Blown Up 1992

The Disappointed Tourist: Vijećnica, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

It’s been rebuilt but it’s not the same. Anon.

Sarajevo City Hall (Vijećnica) was opened in 1896; it was the largest building in Sarajevo during the Austro-Hungarian period. The building was built in the Moorish Revival style and designed by Karel Pařík, Alexander Wittek, and Ćiril M. Iveković. It functioned as the City Hall until 1949 when it was handed over the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The building was completely destroyed by Serbian shelling during the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992. In addition to the building, almost all of the collection of manuscripts and books were destroyed; some citizens attempted to rescue the books which let to one person being killed by sniper fire. The hall was reconstructed and opened in 2014 with a performance by the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra and Vedran Smailović, a Bosnian and Northern Irish musician, known as the “Cellist of Sarajevo”, who became known for playing Abinoni’s Adagio in G Minor in the ruins of Vijećnica and other buildings and for risking sniper fire to play at funerals during the siege. The new building is now a national monument and is the headquarters of the mayor of Sarajevo. The painting is based on a combination of old photographs and photographs of the reconstruction.