Kosovo MPs Outraged as War Memorial Closes

Author : Sorin Grama | Friday, April 11, 2014
Posted in category Balkan News, Balkans
Comments Off on Kosovo MPs Outraged as War Memorial Closes

KLA Memorial MarineKosovo MPs have slated the authorities for neglecting a memorial dedicated to Kosovo fighters whose sponsors have now closed it, saying it was vandalised.

The closure of a memorial dedicated to Kosovo Liberation Army fighters in the village of Marina, in Skenderaj/Srbice, has sparked a heated debate amongst lawmakers who have accused institutions of neglecting the monument.

Ganimete Musliu, lawmaker from the ruling Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, said the closure was “offensive for the martyrs’ families and the Kosovo state.

“I ask the Agency for the Management of Memorials to urgently deal with this issue so the memorial can be reopened,” she added.

Musliu spoke in parliament on Thursday, some days after the memorial was closed by its main donor, Benito Mares, and other American sponsors.

The memorial was erected in 2005, and the donors had continued to financially support its maintenance until Monday.

In a press release, they explained the memorial was shut down because the government did not secure it “after it was vandalized and destroyed.

“Please contact your politicians at local and central level in order to remedy this embarrassing neglect as soon as possible,” the donors urged.

As a sign of their displeasure, they covered the memorial, on which the names of some 2.000 KLA fighters are written, with metal plates.

Jakup Krasniqi, speaker of the parliament, blamed the Ministry of Environment for the development.

“The Agency [for the Management of Memorials] is not responsible. It is the government and the Ministry [of Environment] that are responsible,” Krasniqi said.

It remains unclear which institution is actually responsible for the maintenance of memorials in Kosovo.

Dardan Gashi, the Minister of Environment, told Balkan Insight that his ministry “no longer had any competencies in the maintenance of memorials.

“We handed these competencies to the Agency for the Management of Memorials last year,” he added.

The Agency was established by parliament last April but its competencies appear to overlap with the Institute for the Protection of Monuments, which acts in the framework of the Ministry of Culture.

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