Bombing of Cultural Monuments



RAKOVICA MONASTERY in Belgrade, built in the 16th century. During the bombardment of Rakovica, first on 24 March and repeatedly afterwards, the monastery was exposed to strong detonations which have weakened the support wall and counterforts. The church has been shaken, vertical fissures appeared, while all windows have been broken. During the new, most severe bombardment of Rakovica on the night of 14/15 April, lasting from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m., the monastery sustained a series of new damages: the portal door has been blown out, no window pane remained undamaged and - most serious - the fissures have widened.
TOPČIDER - the complex extends along the Topčider River valley, from Rakovica to its mouth with the Sava River. It is surrounded with urban housing projects. During the 19th century the area around the residential complex built between 1831 and 1834 during the reign of Prince Miloš (encompassing the Residence, the Topčider Church, the Priest’s House and service buildings) was continuously developing according to architectural plans and included parks, fonts, fountains, public monuments, flower and tree nurseries, orchards and vineyards. The Church of St. Apostles Peter and Paul in Topčider has been built upon the order of Prince Miloš. The monument complex in Topčider has also been damaged during the bombardment of Belgrade.
ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING, NEMANJINA 9 - A monumental building, the work of Serbian and Russian architects who participated in the rebuilding of Serbia after World War I. On the night of 7 April 1999, during the NATO air strike on Belgrade, this building at Nemanjina 9, in the very heart of Belgrade, was also struck. The building sustained considerable damage. The greatest damage occurred in the east wing, where the destruction was vertical, affecting all floors, and complete. The interior of the building was destroyed as well.
ĆE BUSINESS CENTER BUILDING - built between 1961 and 1965 according to the design of the renowned Belgrade architect Mihailo Janković, as the building for social and political organizations. Until the construction of Beogra|anka Building, this glass and steel tower was the tallest building in Belgrade and together with the Federation Palace one of the landmarks of Novi Beograd. Given all its characteristics important for the history of Belgrade architecture, the Ušće Business Center Building has been granted the status of property which enjoys preliminary protection. In the early morning hours of 21 April the building was directly struck by four missiles which caused fire.
RESIDENCE IN UŽIČKA 15 - located in the spatial complex Senjak, Dedinje, Topčidersko brdo, which enjoys preliminary protection, in the close vicinity of the Topčider cultural and historic complex, which is of great importance. Located in the residential area of Belgrade, in the street with numerous villas designed by the most prominent Serbian architects. It is a specific urban area with specific historical development, natural characteristics and residential style of its own, dominated by harmony between natural values and architectural heritage.
Built in 1934 for engineer Acović according to the design of architect Vladislav Vladisavljević as a moderately sized one-storey villa in Romanticist style. After World War II it became the residence of the head of State. It was altered and some additions were built up first in 1948 and then three times afterwards. The last major refurbishing was undertaken between 1970 and 1972, when the building acquired its present-day appearance. The villa houses a valuable collection of paintings and applied plastic art objects. The residence is surrounded with a representative park with a large number of sculptures made by the greatest Yugoslav sculptors. The villa was demolished in the attack of NATO warplanes on 22 April 1999.
