Architectural Heritage, Kosovo, UNESCO, ICOMOS, World Heritage List, World Heritage Center, Tentative List, Heritage in Danger, Heritage at Risk, Documentation and Inventory


In 2015, Kosovo tried to join UNESCO and failed by three quotes. Is Kosovo ready for its UNESCO membership? At least for its national architectural heritage, this question is to answer with no. The intensively discussed issue of the medieval monuments of Kosovo inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage by Serbia and Montenegro before the declaration of independency in 2008 and their further management through Kosovo is just one aspect. More troubling is that the rather young state not yet could establish sufficient structures to gain a systematic inventory of its monuments, sites and historic ensembles, nor to extract a tentative list for UNESCO out of such an encompassing inventory.

This article intends to clarify the definitions of World Heritage, the institutions and NGO’s involved, the mechanisms and philosophies behind. What is the urgent homework for Kosovo? Which national and international groups of experts Kosovo has to name and make responsible for the systemic inventory of its architectural heritage and for creating a tentative list? What is the role and importance of ICOMOS in that process? Which other stakeholders have to be Identified and educated towards that issue?

Based on such general considerations the author tries to design finally a preliminary tentative list for the architectural heritage of Kosovo. Hence, not the list itself is of importance but the discussion of the pro and contra arguments for single candidates.



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