Serbia warns of cultural 'hijacking'

ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 23 (UPI) -- Serbia's president says Serbian holy sites in Kosovo are in danger of becoming "pawns" in ethnic struggles for control of the region.

Boris Tadic said four World Heritage-designated sites have been placed on a UNESCO list of World Heritage in Danger "where they must unfortunately remain," Tanjug news agency reported Wednesday.


Tadic made the remarks in Istanbul while addressing the Forum of the Heads of Southeast European Countries on Cultural Corridors, held under the auspices of UNESCO.

He praised the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's protections during difficult times such as the unilateral declaration of independence by the ethnic-Albanian authorities of Serbia's southern province of Kosovo and Metohija.

He charged those interim authorities with attempting to artificially separate and politicize a "foundational" part of Serbian cultural heritage or destroy it wholesale.

"These bridges have held even though some in Pristina have tried to use Serbian patrimony in Kosovo as pawns in a dangerous game of identity creation," Tadic said.

Latest Headlines