World Monuments Fund and Aga Khan Trust for Culture Celebrate Revitalization of Historic Mostar
On July 23, 2004, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) participate in festivities to celebrate the completed restoration of the sixteenthcentury Old Bridge (Stari Most)—a treasured landmark in the historic city of Mostar—and announce the establishment of the Starigrad (historic city) Agency, which will help guide and manage future restoration and reconstruction projects in historic Mostar. The Bridge restoration was the centerpiece of a larger initiative for the rehabilitation of historic Mostar.
The Old Bridge, constructed in 1566 at the height of the Ottoman Empire, during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, transformed Mostar from a quiet settlement into a cosmopolitan crossroads rich in architecture from the Ottoman and Hapsburg periods. It was destroyed in 1993, during the Bosnian conflict that damaged much of the city’s architectural and social fabric and plunged it into decline. Since 1999, the AKTC-WMF program has been investing in planning for the rehabilitation of the city’s urban fabric and restoration of key buildings and streetscapes surrounding the bridge. These efforts were a response to the urgent need for the reconstruction of the historic city and for putting a halt to the hasty and unregulated development that took place in the aftermath of the war.