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Research Shows the System of Protection of Cultural Monuments in Serbia is in Poor Condition

Belgrade, 19 October 2016 – Research findings of the study “Analysis of the Organisation and Capacities of the Institutes for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Serbia” were presented today at the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia.

Ms Estela Radonjic, team leader of the research team, explained that the study aimed to identify an actual status and problems of the structure, functioning, capacities, regulatory framework, documentation, sources of financing, technical and spatial working conditions of all 14 institutes for the protection of cultural monuments of Serbia and to give recommendations for improvement of this system.
The study showed that Serbia still uses the Law on Culture from 1994, while all other countries in the region revised their laws. Ms Aleksandra Fulgosi, Assistant Minister of Culture, said that the findings collected will be used for the creation of the new Cultural Strategy. 
Institutes for the protection of cultural monuments are responsible for the care of 3,161 immovable cultural properties, out of which more than 50% are under the territorial jurisdiction of only 4 Institutes (Nis, Leposavic, City of Belgrade and Kraljevo). Completeness of documentation ranges from 10% to 90% by individual institutions, while the Central Registry has completed documentation for only 1.2% of cultural property. 
Ninoslav Kekic, on behalf of the Public Policy Secretariat stressed that this study was another good example of linking the decision makers with the research community. 
The protection of cultural property employs 353 people, which is merely 0.63% of all employees in the field of protection of cultural heritage. With 41% of all employees aged 50-59, the important questions that need to be answered are: who will take over their work, and if at some point new younger staff is hired (considering the current restrictions for new hiring in the public sector), who is going to train them?
The State Secretary in charge of Culture Novica Antic, thanked the research team for impressive analysis and valuable data, assessing the current state of protection of cultural monuments in Serbia as extremely poor. 
Study included a comparative analysis with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, showing, for example, that in the last 10 years Serbia added 207 immovable cultural properties to the National List, while Croatia listed 235 in just one year (2015). 
Representatives of museums, archives and libraries expressed their hopes that a similar research, based on this great model, will be conducted soon for their institutions as well. 
The research was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Media and conducted by the research team of the Academy of Arts, gathering experts for protection of cultural heritage from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia, Creative Economy Group Foundation and Faculty of Organisational Sciences. The study will be available soon on the websites of the Ministry for Culture and Public Policy Secretariat (PPS), as one of the four pilot projects on evidence-based policy making implemented by PERFORM and PPS.

You can view and download the study here