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28 Aug 2020, 14:25 PM

August 29, 2020 - In Montenegro there are innovative small businesses run by passionate people in a wide range of different areas. One project that stands out for its community concept, and the sheer variety of what it offers, is Pachamama Farmstay and Community Retreat near Radanovići, between Tivat and Budva. I spoke to its founder, Pasha, about his fascinating journey to Montenegro, and what Pachamama is all about.

 

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to live in Montenegro. Your background is in catering, is it not?

I was born in Iran, into a pretty academic family, but I realised early on that that path wasn’t for me. I enrolled at university to study computer science, but soon dropped out, and went on to take several marketing courses - a big part of that was about motivation and self-improvement. I started reading a lot around the motivational aspect, and I was really inspired by that. I’d always had a passion for food, and after some meticulous planning, I started my own catering business. I called it Pasha Food Studio, and I started running it entirely from my tiny kitchen. I got quite well-known pretty quickly, catering for private parties and events, with the full support of my amazing mum. My careful planning and love of food paid off, and many embassies, international events and famous people began to use the service. Yet in spite of the success, and of course the partying, I had the feeling that something was missing. I decided to follow my inner voice, ended up selling the business and began travelling, WWOOFing  (WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms - volunteering - Ed.) and practising meditation, searching for something that would give me greater fulfillment.

 Pasha and friends

Pasha (L) and friends

 I had always had a dream of opening a hotel, not a five-star one, but more of a place where people could come and feel close to nature, part of a community, and eat good food, of course! It was on one of my travels in East-Asia that ended up buying a folding bike. It was by bike that I first saw Montenegro, on a long journey to Italy to see family. I had travelled through pretty much the whole of the Balkans and loved it, and Montenegro was particularly stunning - although my assumption that I would find flatter cycling terrain near the coast turned out to be completely wrong! After two years Montenegro called me back and I began to understand that this could be the place to realise my dream. After another two years of searching, I eventually found where Pachamama Farmstay is located now. However that was not the end of the story of 2018, as the Universe had one more surprise in store for me. I found my soulmate, Zoe, with whom I was to continue this path of self growth, to fulfil our dream together. For the last 18 months we have been working on the site together to offer a range of activities, and of course the community farmstay. With our WWOOFing experience we know what works for these kinds of projects. We know that the project isn’t ever going to be “finished”, but that’s the beauty of it.

 

Why then Montenegro? What attracted you to stop here rather than anywhere else?

Montenegro is of course an extremely beautiful country, but also for me it was a question of timing. I had travelled all over the world, and had plans to move on and travel around Latin America, but through circumstances the plan never came about. My love for the Balkans grew, as I say, out of that first cycling trip through the region, and I realised that it was somewhere that I could stay long-term. Beyond finding the right place, the process of setting up the farmstay here has been pleasantly straightforward, and that’s of course part of the attraction as well.

 Pachamama Farmstay

What would you say is at the heart of Pachamama?

Everyone knows that ordinarily there’s no way you could get the USA, Iran, EU countries, Russia, Israel, Cuba, Serbia...the list goes on... in the same room! But here we strive for something different. We are on the path of growth and learning to show love and compassion towards ourselves and all others, no matter where we come from. At Pachamama we live as an international community from all around the world in peace, sharing whatever gifts and skills we have with others - be they creative, meditative, culinary, and learning from one another is at the core of who we are. People are joining us on this journey by coming to a workshop for just a few hours, volunteering for a few months or living with us as permanent members.

 

And who are the people you have coming to the farm, and to the workshops you run?

Our volunteers are mostly Europeans and Americans, people who know about and understand the WWOOFing concept. Unfortunately so far we haven’t had many Montenegrins or Serbians attending the workshops or applying as volunteers. This may be because some of the workshop concepts aren’t so familiar in this region, but we would love more local people to join us. We’re hoping that this will happen in future, as Pachamama grows and becomes more well-known, and recently we have seen more local interest. When we were just setting up here we also started a Facebook page called Alternative Montenegro to create a platform for other people who are interested in alternative activities to be able to connect and share activities such as yoga, permaculture, conscious dance and so on.

