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Initial conference of the project "Renovation of the complex of the former st.Nicolas church and monastery in Zadar"

Initial conference of the project "Renovation of the complex of the former st.Nicolas church and monastery in Zadar"

On Friday, 28 August 2020, the initial conference was held in the former church of St. Nicholas announcing the implementation of the project "Renovation of the complex of the former St. Nicholas church and monastery in Zadar“.

In his introductory speech the director of ICUA Zadar Mladen Pešić presented a brief chronology of the institution from its establishment until today and thanked everyone who facilitated the launch of this important project, first of all the Ministry of Culture and Media, UNESCO, City of Zadar, Zadar County Development Agency ZADRA NOVA and Zadar City Tourist Bord.

He added that the renovation of the complex of the former St. Nicholas church and monastery in Zadar would complete the story that had been worked on for the last ten years. The goal is to continue education and training of international students, experts and the general public in order to present not only the richness of Adriatic underwater cultural heritage, but of the wider Mediterranean area as well.

The Mayor of the City of Zadar, Branko Dukić, addressed the audience emphasizing the importance of this strategic project of the restoration of cultural heritage that will enable the further development of the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar.

The director of Zadar County Development Agency ZADRA NOVA, Marina Dujmović Vuković, welcomed the fact when the renovation project is to be completed, it will be available to a wider audience and not only to the scientific community.

The head of the UNESCO Regional Office in Sarajevo, Siniša Šešum, transmitted the message of the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone Ramírez via video call. He reported that UNESCO enjoys a strong relationship with Croatia in the field of culture: Croatia is home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Defensive System of Zadar, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2017 (“Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar”).
He added that the Centre had been a particularly important partner in common efforts to safeguard Croatia’s rich cultural heritage. Since 2009 ICUA Zadar has functioned under the auspices of UNESCO as a Category 2 Centre and plays a fundamental role in the implementation and promotion of UNESCO’s 2001 Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.

The Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek highlited this project as one of the most important restoration projects in Croatia which aims at valorizing, protecting and preserving cultural heritage. She reminded that Croatia was active in promoting the UNESCO 2001 Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage and that activities in the field of underwater archaeology contributed to the recognition of the conservation and restoration profession at the international level, which ultimately enabled the establishment of the Centre, efforts of which had also been recognized by UNESCO. This project will end the complete renovation and the Center will get a representative space for presentating and conducting activities in the field of underwater archaeological research.
The renovation project was then presented by the director Mladen Pešić, Nika Cohen, advisor in the Department for the implementation of programs and projects of the Zadar County Development Agency ZADRA NOVA and the architect Ante Uglešić who prepared a complete project documentation (FORVM design office).

Zadar County Development Agency ZADRA NOVA, in cooperation with the Centre, prepared and submitted a project application, and their team of experts will be involved throughout the duration of the project. The programme/activity ZADRA NOVA ZA VAS (ZADRA NOVA FOR YOU) facilitates the Agency's involvement in this project through which the staff engagement is financed while the preparation and implementation services do not create a financial burden for the applicant and the partner. Zadar City Tourist Board is a partner in this project and will actively participate in the promotion and visibility of the project itself.

The implementation of the project began on May 1, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2022.
The preparation itself began in 2014 when the Ministry of Culture, UNESCO and the City of Zadar invested almost 2.5 million kuna in the preparation of project documentation and archaeological research within this complex. With approved grant the renovation of existing and construction of new premises of the Centre will be ensured, their equipment and adaptation to new facilities with the primary purpose of improving the cultural, educational and scientific segment as well as the implementation of other necessary project activities.

The project was supported by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund, a call for project proposals "Renovation of cultural heritage of the urban area of Zadar", within Priority axis 6 "Environmental Protection and Sustainability of Resources", in the framework of the Operational Program "Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020". The total project amount is 29.985.487,36 HRK, out of which is the approved grant of 25.487.664,25 HRK while the co-financing share of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media of 15% is 4.497.823,11 HRK.

The project of the renovation of the complex of the former st. Nicolas church and monastery, and website development was co-funded by European Union from European Regional Development Fund.
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