On Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the SENSE Centre in Pula (3 Dante Square) at 9 AM the international conference Destroying Cultural Heritage, Post-War Reconstruction, and Trust Building started.
Its goal was to analise what has been done in the last two decades and what has been learnt about the importance of cultural and religious heritage in war conflicts, and which challenges still remain regarding the reconstruction of cultural heritage, post-war peace-building, and the problems of divided societies in the region of South-East Europe.
The key speakers at the conference included the ICTY Chief Prosecutor, war crime prosecutors from Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as activists and international experts on the protection of cultural heritage who witnessed to the scale of destruction of cultural heritage at many trials at the ICTY concerning the wars in the 90s in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
Panel discussion I: Understanding the Role of Cultural Heritage in Identity Building and Wars in the Former Yugoslavia
After the opening statement from the organisers, the conference proceeded with presentations and discussions on the topic of Understanding the Role of Cultural Heritage in Identity Building and Wars in the Former Yugoslavia. The key speakers were: Helen Walasek, an expert on cultural heritage protection and the author of the book Bosnia and the Destruction of Cultural Heritage; Višnja Kisić, Europa Nostra; Derviš Hadžimuhamedović, archaeologist, The Youth and Heritage. The panel was moderated by Borka Pavičević, the director of the Centre for Cultural Decontamination from Belgrade.
Panel discussion II: Trials for the Destruction of Cultural and Religious Heritage at the ICTY and Other Courts: Precedents, Challenges, and Future Steps
The second panel discussion dealt with the topic of Trials for the Destruction of Cultural and Religious Heritage at the ICTY and Other Courts: Precedents, Challenges, and Future Steps. The key speakers were: Serge Brammertz, the ICTY Chief Prosecutor; András Riedlmayer, an expert on cultural and religious heritage of the Balkans; Jasmina Dolmagić, the deputy attorney general of the Republic of Croatia; Marko Sjekavica, a war crimes trial monitor. The panel discussion was moderated by Vesna Teršelič, the director of Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Part
Panel discussion III: The Role of Heritage in Post-War Reconstruction, Peace-Building and Cooperation: Lessons Learnt on Different Approaches
The key speakers at the third panel discussion The Role of Heritage in Post-War Reconstruction, Peace-Building and Cooperation: Lessons Learnt on Different Approaches included: Lejla Hadžić, CHWB; Drago Pilsel, journalist and theologian; Goran Božičević, MIRamiDA Centar; Mirzah Fočo, a member of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The panel discussion was moderated by Višnja Kisić, Europa Nostra Serbia.
The last conference panel discussion dealt with Connecting Divided Societies through Learning about History and Memory. The panel included history teachers and educators from Croatia and the countries of the region: Vjeran Pavlaković, an associate professor at the Department for Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Igor Jovanović, Veli Vrh Elementary School/Eruoclio, Igor Šaponja, Vocational School of Economics in Pula, and Aida Vežić, the regional coordinator of the Balkan Museum Network.
The conference ended with a round table discussion entitled Crating Space for Dialogue on Heritage and the Past: Possibilities of Cooperation and Further Steps, which was moderated by Vesna Teršelič. The participants discussed the possibilities and ideas connected to the development of the SENSE Centre in Pula.
Please find attached the conference programme!
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