RTS OFFICE BUILDING ON ABERDAREVA STREET - once the Students’ Boarding House, built between 1938 and 1940 as the endowment of Queen Marija to provide board and lodging for poor students, designed by renowned Belgrade architect Ratko Tadić. The building is an example of the quest for national values in architecture and one of the major works of this author. After World War II the building was converted to suit the needs of the First Movie Company. After the founding of television, it was adjusted to the new function, with minimum intervention on the facades. In 1988 the new wing was built up according to the design of the Belgrade Television’s Designing Bureau, while the original building remained unchanged. The Serbian Radio Television building is important by its function, both former and present, as the work of a prominent author, as an example of the search for national style in architecture and as an element of the complex within the Tašmajdan Park (including St. Mark’s Church, Russian Church, RTS Building, the Pioneers’ Hall - now the Children’s Cultural Center and Small Theater - now Theater „Duško Radović“, which enjoys the status of preliminary protection. It was hit by NATO warplanes on 23 April 1999.
CHILDREN’S CULTURAL CENTER, THEATER „DUŠKO RADOVIĆ“ and SERBIAN RADIO AND TELEVISION BUILDING ON TAKOVSKA STREET NO. 10 - Three connected buildings - originally the Pioneers’ Hall, the Small Theater and the Belgrade Radio and Television Building - were built after the competition in 1962 won by the renowned Serbian architect Ivan Antić. A complex urban block built between 1963 and 1967 to accommodate a variety of functions, partially connected with the urban core and partially with the Tašmajdan Park, it remains an example of successful blending with the surroundings. The complex is important in various ways - by its function, as a valuable architectural work and as the work of an architect with worldwide reputation. Within the spatial complex „Old Belgrade" it enjoys the status of preliminary protection. All three buildings were damaged in NATO attacks on the night of 23 April 1999.
ST. MARK’S CHURCH in Tašmajdan was built between 1931 and 1940 next to an old church bearing the same name, which was built by Prince Miloš in 1835 and which was pulled down in 1941. The new monumental church was built after the design of architects Branko and Petar Krstić in the style of old Serbian Medieval architecture. According to the general structural concept and spatial arrangement it closely resembles the church of the Gračanica Monastery. Owing to its dimensions and rich decorations on the exterior it looks impressive. The construction method and facade polychromy imitates the Serbian-Byzantine style. Inside the church is a sarcophagus with the remains of King Dušan (1308-1355) brought from his foundation, St. Archangel’s Monastery near Prizren. The tomb of Patriarch German is situated on the northern part. Due to its architectural value and urbanistic significance it was established as the immovable cultural property - cultural monument in 1975.
On the night of 23 April 1999, when the Television Building was struck, almost all glass on church windows and doors was broken, although it was reinforced glass. Some window frames and metal supports were twisted and blown out by the detonation. Shrapnel and material from the nearby demolished building on Aberdareva Street hit the church, causing minor damage on the facade (alternating rows of stone and bricks), on the eastern side of the church and altar apse, as well as on the copper sheeting on domes and eaves, which was damaged in several spots. Eaves trims and vertical drain pipes on the eastern side of the church were also damaged in several places. Broken glass from many windows was scattered inside the church, while on the southern side of the naos several window panes were blown out of place and remained hanging in the naos area.
THE OLD RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH - The Russian Church in Tašmajdan, the only Russian church in our country, was built in dramatic years following World War I and the October Revolution, when more than 50,000 Russian refugees came to our country. Hospitable attitude of King Aleksandar and local population contributed to active participation of Russian refugees in day-to-day life. Many facilities were built, the most significant among them include the Russian Church and the Russian Hall. The Russian Church, dedicated to St. Trinity, was designed by architect Valery Stashevski and built in 1924 in the traditional Russian style of church architecture. The church enjoys the status of preliminary protection within the Old Belgrade complex. It was shown in the exhibition „Russian Architects in Belgrade" in October 1998 in Moscow and in February 1999 in Sankt Peterburg.
When the state television building on Aberdareva Street was bombed on 23 April about 2:00 AM, the church walls closest to the point of impact were shaken.


