Wednesday, March 24, 2004

More about the destruction in Kosovo

I happen to have received photos of the cathedral described in this fine Associated Press story in the Northwest Alabama Times Daily.

Here are a few quotes from the story with photos of the items they refer to:
[Bishop Atanasije] then softly placed two fingers on the image of Virgin Mary in the soot-covered fresco. But his visit to the cathedral to assess the damage would last but four minutes: a U.N. police officer acting as his bodyguard, a semiautomatic shotgun at the ready, hustled him away, shouting, "It's not safe! It's not safe!"
. . . .
Among the province's many treasures was the Holy Virgin of Ljevis Cathedral, which is located just down the street from the U.N. administration's offices. Mobs transformed the brick structure into a gutted hulk.

Of particular note was a fresco of Jesus Christ, said Father Sava, a spokesman for the Orthodox Church in Kosovo, who wept upon learning that flames, smoke and soot left only a vague image on the wall.

"The church meant so very much," he said. "In France there is Notre Dame ... but for us that was the Holy Virgin of Ljevis Cathedral."

Father Sava said that Serbs who remained in Prizren after the war have left for good now, and the only people visiting the wrecked structures this week were ethnic Albanians curious about what damage had been done.

The article has a photo worth seeing of the skeleton of the church with its burned frescoes.

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