Serb monastery vandalized with ISIS, KLA graffiti
Visoki Dečani Archdeacon Sava Janjić said on Sunday the monks at the monastery were concerned over the graffiti sprayed on some buildings inside the compound.Source: Tanjug
They expected KFOR and the Kosovo police to implement better security measures, he said.
"We expect the Kosovo public and international officials to condemn this act and KFOR and the Kosovo police to implement better security measures," Janjić told Tanjug.
Graffiti reading, "ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Caliphate is coming, Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), and Albanian National Army (ANA)" were discovered on Sunday on some of the buildings inside the compound of this medieval Serbian Orthodox monastery protected by UNESCO.
The graffiti were sprayed on buildings that are 300-500 m away from the monastery church.
Janjić stated that the monks were shocked and very concerned, adding that they had faced threats, shelling and KLA graffiti before, but that this incident indicated a new level of threat.
"The appearance of Islamic graffiti, their link to the KLA and text that looks like an attempt at writing in Arabic in the area where we work every day shows that people with such intentions can gain access to the monastery compound," Janjić noted.
Head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Đurić has demanded that KFOR boost military protection of the monastery and that those responsible for spraying the graffiti be identified and brought to justice as soon as possible.
The disturbing graffiti inside the UNESCO-protected monastery compound are causing great concern, Đurić said in a statement on Sunday, urging the international community to take the threats very seriously and take all measures necessary to protect the monastery.
Serbia will do everything to protect the Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Serb churches and monasteries, and put an end to the harassment and intimidation against Serbs in the province, he said.
"Messages such as those that today appeared on the auxiliary buildings of the monastery certainly heighten the fear and trepidation among the Serb population in the province," Đurić said.
The monastery - built in the 14th century by Serbian King Stefan Dečanski - has been targeted by grenade attacks four times so far, the brotherhood of the monastery has been threatened on multiple occasions, while graffiti associated with the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army have also been daubed on the monastery gate in the past, Đurić said.
"In spite of this, the monastery's brotherhood has always strove to promote peace and tolerance for all residents of Kosovo and Metohija," Đurić said.
According to reports, the Kosovo authorities in Priština also condemned the incident.