THE OLD CITY CENTER consists of an urban core established during the 18th and 19th centuries, in specific historical conditions and specific geopolitical position. The settlement developed upon the foundations of the Roman Taurunum and now encompasses 59 streets, 6 squares and over 900 buildings. St. Archangel’s Quarantine Chapel, built in 1766, one of the two remaining witnesses of the economic-sanitary institution of quarantine, is located in the Zemun City Park. During the air strike in the early morning hours on 5 April 1999 the windows on the Quarantine Chapel broke and fissures appeared.

Novi Sad

THE OLD CITY CENTER started to develop in the late 17th century and before 1745 obtained its final spatial arrangement, preserved until the present day. The city center encompasses 21 established objects classified as immovable cultural property. Six among them are classified as immovable cultural property of great importance, and one as being of exceptional importance for the Republic of Serbia. The old city center of Novi Sad - spatial, cultural and historic whole with exceptionally valuable architectural heritage of the 18th-20th centuries - has been continuously threatened since 1 April 1999 by repeated NATO attacks on the city.
THE VARADIN BRIDGE - Built between 1921 and 1928 on the Danube. The Petrovaradin Fortress, built between 1692 and 1780 as a unique example of Austrian fortification architecture, is situated on the right bank of the Danube, some 40-60 m from the bridge. The complex consists of the Upper and Lower Town. On 1 April in the early morning hours (between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m.) the Varadin Bridge was demolished. During the attack, roofs of the buildings in the Lower Town were damaged. The destruction of the bridge also affected the Monument to the 1942 Raid Victims, erected in 1971.
During the NATO air strike on Novi Sad, which occurred on 1 April 1999 at 4:55 a.m., some cultural and educational institutions also sustained damage. Thus, all glass walls on the new wing of the Vojvodina Museum and glass showcases with over 6,000 exhibits of the permanent exhibition were broken. Elementary School „Djordje Natošević“ was damaged as well. The building of the Faculty of Philosophy was left with 30 large window panes broken. Its main library and the state-of-the-art pedagogical-didactic laboratory were damaged too. The Petrovaradin Fortress, a historic and cultural complex under the state protection since 1947, is located in the close vicinity of the Varadin Bridge. The attack caused damage to the roofs of buildings in the Lower Town of the fortification, which includes residential and public buildings, hospitals, the Orthodox and the Catholic churches. The roof of the monastery Church of St. Juraj (built in 1714) was heavily damaged, while the hospital and all buildings on Beogradska Street built in the 18th and 19th centuries remained without windows and roof tiles. Former „Gunboat" building, which houses the collections of the Novi Sad City Museum, sustained considerable damage.

THE BAN’S PALACE - located in downtown Novi Sad, on Mihaila Pupina Boulevard No. 16 was built between 1935 and 1940 according to the plans of architect Dragiša Brašovan in the late Modern style to serve as the seat of the district government (banovina) and the office of the ban for the Danubian Banovina. It is a representative and monumental public building whose unique architectural composition includes two separate buildings: the administrative building and the Ban’s Palace. The complex ranks among the highest achievements of Serbian architecture between two world wars and of the 20th century as a whole. The Ban’s Palace is now the seat of the Vojvodina Executive Council.
On 19 April 1999 at 1:40 AM the Executive Council building in downtown Novi Sad was hit by one missile. The missile struck the left side of the building at third floor, but the detonation damaged the whole Executive Council building. It is worth noting that due to its high artistic value, this building is listed in all major international architectural encyclopedias. The architect who designed the building was awarded by the European Association of Architects.

Fruška Gora Monasteries

NOVO HOPOVO (New Hopovo) - The center of literacy and culture, with continuity of monastery life since the mid-16th century. The new church of St. Nicholas was built in 1576 in place of the old one. Pursuant to the information by the nuns, a team of experts inspected the site and found out that the church statics had been heavily damaged as the consequence of bombardment on the night of 4/5 April. This is evidenced by the fissures, fallen out bricks and damage of frescos on the south-western arch.
ŠIŠATOVAC - The monastery with the church dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin, located on the Srem (western) slopes of Fruška Gora Mount. According to historical sources, it was founded in 1520 by the prior Teophil with the monks on the site of a small St. Nicholas’ church. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Turkish sources mention a series of constructional interventions on the monastery complex. The present-day church was built in 1778 owing to the endeavours of the Vršac bishop Vićentije Popović. That is a triconchal structure with a dome and high bell tower above the western facade, exhibiting elegant decorative appearance. The frescoes dating from 1794 are the work of Grigorije Davidović Opšić. The center of the cult of St. Stefan Štiljanović, since the mid-16th century the place where his remains were kept until 1942, an important cultural center in the early 19th century, Šišatovac was demolished in the Ustashi campaign in 1941. The systematic restoration of the complex began in 1970 and ended in 1996 with the consecration of the church in 1996.
According to the information furnished by the Cultural Monument Protection Authority in Sremska Mitrovica, on 17 April at 11:30 a.m., a powerful explosion shook the village. The missile struck about 150 meters away from the monastery, on the edge of the monastery ground bordering the forest. The monastery walls were shaken, 5 window panes broke on the eastern and northern sides of the church, while roof shingles and three window panes broke on the monastery residence building.
STARO HOPOVO (Old Hopovo) - the Fruška Gora monastery with the church dedicated to St. Pantheleimon was founded, according to the legend, by despot Djordje Branković, while the first written mention of the monastery dates back to 1546. The church was erected in 1752 on the place of an older one, as a single-nave structure with a decagonal dome. The decorative quality of the facade and dome foundation is emphasized by an arcade frieze. The painted decoration of the iconostasis dating from 1793 is attributed to Jefrem Isailović, while rich baroque woodcarving is the work of Tomas Firtler from Osijek. Some elements of iconostasis discovered during the research and conservation work might be the work of Janko Halkozović, one of the prominent representatives of the so-called transition style, which incorporated baroque elements in the late Medieval heritage.
During the bombardment of the Fruška Gora slopes on 17 April the monastery church was damaged.
KOVILJ - the monastery with the church dedicated to Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel is located in the village of Kovilj, east of Novi Sad. The first written mention of the monastery dates from the mid-17th century, while the present-day church was built between 1741 and 1749 as the foundation of Petar Andrejević from Sremski Karlovci. The founder ordered the builders to erect a church after the model of the Manasija monastery. Therefore, the influence of Medieval Morava architecture is evident on the church in Kovilj: the foundation is designed as a combination of a three-naved basilica and a triconch, with a polygonal tambour dome, while the facade made of Fruška Gora stone is decorated with rows of blind arches. The old iconostasis made by Teodor Ilić Češljar burnt in fire in 1848.
On 21 April 1999 NATO bombs exploded some 300 meters away from the monastery, causing fissures on the load-bearing dome arches and church ceilings, while church and residence walls were greatly shaken.