Activities at Pachamama
The retreat offers a range of activities

How have you been working through the pandemic and post-lockdown?

Well it’s funny really, but many of my friends back in Iran, and in other places too, have been saying to me “How did you know this was going to happen?!” Lots of people, particularly those living in cities, are starting to understand the value of living with the land, and being more self-sufficient. People are now seeing themselves outside of the city, they want space. At Pachamama we haven’t been affected hugely, as we’re pretty far from our neighbours, and we focused on growing our own food. But of course the number of volunteers has been lower this year. Luckily we have also had some volunteers who chose to stay on the farm at the beginning of the pandemic period earlier in the year, rather than trying to make it back to their home country. Nature doesn’t stop, there’s still plenty to do.

Work on the farm
Work on the farm

Can you tell us about how you intend to develop stays at Pachamama in future?

Our priority there is to get the main stone house finished - we’re currently living in a caravan ourselves, which is not amazingly comfortable in winter! We want to be able to offer a wider range of accommodation for our guests, from camping and using basic facilities for backpackers or those on a smaller budget, to en-suite rooms for those who want a bit more luxury as part of their stay. We want to be able to welcome as many different people from different backgrounds as possible, so that we can carry on our learning and sharing journey.


And we wish you and Pachamama Farmstay every success on that journey!

 Pachamama Farmstay

Alternative Montenegro

HRB

28 Aug 2020, 11:07 AM
August 28, 2020 - As part of the OPEN KOTOR SQUARES program organized by the Secretariat for Culture, Sports and Social Activities of the Municipality of Kotor, a photo exhibition entitles "Boka between blinking" by Ranko Maraš will be opened tonight at 7.30 pm on the Cinema Square in the Old Town.
 
Ranko Maraš has been involved in photography for the last six years, during which time he has attracted the public's attention primarily with the fantastic landscapes of the Bay of Kotor. "Boka between blinking" is Ranko's second solo exhibition, and judging by the artistic poetics and enviable technical knowledge it shows, it seems that Ranko's time is yet to come.
 
ranko maras cruiser
 
"I entered photography spontaneously, thanks to my mobile phone. When people started to react to my photos, confirming what I felt myself - that I have the right eye for photography - I began to study its possibilities more seriously. And procure professional photographic equipment," says Ranko modestly, whose photos speak best for themselves.
 
Although he is self-taught in photography, Ranko has invested a lot of effort to inform himself using the educational dimension of the Internet, where a lot of useful information is available regarding art, which is the essential tool of new media.
 
ranko maras serpentine
 
"Although I primarily try to make my photography commercial, of course, I also do something for myself, to experiment and enter the domain of art. In that context, I am preparing a series dedicated to Kotor cats," explains Ranko, whose photo of a cat preparing to attack an anti-COVID mask is a report in one picture that speaks a thousand words.
 
According to his primary vocation, Ranko is a maritime manager, which, as he says, also influenced his photographic work. His favorite motives are the sea and ships, especially in Boka's ambiance, which, thanks to the possibilities offered by drone shooting, he approached from quite unusual angles. With a sense of light unique to the Mediterranean, in a relatively short time, he has established himself as one of the most famous photographers of the younger generation dealing with the landscape of the Boka.
 
ranko maras fisher
 
"Boka between blinking" includes 30 photographs selected by the author himself, and tonight's gathering with the audience will be musically followed by the klapa Incanto.
 
"I'm pretty self-critical, but I have to admit that the photos look great on canvas," said Ranko Maras modestly, although his photos speak for themselves.
 
 
ranko maras risan
 
After tonight's presentation on Cinema Square, the exhibition moves to the Solidarity Gallery, where interested audiences can visit it until September 4.
28 Aug 2020, 09:53 AM

August 28, 2020 - "The Montenegrin website Udar (Impact) is effectively branding investigative journalists critical of the government, along with certain independent intellectuals and opposition politicians, as enemies of the state," writes RSF in the article "Montenegro: Witch-hunt against investigative reporters on eve of parliamentary elections," published on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Just days ahead of parliamentary elections in Montenegro on 30 August, a news website has launched an attack on journalists who are critical of the government. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the smear campaign and calls for an investigation. The accusation is far from trivial in the context of an election campaign marked by deep polarization of society.

