Under the organization of the Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB), more than 50 participants and lecturers from Great Britain, Sweden, Montenegro, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Albania, Kosovo and Croatia attended the 18th Regional Restoration Camp at Pliva Lakes in Jajce.
Throughout the two weeks of the camp, held from 12th to 25th July, 2014, students of architecture, archaeology and art history, through the theoretical and practical aspects of the camp, developed their skills of restoration and cultural heritage management.
Prominent experts from Europe and the region gave lectures for participants on cultural heritage, conservation, the importance of using traditional materials in the restoration of buildings of cultural significance, the importance of maintaining these facilities after their restoration and their economic importance.
“The Camp in Jajce gave me a unique opportunity to gain insight into the cultural heritage and practices of heritage conservation in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and a chance to meet experts and enthusiasts with similar interests. I realized the importance of non-formal education to our personal and professional development, and I believe that the knowledge and skills acquired during the camp will be invaluable to my future work, “said Mateja Kuk (26) from Croatia.
As a part of the Camp’s practical component participants worked on the rehabilitation of “Mlinčić”, a series of small watermills, on the Pliva Lakes, which had suffered damage in 2011. In 2009, the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the complex of mills on the Pliva Lakes a National Monument.
“At this camp for the first time in my life I climbed onto the roof and laid wooden slats. It was an unbelievable experience that will long remain in my memory, alongside the people I met and images of Jajce itself”, said Berin Verlašević (20), a participant from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Participants also visited various National Monuments in the vicinity of Jajce, Zenica and Travnik during the Camp’s two-week duration. The main objective of the camp has been to use cultural heritage to build and foster cooperation among young professionals, creating the conditions necessary for reconciliation as a precondition for peace and democracy, and the preservation of traditional crafts and techniques.
The Regional Restoration Camp held in Jajce was part of the larger project “Western Balkan – From historical integration to contemporary active participation”, which is supported by the European Union. The camp was implemented by CHwB in cooperation with the organization Co-Plan from Albania and the foundation for community development Mozaik of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Reconstruction of the Mlinčić watermills on the Pliva Lakes has been partly co-financed by the municipality of Jajce. For further management and maintenance, the watermills will be handed over to the Agency for Cultural-Historical and Natural Heritage and Tourism Development of Jajce. Since 2007 CHwB has organized restoration camps in Albania, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia. The 17 previous camps have been attended by over 500 people from different parts of Europe, and have implemented various restoration interventions on more than 65 buildings of historical significance throughout the region.