VOJLOVICA MONASTERY with the Church of St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel was founded by despot Stefan Lazarević in 1405. In the bombardment of the oil refinery on the night of 3/4 April, the monastery was threatened. Intense bombardment followed: on the night of 11/12 April four missiles struck the Pančevo refinery, again endangering the church of the Vojlovica Monastery. During the bombing on the night of 13/14 April, walls of the monastery church cracked, windows broke and the roof was damaged. The repeated bombardment of the Pančevo refinery and petrochemical installations on the night of 15/16 April further jeopardized the monastery church. Heavy bombardment on the night of 18 April, when the installations of three main Pančevo industrial facilities in the southern part of the city were struck (Oil Refinery, Petrochemical Industry and Nitrogen Plant), posed additional threat to the Vojlovica Monastery.


THE OLD CITY CENTER - An oriental town developed into a European city during the 19th century. THE OLD CHURCH, the endowment of Prince Miloš, was built in 1818 in the center of the city. THE UNCLE’S RESIDENCE (Amidžin konak), built between 1819 and 1824, is the only preserved facility within the Prince Miloš‘s court complex. PRINCE MIHAILO’S RESIDENCE was erected upon the order of Prince Mihailo Obrenović around 1860. THE HIGH SCHOOL built between 1885 and 1887 is one of the oldest school buildings in our country. THE OLD ASSEMBLY BUILDING was built in 1859. THE FIRST BARRACKS BUILDING was built in the old city center, near the High School, at the end of the 19th century during the reign of King Milan. It was built according to standard European design, with the main horizontal and two side wings.
In the heavy bombardment of Zastava plants in Kragujevac on the night of 8/9 April, then on 11/12 April and 12/13 April, this historic complex in the city center was damaged. During the third attack on Zastava plants (14/15 April) the High School and the Old Assembly buildings were also damaged. During the last bombing of the Zastava plants on 21 April, an incendiary bomb hit the central part of the First Barracks, so that the main part of the building was demolished and burnt.


SAMAILA - a village in the vicinity of Kraljevo. Particularly important for ethnological study is a large group of gravestones known as krajputaši (roadside tombstones). Although the oldest among them date from the latter half of the 19th century, the most significant preserve the memory of the soldiers who laid their lives for the liberation of Serbia between 1912 and 1918.
The village of Samaila was bombarded on three occasions between the 10th and 15th April 1999. Due to detonations the gravestones were shaken.
ŽIČA - A monastery with the church dedicated to Christ's Ascension was founded in the early 13th century. The founder was king Stefan Prvovenčani (The First Crowned). A smaller church of St. Theodore Tiron and Theodore Stratilat, built in the 14th century, is situated east of the main monastery church. On the night of 7/8 April one missile struck between the village of Ribnica and Žiča, thus jeopardizing the monastery. During the bombardment of the vicinity of Kraljevo on the night of 19/20 April one missile struck some 2 kilometers from the Žiča monastery. Although no visible damage occurred, experts justly fear that the detonation might have undermined the wall stability.
THE NEW PAVLICA - The monastery church dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary is the endowment of Stefan and Lazar Musić. It was erected in the 1380s. THE OLD PAVLICA church is the only surviving part of one-time monastery from the time of the Byzantine rule in this territory. On the night of 7/8 April the bridge near Brvenik was bombed and the monasteries on the right bank of the Ibar are now inaccessible.


