During the last four months, from July to October 2014, around 200 athletes, journalists, students, representatives of political parties and religious communities, as well as cultural, and health workers, high school professors, activists and citizens of other professions from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in lectures, restoration and team work at the Isa-bey’s Hammam in Sarajevo. All of the participants gave their symbolically contribution to the restoration of this important monument.
Workshops at the Hammam were organized by the Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) in cooperation with the Bosniak Institute – Foundation Adil Zulfikarpasic, the U.S. Alumni Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Vakuf Authority, and as a part of the „Make It Yours!“ project. „Make It Yours!“ project is funded by the European Union under the ‘Sarajevo 2014’ framework programme, which incorporates a series of projects implemented in and around the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, and with an aim of Sarajevo sending messages of peace, reconciliation and solidarity to the world.
The “Make It Your!” project aims to raise awareness of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the importance of cultural heritage as our joint treasure, to increase a sense of belonging and connection with the cultural heritage of BiH citizen, and to create the space for an open dialogue on heritage, culture and identity in today’s BiH. The lectures of relevant Bosnian and international experts, with a long-term experience in the cultural heritage, and participants’ practical work (such as plastering, cleaning facade fragments, pointing and constructing parts of this building) at the Isa-bey Hamam the participants have learned about the basic principles of the cultural heritage protection, its values and the importance of utilising forgotten traditional tools and traditional materials that are used in the restoration of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
CHwB’s “Ambassadors of Cultural Heritage” contributed to raising awareness on the importance of the common cultural heritage. The Ambassadors are distinguished public figures who, through their professional engagements, have proven track record of great spokespersons of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its cultural heritage. Nihad Kreševljaković, a historian and the Director of Sarajevo War Theatre (SARTR), was named as the new “Ambassador of Cultural Heritage” at the latest workshop, held on 9th of October. This symbolic title had previously been awarded to the musician Damir Imamović, downhill champion Hasan Gušić, eminent restaurateurs of the works of art Nihad Čengić and Ćazim Hadžimejlić, artist Alma Telibečirević and writer Faruk Šehić.
“This is a great honour for me as I grew up in a family where awareness of cultural and historical heritage was always present. A great contribution to protection of cultural heritage was given by members of my family, my grandfather Hamdija Kreševljaković and my father Muhamed, who worked at the Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historic and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Awareness of our heritage, and knowledge of the value of our heritage are reasons for my attachment to and love of our country”, said Nihad Kreševljaković, “Ambassador of Cultural Heritage”.
Ambassadors of Cultural Heritage and participants of the workshops signed “The Declaration on Protection of Cultural Heritage” and became friends of cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Declaration sets foundations for a platform which will enable all signatories to continue their engagement in protecting cultural heritage. In the upcoming period, and within the “Make It Yours!” project, CHwB plans to organize extracurricular educational and practical activities specially designed for high school pupils, students, along with young professionals from different parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.