Churches and mosques continue to coexist in Kosovo, often in the same physical spaces, with imams and priests conducting religious rites next to each other. Photo: UNDP Kosovo* / Arben Llapashtica.

The European Union and UNDP have launched the second phase of a programme to renovate Kosovo*’s cultural and religious monuments, involving youth from diverse backgrounds in the rehabilitation and preservation of the territory’s rich history.

With a total budget of € 2 million, the project will renovate mosques, churches and public parks across Kosovo, and raise awareness among different communities of the importance of protecting these symbols of shared history.

“Cultural diversity is an integral part of the values of the European Union," said Nataliya Apostolova, the Head of EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative.

“Many activities foreseen in this EU-funded project will aim to draw communities closer together on the basis of the common heritage they share and to develop local capacities for protecting and preserving cultural heritage, particularly through engaging women and young people,” she added.

"Through this project, we will facilitate the rich cultural heritage in Kosovo to become a vehicle for inter- community dialogue and social inclusion”, said Ulrika Richardson, the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Kosovo.

Last year alone, 18 cultural and religious heritage sites were renovated in 5 multiethnic municipalities, while 152 young people gathered to propose new solutions to protect and promote the cherished monuments.

The messages are being incorporated into the school curriculum, with support from the Kosovo Police.

* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

For media enquiries, please contact Burbuqe Dobranja, UNDP Communications Associate. Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 410; mobile: 049 720 800.

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