By portraying them as “collaborators of the Serbian secret services,” Udar capitalizes on the nationalist sentiment to smear journalists who cover major corruption cases. Every day, stylish videos on the site “expose” new agents and provide personal information about them, including their supposed “code names” and Serbian “contact points.”

The journalists targeted by the campaign are Dražen Živković, who works for the news site Borba, and two reporters from the daily newspaper Vijesti, Vuk Lajović and Siniša Luković. Luković told RSF he regards the campaign as a criminal act. “But I don’t know who to bring a complaint against,” he said.

Although Udar is most likely registered with the Montenegrin authorities, it does not identify the authors and sources of its information. This seems to be a key element of the website’s brand image, because neither does it reveal its owner nor staff.

As well as being posted on the site, the “casefile” videos are permanently available on YouTube, where each one’s views currently range from around 9,000 to 20,000 – in a country with 600,000 inhabitants.

“The Udar website clearly violates journalistic ethics and poses a threat to real journalists,” said Pavol Szalai, the Head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans Desk. “We ask the authorities responsible for registering online media to verify whether it respects legislation on media transparency. Under no circumstances should this witch-hunt be tolerated and has no place in a country seeking to join the EU. The authorities must do everything to ensure that this activity stops.”

The aim of such smear campaigns is to name journalists who may subsequently become targets for physical attacks. Although he regards the threat as real, Luković says he is continuing to work as if it didn’t exist. “But my family is afraid, and that puts indirect pressure on me,” he added.

Serious violence against journalists in Montenegro usually goes unpunished. This was the case with the 2007 attack targeting investigative freelancer Tufik Softić and the 2018 shooting attack on Olivera Lakić, a reporter who investigates organized crime. Opposition journalist Duško Jovanović’s murder in 2004 has never been solved.

Montenegro is ranked 105th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index, the second lowest position of any country in the EU/Balkans region.

Source: Reporters Without Borders RSF

28 Aug 2020, 00:02 AM
August 27, 2020 - Herceg Novi has officially become a member of the European Federation of Fortified Cities - EFFORTS. With this, Herceg Novi has become part of the community of cities whose mission it is to preserve and use the fortification heritage as a permanent link with the common European history and prerequisites for social, economic, and spatial development.
 
The European Federation of Fortified Cities has welcomed Herceg Novi in ​​the latest August issue of the newsletter. In the publication, it presents our fortresses of Forte Mare, Kanli Kula, and Španjola. Also, the bulletin presents the project "Fortitude." The City of Šibenik, also a member of this Federation, is leading the project, and the Municipality of Herceg Novi is a partner.
 
By joining EFFORTS, Herceg Novi once again confirms that the priorities of local government are the preservation of fortifications that are an invaluable part of cultural heritage, networking with other European cities, and organized access to funding opportunities and joint action to protect and preserve historical heritage, states "Herceg Fest," which manages the fortresses of Kanli Kula and Forte Mare.
 
EFFORTS has about 90 members whose mission it is to exchange expertise and skills, promote cooperation, and emphasize the importance of fortification heritage.
 
Until establishing this organization, there was no active European network of fortified cities, fortifications, and defense lines, so this specific part of the heritage was insufficiently represented in the European context. Based on that, EFFORTS brings together cities that recognize the importance of preserving and reusing fortification heritage, both in terms of its significance in shaping European history, architecture, and engineering with their possibility of strengthening intercultural and international dialogue.
 
EFFORTS works with representatives of all European countries to defend local and regional authorities' interests and represent this significant part of the cultural heritage before the institutions of the European Union and beyond.
27 Aug 2020, 23:28 PM
August 27, 2020 - A series of jazz concerts in the arena of the Marina resort in Luštica Bay will be held over the next four weeks in cooperation with the renowned International Art Festival KotorArt and its Wild Beauty Art project.
 
