The monograph ‘Religious Buildings of National Minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ was presented at Banski dvor Cultural Centre in Banja Luka on 24 January 2020.
Rector of the University of Banja Luka Prof. Radoslav Gajanin, PhD, says that this monograph is of multiple importance, because it will prevent the buildings that have been damaged in the past war and that have been used for other purposes over the years from being forgotten.
Gajanin primarily referred to a great number of buildings of the Jewish Community that existed in BiH, as well as churches of German, Italian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech and Polish national minorities.
,,Our authors recorded all the sites at which religious buildings once existed, which are currently in dilapidated condition and in somehow forgotten. I hope that this monograph will inspire the society of the Republic of Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to make every effort to revive those religious buildings”, Rector Gajanin said.
He added that the authors of the monograph are professors at the University of Banja Luka who, through their research, recorded all the technical characteristics and valorized the architecture of the buildings that have been preserved and are in use today.
,,The publication is also unique in that the text is written in Serbian and English, while the characteristics of religious buildings are also written in the language of the national minority to which these buildings belong ”, Rector Gajanin explained.
Co-author of the monograph Assistant Professor Miroslav Malinovic, PhD, said that it took more than five years to collect the data and do the research, and that the publication contains an overview of the historical conditions that preceded the arrival of national minorities on the territory of present-day BiH. The monograph also provides an overview of legislation related to national minorities, especially in terms of language use. Religious buildings of national minorities were also viewed through the prism of tourism development and promotion.
,,Most of the publication is dedicated to religious buildings of national minorities, both those in use today and buildings that have been demolished; however, through field research and work in numerous archives, their remains and traces have been found”, Malinovic said.
He added that the importance of these buildings and how to make use of them for religious tourism has been indicated at the end of the monograph.
,,There are many buildings that have lost their original function, which we do not even know used to have a sacred character, most of which are located in villages and are completely run-down”, Assistant Professor Malinovic said.
He noted that the monograph is some kind of critique of the society, because it shows how valuable these buildings are, but that no one has made use of them.
Professor Ljubisa Preradovic, PhD, Professor Milijana Okilj, PhD, Gordana Preradovic, MA, and reviewer Zeljko Vujadinovic, PhD, spoke at the promotion.
Members of the City Tamburitza Orchestra performed two instrumental and four vocal-instrumental compositions from the cultural heritage of national minorities.
The University of Banja Luka and the International Association for Semiotic Studies – AIS are publishers of the monograph ,,Religious Buildings of National Minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.