THE FORTRESS - Kruševac, the capital of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović’s state, was built between 1374 and 1377. Substantial remnants of the medieval town are situated in the center of the present-day city. LAZARICA - Prince Lazar built St. Stephen’s Church between 1377/78 and 1380 inside the fortification to serve as a court chapel. THE GREEK STREET is a group of residential family houses in the center of Kruševac, erected by Tzintzars during the 19th and early 20th centuries. THE SIMIĆ RESIDENCE built in the early 19th century is now a museum. THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT BUILDING was built between 1900 and 1904.
During the bombing on the night of 11/12 April, the explosions shook the walls of the old fortification, while windows broke on the Simić Residence - now a museum. The old bridge built in 1926 was torn down by bombardment on 13 April at about 3:30 a.m. Subsequent bombing on the night of 14/15 April produced new damage. Repeated bombing on the night of 22/23 April, when the bridge in the direction of Stalać was demolished, further jeopardized the old city center.


One of the important centers of Danube navigation, the city’s history spans the period of almost 600 years in continuity. The oldest city core is the FORTRESS built by despot Djuradj in the early 15th century. THE CHURCH OF ASSUMPTION on the Smederevo cemetery was built in the first half of the 15th century. ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH was built in the very center of the new town in 1854. THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT BUILDING, now the District Court, was built in 1886-88. Bombardment on the night of 3/4 April endangered the city center.


The second largest city in Serbia is an old settlement, originating in prehistoric age. The Roman town of Naissus was the foundation for the imperial residence of Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD. During the third heavy bombardment of Niš on the night of 5/6 April damage was inflicted on the center of the city and its northern part - Crveni Krst (Red Cross).

THE RED CROSS PRISON CAMP MUSEUM was affected by repeated bombing: the roofs of ground-floor facilities were damaged.

THE TOBACCO FACTORY, protected and rehabilitated complex of early 20th century industrial architecture, has been heavily damaged. The fermented tobacco storage has been completely ruined, the mechanical shop demolished, the infirmary and kindergarten damaged, while facades, doors, windows and roofs of all facilities within the complex have been damaged. The repeated bombardment of the northern part of the city, on the night of 19/20 April, further affected the Tobacco Industry complex. During this attack the rehabilitated facilities of the restaurant and flower nursery were directly struck and demolished, while previous damage on other facilities was further extended by the detonations. During the bombardment of the north-western industrial area on the night of 22/23 April other facilities of the Tobacco Industry and Red Cross Prison Camp sustained additional damage.


THE PANČIĆ MAUSOLEUM, built in July 1951 on the highest peak of Mt. Kopaonik, is dedicated to Josif Pančić. During earlier NATO air strikes the monument was endangered, and it was heavily damaged by the bombing on the night of 12/13 April.


MELENTIJA - the monastery with the church dedicated to St. Stephen, the foundation dating from the mid-15th century. KRIVA REKA - St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church was erected in 1618. On the night of 13/14 April 1999 one missile struck between the mentioned villages on Mt. Kopaonik and the monuments were put at risk from the detonation.


ST. NICHOLAS’ MONASTERY in the city, the center of the Toplica Bishopric, is the foundation of the grand župan Stefan Nemanja, built in the 1160s. THE CHURCH OF THE MOTHER OF GOD is an early Byzantine church restored by Stefan Nemanja in the late 1150s and 1160s. On the night of 1/2 April the city was bombed, and both shrines were damaged. ST. MARK’S CHURCH - remnants of an ancient/early Byzantine basilica (4th-7th centuries).
During the bombardment of the Toplica bridge on the night of 14/15 April, the remains of this complex were severely damaged. During the attack on the bridges on the confluence of the Kosanica and Toplica rivers in the early morning hours of 18 April in the suburb of Kastrat, for the third time since the onset of aggression, St. Nicholas’ Church and the Church of the Mother of God were again damaged.
According to the field reports, during the several hours long bombardment of Kuršumlija on the night on 19/20 April the city was damaged, while the medieval monasteries were again put at risk.
During the daytime bombardment on 22 April, the old city center was again shaken.


ST. PROKOPI’S CHURCH, situated at the foot of the medieval city of Hisar, was built during the 9th and 10th centuries. During the bombardment of the city on the night of 13/14 April the walls of this old church were shaken, while window panes broke.


