On the 11th of March 2015, at 17:00, in the Municipal Assembly of Prishtina, was held a public discussion focused in the restoration process of the Great Hammam of Prishina and re-evaluation of the current condition of the building in order to give it a proper function.
Moderated by Bekim Ramku, the panel gathered a lot of representatives from the local and central level institutions as well as cultural heritage experts: Shpend Ahmeti, the mayor of Municipality of Prishtina; Liburn Aliu, director of the DUCEP, Municipality of Prishtina; Saranda Bogujevci, director of DCYS, Municipality Prishtina; Burbuqe Bakija Deva, MCYS, Department of Cultural Heritage; Gjejlane Hoxha, Kosova Council for Cultural Heritage; Mustafa Pehlivanoglu, MP Tasarim, Istanbul, Turkey; Sule Diren, MP Tasarim, Istanbul, Turkey; Sali Shoshi, CHwB; Shqipe Nixha, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”; Prof. Dr. Valter Shtylla and Valbona Saliuka, Institute of Protection of Monuments of Kosovo.
“The purpose of this debate is the desire to move forward in functioning of one of the most important cultural heritage institutions of the city. Maybe it has a symbolic and is a next step we want to do because generally we should move very fast regarding the work we want to do for cultural heritage assets in Prishtina, which of course have to do with several institutions located in the historic area of Prishtina, but to also discuss for other parts of Prishtina’s cultural heritage, for the identity character of some buildings, not only to preserve them, but also to promote tourism in our city, because as a municipality we have what to offer to all those visitors who are interested in cultural monuments of Prishtina”, said the Mayor Ahmeti at the beginning of the public discussion.
Liburn Aliu, director of the DUCEP, Municipality of Prishtina said that now we are at a stage where it should precisely be determined what and how to intervene, what will be removed from the current layers placed in hammam, whether to go back to the first stage and completely ignore the second and third stage of the works done since 2009 or should a committee be formed, which would determine to what point can we go back to this project.
Shqipe Nixha, from the University of Prishtina said that when a monument is destroyed, it is difficult to return to the previous condition, whereas Burbuqe Bakija Deva, representative of the Ministry of Culture said that so far the works in the Hammam of Prishtina are a concrete example of how not to deal with cultural heritage. On the other hand, Sali Shoshi from CHwB, said that the reasons for the withdrawal of CHwB from the project in 2009 were due to unprofessional interventions by the company selected by the Municipality of Prishtina, which had diverted the plan approved by the Board and Institute of Protection of Monuments. Shoshi even accused of negligence all relevant institutions, because as he said, they had immediately reported for diversion of the plan, but it was not taken into account.
According to the panellists, although the beginning of the project has had a good performance, with all relevant institutions and experts involved, this project was diverted with time. The idea to create a comprehensive committee, which will analyse the situation and prepare a document for further steps, was considered as necessary and urgent.