Milestones, Summer 1998
For decades, color photographs ofthe Old Bridge in Mostar filled travel agents' glossy brochures, urging tourists sunning in Dubrovnik to venture inland. No image ever fully captured the bridge's significance, which only a first-hand encounter could reveal. Now, patrolling soldiers pose amid the ruins, and every snapshot conveys a single poignant message. In 1993, Mostar's Old Bridge fell victim to the military campaign designed to eliminate Mostar's Ottoman past. But the city's rehabilitation following the military campaigns of 1992-94 is finally attracting interest and support. Recovery must address displaced persons, crippled industry, demographic shifts, social disintegration, medicine, and destruction ofthe cultural heritage, borh physical and ephemeral. In response to these needs, the World Monuments Fund has joined the Aga Khan T rust for Culture (AKTC) to implement a joint project for Mostar's revitalization.
This partnership resulted from discussions following WMF's presentation ofthe 1997 Hadrian Award to His Highness the Aga Khan. WMF specializes in project planning, packaging, and advocacy, and the AKTC's Historic Cities Support Program has carried out many successful projects focused on the social, physical; and economic dimensions ofsustainable heritage conservation. The two organizations consid~ ered collaborating at several sites of common interest, including active AKTC projects and sites on the most recent Wodd Monuments Warch endangered list-before deciding to collaborate in Mostar. Both organizations have participated in the annual "Mostar 2004" summer workshops, organized since 1994 to encourage student participation in post,war reconstructIon. Architect Amir Pasie, consultant manager for the partnership's project, won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1988 for his restoration of Mostar's Old Town. T
he war's bombardments destroyed much ofthat work, and Dr. Pasic and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture have emerged as wellinformed contributors to Mostar's post-war reconstruction and development. As the political climate stabilizes and refugees return home throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, the time is ripe for more direct and determined involvement with Mostar's redevelopment. The challenge of revitalizing Mostar makes it an ideal subject for a concerted intervention. Wartime emigration has reduced local professional capacity. Conservation issues range from micro, scopic materials analysis to long,term urban planning; these are intimately linked to the future ofthe whole city.