prosecutor's Office regarding the organizers of this public gathering, procurement and introduction of several hundred pyrotechnic torches into the protected cultural monument are still awaited, Vijesti writes.

Source: Vijesti

15 Jul 2020, 19:19 PM

July 15, 2020 - The nineteenth edition of one of the most famous music festivals in this part of Europe - KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days, starts tonight in Kotor. In the current circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival management is bringing a reduced program, the dynamics of which will depend on the epidemiological situation in Kotor and Montenegro.

In the "Boka" cinema in Kotor, tonight, starting at 9 pm, the audience will have the opportunity to watch a film by the German television company Deutsche Welle. The documentary called "Symphony for the World" is a story about Beethoven that will run through the entire KotorArt Festival. Admission to the Boka Cinema is free, and seats are limited due to the country's epidemiological situation.

During the first week of the Festival, several programs are currently planned. On Saturday, July 18, starting at 9.30 pm, in the Church of St. Spirit, the best students of the Music Academy from Cetinje will be performing, marking a jubilee - 40 years of the Academy's existence. Another concert is planned in cooperation with the professors of the institution.

This year's Jazz Square will present some of the best jazz musicians from Montenegro every weekend during the Festival, in cooperation with Luštica Bay and the Wild Beauty Art Festival.

The series of concerts begins on Saturday, July 18, when the "Šule Jovović Trio" consisting of jazz pianist Sara Jovović, guitarist Milorad Šulet Jovović and drummer Martin Đorđević will perform in the unique ambiance of Luštica Bay. The same band will perform in Kotor the next day, July 19, starting at 10 pm, on the traditional Sunday, which has been accompanied by the sounds of jazz during the KotorArt Festival. This year's Kotor concerts are planned on the open air, to respect all security measures of the competent services.

"We hope that the situation will allow the planned program for the first week of the Festival to happen. All events we organize are with a small number of performers in compliance with the National Coordination Body and the Institute of Public Health measures. The audience indoors is required to wear a mask and respect the distance between individuals in the audience, which is mandated at 2m. Admission is free for all events at this year's Festival, and we ask our audience to understand during this year's Festival if there are changes in the program. Thus, we have just approached the audience responsibly, not announcing the thoroughly planned schedule, but we will gradually respond with the scheduled weekly programs," the organizers explain.

Weekly information, the planned calendar, and interviews with people from the world of culture, art, diplomacy, and economics, as well as information on festival profiles, will be available to all those interested on social networks and the website - www.kotorart.me.

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