“Analysis of the Organisation and Capacities of the Institutes for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Serbia” are presented

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 Press conference room at the Ministry of Culture and Media of Republic of Serbia.

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 Republic Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia, Creative Economy Group Foundation and Faculty of organizational sciences. The project itself is one of the four pilot projects on evidence-based policy making implemented by PERFORM and Public Policy Secretariat.

The presentation was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Culture, as well as other cultural institutions, Museums, Archives and some of the Institutes for Protection of Cultural monuments that participated in the research, Public Policy Secretariat, PERFORM and the research team.

The audience was greeted by MS Aleksandra Fulgosi, Assistant Minister of Culture, who explained how the whole idea for the research was created and stressed the importance of the analysis, especially in the light of creation of the new strategy on culture that is claimed as a priority of the current Minister of Culture, Mr. Vukosavljevic.

Ninoslav Kekic, on behalf of the Public Policy Secretariat has stressed the importance of linking the decision makers with the research community. Finally PERFORM representative expressed their satisfaction on successful process of cooperation among all partners in the process and for having available the results of the study. After the presentation The State Secretary for Culture Novica Antic, thanked the researchers’ team for impressive analysis and valuable data, using metaphorical phrase that “This is not an analysis, but rather the diagnostic card of the nearly dead patient”, that tells us how tragically situation looks in the field of protection of cultural monuments in Serbia.

Ms Estela Radonjic, team leader of the researchers’ team, gave an interesting presentation of comprehensive research findings. 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 the Institutes for Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia (all 14) and to give recommendations for improvement of this system.

Ms Fulgosi said that the people from this field have already known many problems that study identified, yet, there were some surprising facts as well.

Starting point in this analysis is that Serbia still uses the Law on Culture from 1994, while all other countries in the region revised their laws starting from 1999 up to 2014. The study shows that Institutes for Protection of Cultural Monuments are responsible for care of 3161 unmovable cultural properties, out of which more than 50% are under territorial inherencies of 4 Institutes (Nis, Leposavic, City of Belgrade and Kraljevo). Based on previous protection, 9000 objects are covered, while 540 were identified less than 3 years ago. Speaking of completion of documentation, it is on the level of 54% for entire network, (ranging from 10% to 90% when it comes to the individual institution), and there is very worrying situation that Central Register has completed documentation for only 1,2% of cultural monuments.

Total number of all employees in this sector in Serbia is 353 people, which is 0,63% of all employees in the field of protection of cultural heritage. 80% of the Institutes assess that actual capacities of the staff are not enough for successful functioning. The age range of the employees is also concerning. 41% of all employees are in the age category from 50-59, and will be retired in less than ten years. Considering the current restrictions for new employments in public sector, there is a serious question: who will do the job in this filed and if there is going to be new younger cadre, who will teach them?

Study consisted the part of comparative analysis with the neighbouring countries (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia), and showed interesting comparisons. An illustration was given that for instance: in last 10 years Serbia added to the National List 207 unmovable cultural properties, while in Croatia 235 were listed during one year, in 2015.

Some representatives from the Museums and other cultural institutions thanked researchers for the great job, and high quality analysis and expressed their hopes that the similar research for the Museums, archives and libraries will be also done soon, as this is a great model for analyses. Ms Fulgosi finally concluded that the study will be available soon on Ministry for Culture website as well as PPS website and that findings collected will be used very soon for creation of the new Strategy of culture.