As part of the "Jazz Square" program, four trios will perform for audiences on the summer amphitheater stage of the new city on the Adriatic, starting on Saturday, August 29, when the Shule Jovović trio will perform. Milorad Šule Jovović is known to the general public as the leader of the first Montenegrin jazz band "Piva Jazz Band," of which almost all Montenegrin jazz musicians have been members at some point. The Podgorica jazz guitarist works as a professor at the Art School for Music and Ballet "Vasa Pavić" in Podgorica. Martin Djordjevic (drums) graduated from Siena Jazz University in Italy and has collaborated with various musical ensembles. The youngest member of the trio, Sara Jovović, is studying jazz piano at the famous Berkeley College in Boston (USA).
 
The MP trio will be presented to jazz fans on the stage in Luštica Bay on Friday, September 4. The Baltazar trio will play on Saturday, September 19, while the Enes Tahirović trio will perform a week later, on September 26.
 
This year, Luštica Bay is one of the most important sponsors of the renowned art festival, which has adapted this festival edition as a whole, performances, programs, and concerts, to the epidemiological situation and the prescribed measures of the National Coordination Body.
 
Thanks to the partnership and synergy with Luštica Bay, KotorArt has started to produce programs outside the walls of Kotor and has featured some of the world's most influential artists of today, report the organizers.
 
Photo by Veri Veroza
27 Aug 2020, 23:18 PM
August 27, 2020 - The laboratories of the Institute of Public Health have completed PCR analysis of 540 samples for the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, among which 66 new cases of COVID-19 infection have been registered.
 
Three deaths related to the new coronavirus infection were reported in patients from Nikšić (83), Bijelo Polje (77), and Plav (81).
 
The new cases are from the following municipalities: Podgorica 26, Rozaje 19, Bijelo Polje 7, Berane 4, Pljevlja 3, Niksic 2, Tuzi 2, Budva 1, Bar 1, Gusinje 1.
 
The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has been 78 since the beginning of June, and 87 since mid-May, the IPH stated.
 
The statement added that recovery was reported in 60 patients.
 
"The total number of active cases of COVID-19 in Montenegro is currently 877. Since the beginning of the year, the total number of registered cases of infection with the new coronavirus is 4,444," reads a statement from the Institute of Public Health.
 
The Clinical Center of Montenegro is treating 17 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection.
 
Out of eight patients treated in the Internal Clinic, five are connected to non-invasive ventilation, and are in a life-threatening condition, the Clinical Center of Montenegro announced.
 
The General Hospital in Berane is currently treating 27 COVID-19 patients, four of whom have a severe clinical picture. Two are on non-invasive ventilation, the health institution reports.
27 Aug 2020, 22:32 PM
August 27, 2020 - In the rich and layered cultural heritage of the Montenegrin coast, many amphorae, ancient vessels for transport and storage of various raw materials and goods have, due to shipwrecks and conflicts at sea, ended up on the seabed. These have lain in the sand in some locations for more than two thousand years, yet instead of being an underwater attraction, most of this segment of Montenegro's archeological treasure has been removed in recent decades and ended up in private collections on the black market. 
 
You can see these ancient dishes in museums along the bay. And if you want to buy amphorae, it won't be easy as in the early nineties. However recently, those interested in such artefacts in Boka can get their faithful replicas from Timur Trako, an academic sculptor from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
"I fell in love with amphorae. Apart from the figures I primarily deal with, I also found in amphorae motifs and shapes that fascinate me. I took the opportunity to spend time in Boka, so I visited museums to get inspired, then conducted research, and then embarked on the adventure of making amphorae," says Timur, who has been living and working in Radovići, Tivat for the last few months.
 
amphorae
Timur plans to start a small atelier in Boka and encourage colleagues to join him in making aphorae replicas, Photo: Private Collection
 
Trako studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. The war years took him to Sweden, where as a sculptor he was mostly engaged in the conservation and restoration of sculptures in the interior and exterior of sacred buildings. Upon returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina, he continued his engagements in similar projects, while his artistic interest was primarily in figures. So, his interest in heritage as a sculptor is not new, and not even in his approach. With as much attention as he pays to the restoration of the relief of the old masters, with equal dedication in the making of amphorae, he tries to investigate in detail the original forms and proportions of the ancient vessels.
 
