"Unnecessary harassment": Serbian monastery faces water cuts

The sisterhood of the Patriarchate of Pec Monastery in Kosovo and Metohija is facing water supply cuts, Hegumenia Haritina has told the daily Vecernje Novosti.

Source: B92, Vecernje novosti

As stated, in addition to problems linked with life in isolation and without any Serbs in the surrounding (ethnic Albanian) area, this monastic sisterhood is additionally endangered during the summer due to the almost constant water restrictions.

The hegumenia (abbess) remarked that in the entire area, only the Patriarchate of Pec is having trouble with water supply.

In addition, she pointed out that these restrictions have been particularly frequent during the last few days, when many tourists have been visiting the Serbian Orthodox monastery.

"We never know when water will be turned off, nor are we managing to prepare water supplies, because even when it is turned on - mainly after our complaints and reactions to the representatives of local government - the pressure is so low that we barely manage to secure enough just for the most urgent needs," Hegumenia Haritina told the Belgrade newspaper.

According to her, these last days the monastery has had frequent visits by groups of guests from abroad, while folklore ensembles visited over the weekend.

However, she said, they did not stay, "because they could not even wash their faces."

"It's hard to imagine what impression they had of the monastery, but, unfortunately, this is not our disgrace, but one of the town of Pec and the local government, who are obviously intentionally exposing us to this unnecessary harassment and problems, when temperatures are reaching 40 degrees Celsius," the hegumenia said.

According to her, these water restrictions, that apply only to the monastery, are "obviously intentional."

Haritina also said that after the nuns make complaints, the local authorities sometimes turn the water on briefly, and other times ignore them.

The Patriarchate of Pec monastery, built in the 13th century, is located near the town of Pec. It is both on UNESCO's World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, and is included in the Serbian list of Monuments of Culture of Exceptional Importance. The Patriarchate of Pec is the resting place of 14 Serbian Orthodox patriarchs.

Until 2013, the monastery was guarded by KFOR, while this job has since been done by the Kosovo police.


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