Macedonia the only country in Europe without an Archaeological Institute

 Macedonia is the only country in the region and in Europe that does not have an archaeological institute. For this reason, according to Pero Ardzanliev from the Archaeological Museum, there are hardly any publications in the field of archaeology in our country.

This was underlined at the forum of the Macedonian National Blue Shield Committee on the subject of "Theft of museum objects and illegal trade in cultural goods", in which Maja Konevska, the public prosecutor of the General Prosecutor's Office for the Prosecution of Organized Crime and Corruption (PPO GOKK), took part.

- We protect the archaeological cultural heritage through institutes, museums and ministries. However, we do not have an archaeological institute, like Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia ... Kosovo has been a state for only 13 years and has an institute already for 10 years. We don't have an institute from 1945 until today. We publish nearly nothing in the field of  Archaeology if we compare ourselves to the region or to Europe, said Ardzanliev.

Archaeological site Bylazora

When asked by the Macedonian information service MIA how much the country's cultural heritage is protected, he stressed that this had only been done with written laws. In practice, however, according to Ardzanliev, the situation is the same as in other areas where the laws and regulations are unfortunately not implemented.

- It is precisely in such forums that I think that we should talk about the full implementation of legal acts and provisions and the strengthening of cross-sectoral and inter-institutional cooperation in order to jointly combat deviations that threaten cultural heritage, be it through damage, theft or structural damage.

At the same time, he pointed out that the biggest problem is that the cultural heritage is not fully upgraded. Ardzanliev explains:

- The Skopje Aqueduct is currently in the process of upgrading, i.e. the legal framework for the monument will be laid with the upgrading and then the fetters of all institutions will be loosened, i.e. they will have a legal opportunity to protect it from then on. The destruction, damage to the cultural heritage is a consequence of weak intersectoral cooperation itself and weak interinstitutional cooperation (commune with cultural institutions, with the public prosecutor, with the courts, etc.). In the institutions we are not very familiar with the subject (customs, public prosecutor's office).

The public prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor's Office PPO GOKK, Maja Konevska, referred to the proceedings in this charge because of the criminal acts of the theft of artifacts and cultural property. She pointed out that after the 2010 trial in the Falanga case by the GOKK public prosecutor's office, a new era of cultural heritage protection had started by starting to prosecute perpetrators of "crimes against cultural heritage".

- So far, in relation the "Falanga 1", "Falanga 2" cases have been closed, the "Apollo" case has been closed, an indictment has been filed in the case code-named "Kopje", an indictment is final, is located but still in the early stages and the process should begin soon. On September 30th, we also had another case involving an action against an organized criminal group that exported archaeological objects abroad and offers them for sale, according to Prosecutor Konevska.