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Concert under the Old Bridge marked the anniversary of the inscription of Mostar to UNESCO World Heritage List

A concert by the Symphony Orchestra Mostar and the program "The Bridge Embracing the River Banks" under the Old Bridge last night continued marking the tenth anniversary of the entry of the Old Bridge and the Old Town on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

"Cultural heritage is the identifying element of every city which makes it different from others. It gives a specific feature. I can not think of a city that has such a distinctive landmark in the world such as the Old Town with the Old Bridge in Mostar. It represents the hope and a symbol of reconciliation,” said Mayor of Mostar Mr. Ljubo Bešlić.

Talking about the reconstruction of the Old Bridge, Bešlić said that the act was more than physical connection of stone arch with two shores of beautiful Neretva River, and thanked the individuals, institutions, countries, national and international organizations that participated.

"Tonight we are gathered here, under the Old Bridge, in order to mark the event, which will be written in golden letters in the history of Mostar and BiH. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the most important is that this was the first entry of a monument from BiH on the UNESCO list. Bearing in mind the current political moment, it seems to me quite appropriate to say that this project has shown how everyone in this country can build a better future, when we want it , "said Mayor of Mostar.

He warned that the state of BiH is the member of UNESCO, but the City of Mostar has very little support from the state in the protection and promotion of cultural heritage and the area from the UNESCO list.

"Only the city and citizens of Mostar with a few donations from around the world are making effort. The realization of protection is difficult because in the Federation management of cultural heritage was taken away from local governments. That was the situation for the last ten years and I hope that this will change as soon as possible," said Bešlić

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said that Mostar is a powerful symbol of what can be done when people are united.
"This city embodies the reality that Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims and Jews can live together in peace. It shows the power of culture to build bridges between different communities and show that diversity can be a driver of development," said Bokova.

Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr. Mladen Ivanić said that BiH  has something to show the world and that we should be proud that it has the city like Mostar and people who live here.
"Let's make effort to have more such events and to have more heritage on the world list and more things that we can be proud of" said Ivanić.

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