Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Kosovo fieldwork: kullas; Cultural Heritage Without Borders

Kosovo fieldwork notes extracts

I said in a previous entry at 12.55am on the 20th of July 2005, that, "I need to study the (past) destruction of Kosovar Albanian heritage too".

All I wrote at 7.10pm on the 20th of July 2005 was "kullas", a note to remind myself of an architecture traditional in Albanian communities; it is an integral part of Kosovo's cultural heritage. Built since the Eighteenth Century, they are large stone homes, variously described as tower houses, mansions and fortresses, that were and are occupied by extended families.

Though limited by circumstances and finances, Cultural Heritage Without Borders have done important reconstruction work on kullas, achieving the restoration of (I think) five of them. Still, of the 500 kullas in Kosovo, 450 damaged during the war.

Those 450 must actually have been destroyed, or so severely damaged that they were beyond repair, as Andras Riedlmayer judged that "barely ten per cent of the region's 500 kullas survived the war".

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