At first glance, the amphora does not seem like a big challenge for an academic sculptor. However, if the artist's goal is to faithfully convey the form and proportions of some of the types of amphorae made at the end of the Old or the beginning of the New Era, approaching such work involves detailed research and studies to achieve the skill and artistic mastery of the old masters.
 
"When I became interested in amphorae, I first tried to solve them as a puzzle in my own way. However, something was missing. Then I dived into the books and available museum exhibits, to find out the authentic relationships and proportions. I became interested in the amphorae that are present in this area and researched in detail the form "Lamboggia II," which is the most common model of amphorae found along the coasts of Croatia and Montenegro. It dates from the first century BC and lasted a long time. It has a strong, aesthetically pleasing shape, and as we know, amphorae are also very functional. The form of their bottom is not accidentally round, but very thoughtfully designed. With its shape, this model of amphora reminds me of a female figure. It has a neck, has handles, has shoulders, has a head, has a leg. Why the round shape of the bottom of the amphora? The stored matter is better preserved in such a form than in containers with a flat bottom. Therefore, the ancient peoples did not accidentally make courts for the transfer and storage of goods - amphorae, in a ball shape."
 
amphorae 5
Photo by Antonela Stjepčević
 
Timur Trako points out that ancient peoples paid a lot of attention to the design of space and objects. They researched design for functional purposes, but it was also important to them to decorate the environment in which they live. Thus, the amphora, in addition to being practical, also had aesthetic value. It resembles a human figure, and in fact, it is in proportions tailored to man.
 
"I am still researching certain forms of amphorae, intending to meet the challenge of making faithful replicas of all forms of amphorae that can be found along the eastern Adriatic coast. These amphorae of mine are not just replicas. When they ask me if it is the original, I say that my amphora is an original, not made in Antiquity, but today," explains Timur, who says that he has no problem placing his works on the market.
 
amphorae 3
Timur Trako and his amphora, Photo by Antonela Stjepčević
 
In addition to their original shape, weight, and volume, Timur also adds to his amphorae the patina of time, skillfully simulating nature's influence on objects that lie under the sea for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years.
 
"I can boast that this is a unique project in the Eastern Adriatic. As far as I know, they do something comparable in Petrinja near Zagreb, but more as souvenirs because they do not approach amphorae studiously and in this way. I plan to start a small workshop here in Montenegro, where we will make amphorae. The idea is to be joined by some more people, who are ready to carry out research so that our studio's purpose would not only be making amphorae but also detailed research into the whole art of their creation," says Timur Trako.
 
He believes that such an approach to the heritage of Boka Kotorska and Montenegro will facilitate the creation new values ​​based on ancestry, considering the story of amphorae and amphora workshops exciting also in the context of tourism.
 
 
27 Aug 2020, 14:12 PM

August 27, 2020 - NGO Naša Akcija from Kotor and the Marine Mammals Research Association (DMAD) from Turkey, also with a branch in Radovići, signed a cooperation agreement on Wednesday in Kotor. The contract was signed on behalf of the NGO by its Executive Director Patricia Pobrić, and on behalf of DMAD by Dr. Aylin Akkaya.

The main aim of the cooperation is to connect young people with the association and its long-term research work in Montenegro through education and field work with scientists. This will be offered at various levels; firstly to students of biology and ecology, and then to high school and elementary school pupils. During the activities, young people will also have the opportunity to meet students in the same professions from other countries who both live and carry out research work in our country.

The cooperation also aims to support the implementation of the project "Youth for a Clean Adriatic", which Naša Akcija has been working on since May 2019, and which is supported by Beyond Plastic Med and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. By joining forces, the project aims to ensure a comprehensive approach to education on the problem of plastic and other marine waste pollution, as well as the impact of the pollution on wildlife.

 

HRB

26 Aug 2020, 18:54 PM
August 26, 2020 - To improve new ways of promoting the wealth of cultural and tourist attractions in one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic, and also the most important tourist center in Montenegro, the Tourist Organization of Budva has set up an interactive outdoor info point outside the Old Town, opposite the Hotel Mogren.
 
"Visitors to Budva, but also locals, will be able to quickly and easily receive information about all types of accommodation on the Budva Riviera, as well as gastronomic offerings, attractions, beaches, and activities, thanks to the most innovative interactive point in the tourism sector. They can also find out about the most important service information, including current information related to coronavirus and measures taken to improve safety and health," the Tourist Organization of Budva reports.
 
