Today, the 26th of October, is a day that will forever be engraved on Dubrovnik’s calendar, they day that Dubrovnik became a member of a very exclusive list as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the 26th of October 1979, a full 40 years ago, at a session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Egypt the Old City was included on this prestigious world list.
“In the past four decades, Dubrovnik has faced two major disasters - the 1979 earthquake and the 1991 brutal Serbian-Montenegrin aggression. And from both these tragedies, the City, like the mythical phoenix, rose up and was reborn. In particular, the tragedy of war has left numerous scars and still memorable wounds. Due to this aggression, Dubrovnik also ended up on the UNESCO List of Endangered World Heritage List in December 1991 and remained there until 1998,” commented the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, remembering the UNESCO acknowledgment.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary the City of Dubrovnik organized an exhibition "Dubrovnik, the Scarred City", which was staged at the United Nations Centre in New York, then in Washington and from the 1st of October in Lazareti in Dubrovnik. The exhibition deals with the casualties of war and the rapid and impressive reconstruction of the city. The exhibition is a testimony of the suffering of Dubrovnik in the Homeland War. And that war also brought two precedents. The first is that for the first time in its history, UNESCO sent envoys to the area affected by the war, while the verdicts for the commanders of attacks on the Dubrovnik, before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, were the first convictions for crimes against cultural heritage.