|DOSSIERS|| Inauguration of Mostar Bridge|
Suleiman the Magnificent decides to have a bridge built over the Neretva River in Mostar, which at the time was an important commercial center.
Ottoman architect Mimar Hajruddin, a disciple of the famous Sinan, completes construction of the bridge, named Stari Most ("Old Bridge"), after nine months of work.
Photo: © UNESCO/L.Iglesias
On November 9, Croatian artillery units destroy Stari Most, the target of two days of intense bombings, with more than 60 shells hitting the structure.
On March 10, UNESCO launches an appeal for its reconstruction. A first UNESCO fact-finding mission visits Mostar in June and proposes initial emergency measures.
Signing in December of the general framework for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (known as the Dayton Agreement),which provides for the creation of a Commission to Preserve National Monuments and tasks the UNESCO Director-General with naming two of its five members, including the president of the Commission.
On May 13, the Commission to Preserve Bosnia and Herzegovina's National Monuments inscribes Stari Most on the list of protected monuments.
Hungarian army divers retrieve hundreds of the bridge's original stone blocks from the Neretva River, in an operation that lasts from August until December 1st.
On July 13, UNESCO, the World Bank and the city of Mostar issue a joint statement and launch an appeal for the reconstruction of the Old Bridge in Mostar.
June 7: reconstruction work begins.
April 14: the first arch stone is placed, as residents of Mostar look on.
July 27: official opening of the construction site, attended by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
August 29 and 30: the heads of state of eight southeastern European states meeting in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia adopt the Message from Ohrid, in which they approve the idea of organizing a reopening ceremony at the Mostar bridge and say they plan to attend together.
July 23: official inauguration of the bridge attended by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, representing the entire United Nations.