The Russian Federation stands by UNESCO in support of the reconstruction of the cultural heritage in Kosovo
On 29 November 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO and Chairperson of the Organization’s Executive Board, signed a funds-in-trust agreement by which the Russian Federation will contribute USD 2 million for the rehabilitation of the cultural heritage in Kosovo. Ms Zorica Tomic, Ambassador of Serbia to UNESCO, was also present at the signature ceremony.
This contribution will further strengthen UNESCO’s activities in Kosovo and will allow the restoration of the four important orthodox monuments in Kosovo inscribed on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger since 2006: the Monastery of Decani, the Pec Patriachate in Pec, the Bogorodica Ljeviska Church of Prizren and Gracanica Monastery of Gracanica.
Following the “UNESCO International donor’s conference to rehabilitate the cultural heritage of Kosovo”, held in 2005, UNESCO has so far mobilized more than 5 million US dollars from Albania, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Turkey, USA and now the Russian Federation, soon to be followed by Bulgaria. Thanks to these contributions, UNESCO has been able to work on the restoration of about 13 monuments in Kosovo, of which the majority are inscribed in the World Heritage List.
Since the 2005 donor conference, several projects have already been successfully completed with very positive results demonstrating once more the role of cultural heritage in promoting dialogue and reconciliation, as well as contributing to development.
In her remarks, the Director-General Irina Bokova thanked the Russian Federation for the important financial contribution to UNESCO’s activities and for reiterating its support to the Organization for its technical expertise in the restoration of cultural heritage in Kosovo. She underscored UNESCO’s commitment to contributing to the peace and development in the sub-region through technical cooperation with all the stakeholders in this field.
For her part, Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova highlighted how the signature of the agreement constituted an important political and humanitarian step. She emphasized that the Russian Federation was proud to assist in restoring these famous and important World Heritage sites.