An old town, a trade center, preserves many buildings built in the late 17th century. During the heavy bombardment of Vranje on 5 April the center of the town was destroyed, hence the buildings in the old center were damaged. In addition, St. Petka’s Church, built in 1925 on the downtown cemetery, was damaged: vertical fissures appeared, the ceiling dropped in the altar and naos, the church and bell tower facades were damaged, nearby gravestones were damaged as well, while all nine windows on the dome broke.
PAVLOVAC near Vranje - an archaeological locality representing the southernmost settlement of the Starčevo culture in our country. The stratigraphy has been studied from the Vinča-Tordoš to the Vinča-Pločnik phase on two localities: Gumnište and Čukor. Typical ceramic dishes, sacrificial altars - four-legged tables with semi-circular recipients, as well as numerous pillar-like statues relate Pavlovac with the major findings of the Starčevo culture. In addition to movable material, other findings studied on this locality include residential facilities which render possible a reliable reconstruction of their original appearance and structure, owing to their highly preserved condition.
During the last bombardment of Vranje and its vicinity on 15 April 1999, this archaeological locality was damaged.


GUČEVO near Loznica - a pyramid-shaped monument built after World War I as a memorial to fallen Serbian soldiers above partially underground charnel house - has been shaken by detonations, while the mortar between blocks cracked.


THE OLD TOWN CENTER was founded in the 19th century. It encompasses St. Archangel’s Church (1835), the monument to liberators 1941-45, the bridge (1906) and an old hydropower plant with a dam on the Moravica river. During the bombardment on 1 April the old town center was greatly shaken.
PRILIKE - the cemetery church of St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel on a hill above the town is a single-nave temple with a dome over square foundations and an altar apse in the width of the nave. It was built in the first half of the 19th century. Judging by the shape of the building and facade decoration, which repeats the frieze of blind arches under all roof eaves, it was designed after the model church of the Moravica bishopric and King Dragutin’s mausoleum from the 13th century - St. Ahilije’s Church in Arilje. One of the particularly valuable pieces among the preserved icons of the church in Prilike is Christ’s icon dating from the mid-19th century, a mature work of Sreten Molerović Protić, a painter from Dragačevo.
Bombing of the satellite transmitter in Prilike on the night of 19/20 April put the church at risk, as its walls were shaken.


ST. TRINITY MONASTERY - by the shape of its foundation and powerful dome of a 12-side tambour, elegant proportions and stone relief decoration, the church of St. Trinity Monastery was long believed to date back to the 13th century. However, owing to the first written mention in 1594 and research results, it was established that the church was built in the last decade of the 16th century. Wall surfaces over portals were painted in the 17th century, while the church interior has never been painted with frescos. In the 19th century the brotherhood built a residential building north of the church with a cellar made of crushed stone and the first floor made of wooden structure with brickwork - a fine example of folk architecture. Richly carved iconostasis with icons in the manner of Romanticism was made in 1868 by a Vienna student, painter Nikola Marković. The iconostasis underwent restoration and after the conservation works on the church had been completed it was returned to its original position in 1993.
SRETENJE MONASTERY - founded in the late 16th century, it was first demolished as early as 1623. It was restored as late as 1818, owing to the endeavours of the monk Nićifor Maksimović, who subsequently became the bishop of Užice. Considerable remains of the old church have been preserved until the present day: lower parts of the naos, the altar apse, the altar partitions in masonry and a decorative marble rosette. Frescos in the church dating from 1844 are the work of Živko Pavlović from Požarevac, while Nikola Janković is the author of the painted decoration in the parvis. The monastery complex received its present form between 1818 and 1845, when residences were built on the west and south of the church, while the complex was surrounded with a stone wall.
According to the report of the associate of the Republican Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments who inspected these two monasteries at the foot of Mt. Ovčar on 17 April, after detonations caused by bombing of the relay on Mt. Ovčar, small fissures appeared on the walls of both churches, while roof tiles fell off the roofs of old residences.
On the night of 22/23 April, during the second bombardment of the transmitter on the peak of Mt. Ovčar, the two monastery complexes were further shaken by detonations.


NIKOLJE MONASTERY, mentioned as early as 1489, is one of the oldest monasteries on the slopes of Mt. Kablar near Čačak. When an airplane tank dropped in the village of Rošce in the close vicinity of the monastery on the night of 4/5 April, the monastery and the surrounding area were faced with an environmental hazard.


