Sarajevo's Jewish Cemetery to join UNESCO's Tentative List


Bosnia will submit the Sarajevo Jewish Cemetery to UNESCO's Tentative World Heritage List, the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced.

The decision was made at Wednesday's session of the Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO. The Commission also decided to support the nomination of the Gazi Hursev-bey Library for the UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize and the Kupres grass mowing competition to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Sarajevo Jewish Cemetery dates back to 1630 and has been declared a national monument in 2004. It is among the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe, second only to the one in Prague.

The shapes and the motifs of the headstones of Bosnian Sephardic Jews burried in this cemetery are different from those in Jewish cemeteries in other parts of the world.

Once it is added to the Tentative List, Bosnia will prepare a nomination file and submit it to the appropriate Advisory Bodies for evaluation.

The grass mowing competition near the town of Kupres, in the southwest of the country, developed into the most prominent traditional even in the area which brings together the entire local community.

If the application is sucessful, the event would join the tradition of emboridery from the village of Zmijanje and the woodcarving tradition from Konjic at UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The UNESCO/Jikji Memory of the World Prize commemorates the inscription of the oldest existing book of movable metal print in the world on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register and rewards individuals, institutions and NGO's who made considarable efforts to contribute to the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage as a common heritage of humanity.

The Manuscript collection of The Gazi Husrev-beg Library and the Sarajevo Haggadah, an illuminated Jewish manuscript containing illustrated traditional textst of the Passover Haggadah, have been added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register last year, the Ministry of Civil Affairs added.