“Within the last 10 years there has been a shift in paradigm, approach and practices of heritage safeguarding in most of the countries in Europe aimed at making a more sustainable, long-term use of cultural heritage sites. This shift requires not only seeing heritage sites as a cultural value to be protected, but as a common, public asset which, if rehabilitated, used and managed properly, can generate additional cultural, social, human and economic capital.”
– Višnja Kisić, Europa Nostra Serbia, extract from the organization and methodology document for 7 site management plans in the Western Balkans
The current project to develop site management plans in 7 Western Balkan countries has embraced this concept in its complete form. The project, begun in July, is now well on its way – the first workshops engaging key stakeholders have been held at all 7 of the sites.
First ideas on possible management visions and priorities have been developed, leading towards meaningful and realistic site management plans. The most important aspect of this project is that the project teams for each site are all made of local experts who are contributing to a participatory and open process. Our aim is to have plans owned and embraced by those who would use them the most – specialists working on sites and officials partaking in decision making.
Though the project timeline is rather short, all 7 teams are working around the clock and in parallel. This initiative is a part of an overall program for the rehabilitation of 7 heritage sites in 7 countries in Southeast Europe within the framework of Ljubljana Process II: Rehabilitating Our Common Cultural Heritage, a joint program of the Council of Europe and the European Commission.