A medieval FORTIFICATION mentioned by historical sources in the latter half of the 14th century. A HYDROPOWER PLANT near the fortress, whose construction started in 1899, is the oldest object of technical culture in Serbia of this kind. ST. MARK’S CHURCH, situated in the old city center, was built in 1828 upon the foundations of an 18th century temple. KADINJAČA hill is the site of a memorial complex dedicated to fallen warriors of the Workers’ Battalion from Užice. The repeatedly bombed city is endangered by detonations, while the walls of historical buildings have been markedly loosened. Particularly threatened are parts of the fortification and the Kadinjača memorial complex. On the night of 22 April, during bombardment, one missile hit the post office building in downtown Užice, shaking the old city center and St. Mark’s Church.
SIROGOJNO - This village on the slopes of Mt. Zlatibor earned worldwide reputation owing to its OLD VILLAGE ethnic park. The museum was founded in 1980. St. Peter and Paul’s Church (17th-19th century) is situated in the close vicinity. On the night of 1/2 April, a shell dropped from a damaged bomber, shaking the complex to a considerable extent.


A medieval city, mentioned for the first time between 1091 and 1094, encompasses the remains of St. George’s Church. During the bombardment of Kosovska Mitrovica on 1 April the walls were shaken. The complex was again threatened by the attack on the night of 13/14 April.


THE GREAT BUSINESS CENTER (Velika Čaršija) - A settlement existed here as far back as neolithic time. At the end of the 16th century the HADIM MOSQUE was built in this location. The urban core of the Great Business Center - the complex with typical oriental architecture - developed during the 19th century. The old city center was heavily damaged by the daytime bombing on 10 April and was destroyed by bombardment on the night of 14/15 April.
THE TABAČKI BRIDGE was built in the mid-18th century. It is significant because the Serbian army crossed it during its retreat towards Albania in World War I. During the bombardment of Djakovica on 14 and 15 April the bridge was directly struck.


THE OLD CITY CENTER - though inhabited as early as the neolithic period, the settlement gained in importance in the late 12th century when it was incorporated into the medieval Serbian state. THE IMPERIAL MOSQUE - the Mehmed Fatih Mosque - was built in 1460. GAZIMESTAN - historically, the central place of the confrontation between the Serbian and the Turkish armies in Kosovo in 1389, is a unique memorial complex dedicated to the Kosovo heroes. The Gazimestan monument was hit during the daytime bombardment on 13 April. Earlier that day, at 2:00 AM, the main railway station was bombed and the nearby historical buildings were damaged.
GRAČANICA - The Church of the Assumption in the Gračanica Monastery, the endowment of King Milutin, was built in the second decade of the 14th century. The monastery keeps a significant collection of icons, the oldest one being the icon of Christ the Merciful from the 14th century, unique by its dimensions (269 x 139 cm). According to UNESCO criteria for cultural heritage, the monastery was included in the Preliminary List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1993. On the night of 30/31 March the village of Gračanica was bombed for the third time, while four shells fell 500 meters away from the Gračanica monastery. With continuos unrelenting bombardment of Priština, Gračanica is further endangered by detonations.


THE PATRIARCHATE OF PEĆ - The complex of the Peć churches is the spiritual seat and mausoleum of Serbian archbishops and patriarchs, built in the third decade of the 13th century. During the bombardment on the night of 31 March/1 April the pumping station of the city water supply system, situated 500 meters from the monastery of the Patriarchate of Peć, was struck. The old city center was bombed during daytime on 10 April, and after a series of repeated bombings of Peć, on the night of 14/15 April the old city center was heavily damaged.
DJURAKOVAC - ST. NICHOLAS’ CHURCH - Built in 1592 on a cemetery on the outskirts of Peć, upon the foundations of an older 14th century building. The church was damaged during the bombardment on 3 April.


DRSNIK - The Church of St. Paraskeva is situated in the village. The frescos suggest that it dates from the 1570s. This church was damaged during the bombardment on the night of 14/15 April.


THE DANILOVIĆ CABIN - Built probably in the first decade of the 18th century, it
is significant because, according to the legend, the first fire was brought into the Dečani Monastery from the hearth in this house. The house was burnt down on the night of
14/15 April.




No. 487/99


Taken on 29 April 1999, before the investigative judge of the District Court in Belgrade, in the criminal proceedings against an unidentified person, for the criminal act from Article 141 of the Penal Code of Yugoslavia.


