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The general interest in culture is regulated by the Law on Culture (Official Gazete of the Republic of Serbia, No. 72/2009). The Law defines that culture policy is based on freedom of expression in cultural and artistic creation, autonomy of cultural operators, openness and availability of cultural events for the public and citizens, respect for cultural and democratic values of the European and national tradition and diversity of cultural expressions.... Also, the general interest in culture includes creation of possibilities for intensive and harmonised cultural development, creation of conditions for the stimulation of cultural and artistic creation, research, protection and use of cultural goods as well as securing conditions for public availability of cultural heritage.
Roles and responsibilities -The protection of immovable cultural heritage in the Republic of Serbia is managed at three different levels: state, provincial and local level. At state level, the Ministry of Culture is in charge of public administration duties regarding the development and improvement of culture. The Sector for Cultural Heritage Protection, within the ministry, is responsible for analyzing and monitoring the situation in the field of cultural goods protection and it proposes strategies and measures aimed at its improvement.
Apart from the Ministry of culture, 14 different institutes for protection of cultural monuments (IPCMs) exist in the territory of Serbia: one at national level, two at provincial level, two at city level and nine at regional level. In addition to the IPCM network, the Government of Serbia established the Central Institute for Conservation with the idea of centralizing conservation of both movable and immovable cultural heritage. In accordance with the Law on Cultural Heritage (1994), currently in force in Serbia, the ICPMs are responsible for research on immovable cultural goods; drafting studies and projects for undertaking works in addition to providing insights into the implementation of measures for protection and utilization of immovable cultural goods; participating in the procedure of preparing spatial plans; and publishing studies on the work undertaken on immovable cultural goods.
As a national institution, the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of Serbia (IPCMS) is responsible for a competent assessment of the condition of immovable cultural goods of great and exceptional significance and it undertakes measures regarding their protection and utilization.
The IPCMS is in charge of the central registry of cultural goods and is responsible for the initiation of the process to declare immovable properties as cultural goods and to establish immovable cultural goods of great and exceptional significance. There are currently registered 2508 immovable cultural properties in the central register.
Serbia has four cultural monuments and sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List Stari Ras and Sopocani, a group of monuments that include the monastery Sopocani, the monastery Djurdjevi Stupovi, St Peter s Church and the remains of the Ras fortress and Gradine ( 1979); Studenica Monastery (1986);archeological site Gamzigrad-Romuliana, Palace of Galerius (2007) and the Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (2004), which is on the World Heritage List in Danger.
Financing cultural heritage in Serbia - The basic aspects of the financing of culture heritage projects can be divided into three subgroups: budgetary financing, financing from the European pre-accession funds and financing through the private sector, corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Budgetary financing of culture is still dominant in Serbia and it is one of the most prominent state and legal instruments of influencing the position of culture in general. The Law on Culture specifies that the Ministry of Culture and Information must use open competitions for allocation of funds for programmes and project of culture. Public calls relating to specific areas are open every year to the public and to private institutions, which can put forward their projects.
The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Serbia
Legal instruments in the field of cultural heritage protection
- Law on Culture, (RS Official Gazette No 71/09) from 2009;
- Law on Cultural Property (RS Official Gazette No 71/94) from 1994;
- Law on the restoration of cultural-historical heritage, and the boosting of the development of Sremski Karlovci (RS Official Gazette No 37/91, 53/93, 67/93 and 48/94) from 1991, amended in 1993 nad 1994;
- UNESCO Convention for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict (The Hague,1954) (ratified in 1956);
- UNESCO Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property, 1970 (ratified in 1973);
- UNESCO Convention concerning the protection of world cultural and natural heritage 1972 (ratified in 1974);
- UNESO Convention on the preservation of intangible cultural heritage (Paris, 2003) (ratified in 2010);
- UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions (Paris 2005) (ratified in 2009);
- European convention on the protection of architectural heritage,Council of Europe (Granada, 1985) (ratified in 2001);
- European convention on the protection of archaeological heritage (revised) (Valletta, 1992) (ratified in 2008);
- Council of Europe Framework convention on the value of cultural heritage for society (Faro, 2005) (ratified in 2010);
- European landscape convention, Council of Europe (Florence, 2000) (ratified in 2011)