EUROPA NOSTRA: Cable car would DESTROY symbol of Belgrade and Serbia
Europe’s largest organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage, Europa Nostra, has released a report stating that the implementation of a “controversial” cable car construction project in the area of the Belgrade Fortress at Kalemegdan would “irreversibly compromise the historic and aesthetic value of the protected cultural heritage of great importance for Serbia”. Stating that the report was prepared on the basis of a visit by a high-level delegation of Europa Nostra’s experts to Belgrade in early May, the organization concludes that the project at Kalemegdan is “legally controversial and without a clear purpose and basis” and that the construction of a cable car in the area would have “devastating consequences to the authenticity and integrity of cultural heritage that is a symbol of Belgrade.” “With the remnants from the era of Rome, the Byzantine Empire, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Serbian medieval state, the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg period, the Belgrade Fortress tells a unique story of the historical borders of Europe through a period of more than 18 centuries.” We believe that a high value of this protected cultural monument calls for the utmost care and respect, thus we urge the authorities in Serbia to treat this historic gem accordingly, says Europa Nostra’s Executive President Hermann Parzinger. The organization warns that the construction of a cable car “would jeopardize the transnational nomination of Belgrade Fortress for the UNESCO World Heritage List within the ‘Borders of the Roman Empire’, which would lead to missing out on an exceptional opportunity for the long-term improvement and preservation of this site, as well as for the sustainable development of cultural tourism”. “A serious Heritage Impact Assessment was not carried out in the process of considering the cable car construction project, contrary to national and international legal provisions as well as good practice standards. The cable car construction project is incompatible with national legal provisions as well as with international and European conventions in the field of heritage ratified by Serbia,” the report says.