Europa Nostra and EIB Institute experts implement mission to Sveti Stefan in Montenegro

From 20 to 25 February 2024, experts from Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute went to Montenegro for a mission related to the Cultural Landscape of Sveti Stefan, listed among the 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe for 2024. In collaboration with representatives from the “Initiative for Sveti Stefan” within the Bankada Foundation, a series of meetings were held aimed at mobilising local and international stakeholders for preservation of Sveti Stefan and Miločer Park.

Cultural Landscape of Sveti Stefan, Paštrovići, MONTENEGRO

The mission team consisted of Lourdes Llorens Abando, on behalf of the European Investment Bank Institute, alongside Višnja Kisić and Laurie Neale, on behalf of the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered Programme. They were joined by the local delegation including Blažo Kažanegra, Dragana Kažanegra-Stanišić, and Srdjan Kuljaca, representing the “Initiative for Sveti Stefan”.

The team conducted a site visit to Miločer Park on 21 February, and attempted to access the islet of Sveti Stefan. Unfortunately, Sveti Stefan was closed to visitors, preventing the experts from fully assessing the site.

The mission team members Laurie Neale, Lourdes Llorens Abando and Višnja Kisić met Montenegrin State Secretary of Urbanism, Mirsad Dreić. Credits: Europa Nostra


On 22 February, the team held meetings with the Director of the Office for the Protection of Cultural Goods, Balša Perović, and later with representatives from the Office of Urbanism and Spatial Planning, including the State Secretary Mirsad Dreić. Additionally, they met with Riccardo Serri, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro.

On 23 February, the team met with Deputy Prime Minister Aleksa Bečić, followed by a meeting with Vučić Ćetković, Advisor for Culture and Youth to the Prime Minister, and Vasilije Čarapić, Member of Parliament and former Head of the Montenegrin Government team in the London arbitrage case against Adriatic Properties, a tenant of Sveti Stefan.

Later in the afternoon, at the Presidential Palace, the expert team met with the Montenegrin President’s key advisors: Biljana Papović, Political Advisor, Milena Pejović-Eraković, Deputy Chief of the President’s Cabinet, and Olivera Vukajlović, Advisor for Sustainable Development.

The mission team members flanked by Dušan Medin from Bankada Foundation, and Vučić Ćetković (on the left) and by MP Vasilije Čarapić, Dragana Kažanegra-Stanišić, and Srdjan Kuljaca (on the right). Credits: Europa Nostra


Finally, a meeting took place with representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD): Remon Zakaria, Head of EBRD in Montenegro, and Vasilije Jauković, Principal Banker.

At these meetings, the experts’ team laid out the importance of valorising and protecting the outstanding cultural heritage of the islet of Sveti Stefan, the adjoining Miločer Park, and their backdrop of the mountains of Paštrovići. They gained a broad understanding of the many stakeholders involved, and of the threats facing this jewel of European heritage, as well as the complexities involved in supporting the local communities and heritage activists.

Cultural Landscape of Sveti Stefan, Paštrovići, MONTENEGRO

The experts, along with the nominator, are now preparing the technical report and collaborating with stakeholders to strategise on safeguarding the Cultural Landscape of Sveti Stefan and ensuring public access to the islet.


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