February – March 2014
MT. ATHOS — Ivica Dačić visited the Hilandar monastery at Mt. Athos in Greece and said the spiritual edifice was one of the most important treasures of the Serb people.
It must not be neglected, Serbia’s outgoing prime minister and leader of the Socialists (SPS) was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Dačić expressed satisfaction with his visit to Hilandar on the Day of Saint Simeon the Myrrh-streaming, Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja of the Serbian Grand Principality Raška (1113-1199) and the founder of the Nemanjić dynasty.
Dačić said that the aim of his visit was “to establish what has been done in terms of repairs of the consequences of the catastrophic fire which caused extensive damage to the monastery in 2004.”
Dačić recalled that the Serbian government invested around EUR 10 million in the reconstruction of Hilandar, which is enough to complete 50 percent of planned works.
He underscored that the government will continue providing assistance to the monastery as “one of the biggest treasures of the Serb people.”
“I underscored on several occasions that Serbia needs to preserve its cultural and historic heritage and other Serbian holy sites such as the monuments in Kosovo and Metohija, Corfu and Vido,” Dačić said.
He pointed out that the cultural heritage of the Serb people is one of the most important monuments for world culture as confirmed by the fact that the Mount Athos where the Hilandar monastery is situated is included in the list of UNESCO world heritage as of 1988.
“The Mount Athos management expressed gratitude to the Serbian Ministry of Interior Affairs for its assistance in extinguishing the fire which broke out two years ago in which 50 members of fire-fighting units were engaged,” Tanjug reported.