The Jewish cemetery in the town of Zvornik, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been put on the list of national monuments — and also declared an Endangered Monument.
News reports say that the Commission to Preserve National Monuments took the decision during its meeting in Sarajevo August 31.
Local media quoted a statement from the Commission saying it had decided to place the cemetery on the List of Endangered Monuments “because the cemetery is devastated and tombstones are in extremely poor condition.”
Zvornik is on the Drina river, on the border between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.
The cemetery, located by the river bank below a wooded slope outside town, was founded in 1890. It has several dozen gravestones, many of them toppled or broken, and is surrounded by a wall with a gate.
There is also a memorial plaque, erected by the city in 2008, commemorating Zvornik Jews killed in a fascist pogrom in 1941.
Serbian Jewish activist Jasna Ciric, who wrote a book about Zvornik’s Jewish history and who was active in the campaign to get the cemetery listed, told JHE that there had been a form of protection for the cemetery since 1995, but the August 31 decision made it official.
The zvono.media.rs news site said that with the decision to name it an endangered national monument, it was expected that rehabilitation work could get under way.
It said that the cemetery already did receive some clean-up work each year, including by a pensioners’ volunteer organization.