Kosovo: Burned Books and Blasted Shrines

By Guttman, Cynthia | UNESCO Courier, September 2000 | Go to article overview

Kosovo: Burned Books and Blasted Shrines


Guttman, Cynthia, UNESCO Courier


Kosovo's cultural heritage was deliberately targetted during the 1998-1999 conflict says Harvard University's Andras Riedlmayer', co-author of the first survey assessing the damage

You spent three weeks in Kosovo in October 1999 documenting damage to cultural heritage. What were your main findings?

Kosovo's 600-year-old Islamic heritage suffered large-scale devastation during the "ethnic cleansing" operations. More than one third of the region's 600 mosques were destroyed or seriously damaged. A standard technique was to pack the base of the minaret with explosives so that the stone spire would collapse onto the building and smash the dome. We found racist anti-Albanian and anti-Islamic grafitti inside, Korans with pages ripped out and smeared with feces, and crosses carved into the mosques' mihrabs [prayer niche]. Valuable collections of Islamic manuscripts were burned. The 500-year-old mosque and historic centre of Vucitrn was set afire and completely bulldozed by Serb paramilitaries. Of Kosovo's four well-preserved Ottoman-era urban centres, only one, Prizren, escaped such devastation.

The other great loss are the kullas --stone mansions typical of Albanian residential architecture. They tended to belong to the more prominent Albanian families and had been in the same hands for 150-200 years. As such they were filled with artifacts and documents and were regarded as symbols of Albanian culture in Kosovo. Barely ten per cent of the region's 500 kullas survived the war. All this demonstrates that the damage was clearly not collateral. It was very intentional.

There have been allegations that the Serbian heritage also suffered damage.

As soon as the conflict broke out, Belgrade's Information Ministry and several conservation institutes claimed that NATO was deliberately targetting Serbian patrimonial sites. We visited each one of the sites for which damage was claimed and found these allegations to be unsubstantiated. At the end of the war, KFOR [1] troops were stationed to guard the most famous monasteries and churches. However, many village churches became easy targets for revenge by returning Kosovar villagers. A majority of the attacked buildings were built in the 20th century, and quite a large number during the 1990s. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Kosovo: Burned Books and Blasted Shrines
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.