KLA graffiti appear on gate of Visoki Decani Monastery

'UCK' graffiti, the Albanian lettering of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), appeared on the gate of the Visoki Decani Monastery early on Friday, the Eparchy of Raska and Prizren released.

(kosovocompromisestuff) Saturday, April 26, 2014

This is the latest in a series of similar provocations by Albanian extremists who previously wrote messages containing hate speech on the church wall in Djakovica, after which similar writings appeared on the facades of Serbian houses in Orahovac, the Eparchy said.This time, extremists wrote on the very gate of the Visoki Decani Monastery, only a dozen metres from the KFOR's Italian checkpoint, states the release.The Eparchy of Raska and Prizren noted that this act constitutes an open threat to the Visoki Decani Monastery and its brotherhood.The Eparchy recalled that armed Albanian extremists attacked the monastery on four occasions in the couse of the so-called 15 years of international peace in Kosovo-Metohija, and the monastery brotherhood received threats several times.The Eparchy noted that the latest threat and provocation is nothing but a consequence of the nationalist rhetoric which has been spreading through the local Albanian-language media against the monastery where monks provided assistance to Albanian refugees and refugees of other ethnicities during the war.The latest incident is also an indicator that the safety of holy sites in Kosovo-Metohija is still in jeopardy, even when guarded by KFOR, the Eparchy said in the release.Abbot archimandrite Sava of the Visoki Decani Monastery wrote to international representatives about the latest incident and called on them to reinforce protection measures at the monastery which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2005.Although such provocations pose jeopardy for the safety of monks and Orthodox believers, as well as numerous tourists from around the world, they are most detrimental to Kosovo which remains the only area in Europe where Christian monuments and holy sites are still in jeopardy, the Eparchy noted.KLA graffiti are threat to monks of Visoki Decani.The Serbian government office for Kosovo condemned on Friday the spraying of the graffiti with the name of the former paramilitary organization of ethnic Albanians called the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) on the gate of the monastery Visoki Decani and demanded that KFOR take full responsibility for the safety of the monks of that monastery."This is yet another form of threat and pressure on the monks of Visoki Decani and on the safety of the entire Serbian cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo," the office said."The message is clear. Drive out all the Orthodox Christian priests from Kosovo and the entire Serb population with them, which is what the Albanian extremists have been working on for years now," the statement says.There has been no criticism against those actions, and even those who recently left messages of hate on a church in Djakovica and Serb houses in Orahovac have not been identified and punished, the office notes.The graffiti on the gate of Visoki Decani, which is located tens of metres from a KFOR checkpoint, were discovered on Friday morning.The office requested that the international community take these threats by Albanian extremists seriously, adding that Visoki Decani had been shelled four times and the monks threatened on a number of occasions.The monastery is located in southwest Kosovo. It was built by Serbian King Stefan Decanski and Emperor Dusan. The monastery was completed in 1335, while the frescoes were finished around 1350.UNESCO put the monastery on its world heritage list in 2005, explaining that the frescoes were one of the most valuable examples of the so called renaissance during the Palaiologoi dynasty and a precious document of life in the 14th century.