An interactive map with marked locations helps visitors find their way around, and users can interact with the system via their mobile devices with QR codes.
 
Budva's "info totem" is one of the best interactive solutions in the world. Top-of-the-range components, a professional Samsung high-definition display, a high-performance computer with UPS, an air conditioning system, and anti-vandal housing all ensure it will operate reliably.
 
The long-term plan is to install new interactive info points in several locations and create a digital network with centralized control, so that synchronized promotion of tourist and cultural attractions can be assured throughout the municipality, and digital communication can be provided at a higher level.
 
26 Aug 2020, 10:28 AM

UPDATE 6 p.m.: The Institute of Public Health has completed the PCR analysis of 562 samples for the new coronavirus since yesterday, among which 55 new COVID-19 cases. Since the last section, one fatal outcome related to the new coronavirus infection has been reported in a patient from Nikšić, born in 1941.

August 26, 2020 - Over the last two days, the laboratories of the Institute of Public Health (IPH) have completed PCR analysis of 442 samples (Monday) and 540 samples (Tuesday) for the new coronavirus, among which 35 and 66 new cases of COVID-19 infection were detected respectively.

No new deaths were reported in COVID-19 patients on Monday, and three people from Nikšić, Bijelo Polje, and Plav, born in 1937, 1943, and 1939, died on Tuesday. Since the beginning of June, the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 is 78, and since the beginning of the year, 87, according to the Institute of Public Health.

The total number of active cases of COVID-19 in Montenegro is currently 877. Since the beginning of the year, the number of registered cases of infection with the new coronavirus is 4,444.

16 COVID-19 patients treated at the Clinical Center, four in a life-threatening condition

The Clinical Center of Montenegro is currently treating 16 patients with the confirmed presence of the COVID-19 virus, the Institution announced.

They announced that nine patients were being treated in the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and seven in the Internal Clinic. Four patients were in a life-threatening condition and connected to non-invasive ventilation.

The decision on re-establishment of railway traffic with Serbia rests with the Montenegrin authorities

Srbija Voz (Serbian railways) is ready to immediately establish railway traffic with Montenegro and start trains on the route Belgrade - Bar. The Montenegrin authorities' decision regarding the abolition of mandatory PCR tests for train staff is pending, the Director of Srbija Voz Jugoslav Jovic said yesterday.

"We are in regular contact with the representatives of the Railway Transport of Montenegro. We are waiting for the decision of their state bodies regarding the abolition of mandatory PCR tests for train staff to establish international traffic," Jovic said, Belgrade media reported.

He added that there is a great interest from passengers with regard to starting the line Belgrade - Bar and that first they would only discuss the night train that would run every day, but also that the day train could also be re-started at some point.

25 Aug 2020, 18:59 PM
August 25, 2020 - The monograph Lectionarium et Pontificale Catharense - Lectionary and Pontifical of the Diocese of Kotor in 1166 by Dr Lenka Blehova Čelebić, was presented last night in the summer garden of the Regent Porto Montenegro Hotel, organized by the Public Institution Cultural Center Tivat.
Lectionarium et Pontificale Catharense - Lectionary and Pontifical of the Diocese of Kotor in 1166 is the oldest manuscript in Montenegro. It is a temporal, cultural, and historical capsule that preserves Kotor alongside the oldest European cultures, said Zvonimir Deković on behalf of the monograph's publisher, The Croatian National Council of Montenegro.
"They didn't believe that I would be able to convince Dr Blehova Čelebić to embark on this venture. I guess the stars were kind to us. She was the only one who could rise to such a task, and for that I thank her sincerely. It makes us especially proud that after so many years since its discovery in St. Petersburg, we have had the honor of returning the Pontifical in a phototype edition, supplemented with a scientific apparatus, to the place in which it belongs. The Croatian National Council is preparing two more books of a liturgical character - the Bar Missal from 1324 and the last Roman Missal from 1906. We want to encourage other authors in this endeavor," said Zvonimir Deković.
 