Investigative Judge
Ilija Simić
Radislav Trkulja
Court Clerk
Stana Mitrić
  Also present at the hearing:
Public Prosecutor
    The Accused
    Defense Counsel


Started at 9.00 a.m.

The witness was warned to tell the truth and withhold nothing and was warned of the consequences of giving false testimony and that he was not obliged to answer questions likely to expose him or his next of kin to disgrace, substantial material damage or prosecution (Article 229 of the Law on Criminal Procedure). He gave the following answers to the general questions:

1.Name and surname Radislav Trkulja
2. Father’s name Todor
3. Occupation Museum Director
4. Place of abode Belgrade, Hladne vode 65
5. Place of birth Novo Selo, Pančevo
6. Date of birth 8 April 1938
7. Relationship to the accused or the injured party


With respect to the merits of the case, the witness gave the following testimony.
The witness was warned to tell the truth and gave the following answers to the questions:
On the left bank of the Sava where the river empties into the Danube in New Belgrade, there is a building of the Musem of Modern Art whose director I have been since 1993.
The Museum houses the most valuable 20th century works of art from the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
The permanent exhibition and musem’s depots in the same builidng contain around 10,000 works of art, including 2,000 sculptures and 3,000 paintings. This musem has collected the works of the most famous artists in this century not only from the territory of the present-day Yugoslavia but from the territory of the former Yugoslavia as well. This is the largest art musem in the territory of the entire Yugoslavia and the first of its kind in the Balkans.
The Musem was opened in the mid-sixties of this century. The building was specifically designed to accommodate the Musem’s requirements. It is almost entirely made of glass and covers an area of more than 500 sq.m. The building received the October award as an outstading architectural achievement of the time.
When the aggression started, the Musem was not closed and in addition to the permanent exhibition we mounted two shows. The Musem was opened for visitors on a daily basis.
We have not taken away the works of art and they are still either in the Museum or in its depot which does not have special protection. It is partially dug in, with glass covering and it is easily accessible.
In the wake of NATO bombing, our Museum was first damaged on 21 April 1999 at 3.15 a.m. and for the second time on 27 April 1999 at 1.30 a.m. I was not in the building at the time, but I was informed of the damage to the Musem by the guard.
The Museum is in the area of Novi Beograd where there are no military facilities. The building of the "Ušće“ business center is 500 m away and it was directly targeted on those days - 21 and 27 April 1999.
There were no other bombing raids and our Museum was damaged on both occasions when the building of the ”Ušće“ business center was hit.
As a consequence, the building itself and the Museum exhibits were substantially damaged. I cannot anticipate the precise amount of damage at this moment.
As I said, the building is almost entirely made of glass, including side walls and roof structure which was specifically designed to provide more light. Around 40 per cent of outer glass surfaces were damaged. They are 7 to 10 mm thick. The glass has broken or fell out allowing rain to come inside on unprotected exhibits, including the depot.
According to my random assessment, around 400 sqm of outer glass surface was damaged. Last year, when we replaced 1 sqm we paid 24,000 Dinars. The value of the damaged glass surfaces can be easily calculated on this basis.
In addition, several dozen sculptures were damaged or destroyed. Some can be repaired while others are gone for ever. The paintings in our collection may also suffer damage since the air conditioning system has also been put out of work. We are therefore not in a position to protect adequately the works of art. On the other hand, we are not in a position to relocate the exhibits since we could not have assumed that we shall ever face such a situation - that the building will be substantially damaged and that invaluable works of art not destroyed in the bombing will be directly threatened.
The first bombing had ten times lesser consequences than the second one.
I would like to note that our collection includes the sculptures of our most renowned sculptors (Meštrović, Augustinčić, Vuković, etc.). They weigh about 1500 kg and were mounted in the Museum while it was still under construction and therefore cannot be removed.
I am hereby submitting the report of our commission for the assessment of damage that was established. This is only a rough estimate.
Therefore, it is too early to state what the final damage will amount to. As I already said it is incalculable, since the Museum houses the most invaluable works of art.
This is all I had to state. I was listening while the minutes were dictated out loud. I have no further comments to make and sign them as my own.

Concluded at 9.45 a.m.

Court Clerk, Investigative judge

(Sgd) S. Mitrić (sgd) R. Trkulja (sgd) I. Simić