BACKGROUND OF THE PROVINCIAL INSTITUTE FOR THE PROTECTION OF CULTURAL MONUMENTS

In 2013 The Provincial Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Petrovaradin marked 62 years of successful operation since its establishment. One of the oldest and most successful institution in the field of cultural heritage in this region, it was established shortly after World War II with the task of recording the state of monastery complexes. Officially founded by the decision of the National Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina on the 9th January, 1951, The Provincial Institute is now part of a network of such institutes in the Republic of Serbia and the central institution for the protection of immovable cultural heritage on the territory of AP Vojvodina. In accordance with the Law on Cultural Heritage and international standards, through research and evaluation of cultural heritage the experts of the Institute reveal the artistic, creative and spiritual values of the people who live in Vojvodina, and the need to preserve such values, national identity and diversity as part of European values. During its decades of work the Institute has completed many conservation projects and derivative works of conservation, restoration and reconstruction of cultural heritage of great and significance and importance for the Republic of Serbia, in Vojvodina, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Egypt and Greece. Initially, protection activities were performed by only a few experts but over time their numbers were augmented due to an increasing workload and the development of specialized sectors, until the number stabilized at 50 employees, of which 35 are conservators. The Institute is organizationally divided into four sectors: administrative, legal, research, and technical and conservation-restoration, including two architectural and one painting studio, a gilding-carving workshop and joinery workshops and photo lab. Cooperation between sectors and professionals is intense due to the need to successfully solve complex problems in the protection and restoration of buildings, sites and artifacts from the fields of archeology, architecture and urban planning, painting, sculpture, applied art, history and ethnology. Many years of archive and field research have resulted in placing several hundred significant buildings and sites in Vojvodina under legal protection (65 monuments of exceptional importance, 354 of great importance and 331 important cultural assets). In the last decade extensive work on the study of the protection of valuable urban areas in the largest towns in Vojvodina (Sombor, Vršac, Zrenjanin, Bečej, Apatin and Sremski Karlovci) has been completed. Since 1985 the Institute has been working continuously on the restoration of three cultural-historic complexes of great importance, Sremski Karlovci, the monasteries of Fruška Gora and Bač. The Archeological service of the Institute has for many years been carrying out systematic archeological research on the Medieval fortress and Fransciscan monastery in Bač, the medieval site in Arača, archeological works on determining the older phases of the churches and dormitories of the monasteries in Fruška Gora and the cathedral in Sremski Karlovci. In addition, since 2000 archeologists of the Institute have been implementing measures to protect significant sites endangered by infrastructure projects (highway E-75 between Belgrade and Horgoš- and gas pipelines being laid in Vojvodina) Thanks to its unique painting-conservation and gilding-carving workshops, which employ twelve academic painter-conservators, three academic sculptor-conservators and four specialists in artistic woodworking, The Provincial Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments has been engaged in the conservation of icons and iconostasis and murals in the Hilandar monastery and hermitage of Saint Sava on Mount Athos in Greece, as well as work in the Diocese of Buda (Szentendre) Hungary, the Diocese of Timisoara in Romania and monasteries and churches in the Diocese of Dalmatia and Gornjokarlovačka in Croatia. In accordance with modern principles, the Cultural Heritage of Vojvodina and Serbian Cultural Heritage in the region is presented through extensive publishing activities which include dozens of monographs, publications and magazines in both Serbian and English. Thanks to the results it has achieved in its work to date, the Institute is currently engaged in five international projects with partners from Hungary, England, Italy, Slovenia and Russia.

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