kotor Publika
Monoghaph presentation, Regent Porto Montenegro, Photo by Dragan Redžo
The Pontifical of the Diocese of Kotor belongs to the Western cultural tradition and it was created when the West was still half a desert: the middle of the 12th century. When Europe was "a minefield, full of heresies and heretics," the teachings of the highest religious and cultural authorities were being interpreted in diminutive Kotor.
The monumental illustrated monograph (29 x 25 cm) consists of 404 pages of phototype edition of the original manuscript, and 100 pages of the author's text, with interpretations and critical apparatus on each page, with bibliography and scientific equipment in twelve languages. 
It is not known for sure where the manuscript was made, whether in one of the Beneventan monasteries in Southern Italy, or possibly in a scriptorium in the Bay of Kotor, but it is certain that the indications in the scientific study provided with this edition shed light on the problem and potential answers. No manuscript in this part of the world predates Gutenberg's press by as much as this one - a full 300 years. 
The book consists of 404 pages, 100 pages of authored text, a bibliography, and a scientific apparatus in 12 languages. The author found over a thousand Bible quotations in the original text and published them on the margin next to the handwritten original.
"Lenka received a recommendation for research twenty years ago in Argentina from today's Pope Francis. Life and science work in strange ways to provide access to such things. It is wonderful that the book is back. We don't know how the books got separated. Others did not fare any better. This book is one of the few and largest in the Russian Academy - a small contribution from the Bay of Kotor. We may not even be aware of the significance of this book. It is significant European heritage. That is why we have such great respect for what Lenka Blehova Čelebić did with her authority and knowledge, as well as for the Croatian National Council's initiative," said literature professor Neven Staničić.
"I will not talk about the spiritual value of this publication, but the material value is also high. Back then, it was like having a villa with a pool. Not everyone could have this book. In the 12th century, the thoughts of St. Augustine, Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and others were heard in Kotor. They were discussed daily in our small Kotor, in the Bay of Kotor itself. That is why this is a world heritage treasure. We have returned part of that wealth home, which makes us proud," said Neven Staničić.
Lenka Blehova Čelebić thanked the Croatian National Council and Zvonimir Deković for their understanding and support. She also thanked Neven Staničić for his unfailing assistance, emphasizing that it is not only essential to have a writer for the book, but also to have a team to work with, which contributes to the success of the work, particularly the excellent graphic artists and printers from Novi Sad.
 
kotor Lenka
Lenka Blehova Čelebić, Photo by Dragan Redžo
"Last year we promoted the Missal. The Missal is a book that contains the texts and procedures of the Mass. It contains various readings that are mostly passages from the Bible. But it also contains the decisions of the Council of the Catholic Church. This liturgical book is composed of two parts, the Lectionary, and the Pontifical. The Pontifical is a book that contains all the procedures that the bishop must perform. These include the abbots' appointments, the reception of priests, the consecration of cemeteries and churches, etc. All these activities were significant for a bishop who had great authority and important duties. These two books were sewn into one. We don't know why, but we can only guess. We see that this book was made by many hands, several generations of scribes. The third unit in this valuable manuscript is a transcript of the sermons of the great church fathers. The fourth unit is the Kotor Charter and the provisions of the Statute. They were also written on the margins, in empty spaces, of which there were not many.  It was important for someone not to forget. There are a lot of interesting things. For the people from Boka Kotorska, this book is not only beautiful but also useful. There is a lot of historical information, musical information, and information from the sphere of diplomacy," the author emphasized.
 In the 18th century, the book was still in Kotor. But then it somehow reached St. Petersburg, as the property of a local Catholic seminary.
"We do not know who brought the book from Kotor to St. Petersburg. It was probably in the midst of the Turkish wars. Maybe the person in question wanted to save it from being destroyed by fire," explained the monograph's author, Lenka Blehova Čelebić, at last night's presentation of the publication.
"I did my best to make the book interesting for the layman as well. I tried to make the text readable because it is part of Montenegrin heritage. The monograph is dedicated to Don Anton Belan, who was my very dear collaborator. I have had the honor of working with him ever since I came to Montenegro in 1993, " said Lenka Blehova Čelebić.
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