Prof. Joško Božanić, University of Split
Prof. Josip Belamarić, Institute of Art History
Ivo Pervan, photographer
To Director-General of UNESCO Dr. Irina Bokova
Dear ms. Irena Bokova,
We are writing this letter to You from the city of Split, the center of the southern Croatian region of Dalmatia which boasts many historical monuments listed as UNESCO world heritage.
We also believe there is another type of monument not as visible as massive forts and splendid palaces of ancient Dalmatian towns, but as equally impressive in its architectural harmony and beauty which reflect man’s struggle for survival on Dalmatian harsh rocky terrain.
It is believed that the Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world, but there is one even longer, located in Croatia’s southern region of Dalmatia. This wall, covering the area of approximately 60.000 km (the length of one and a half equator), with volume greater than the volume of all the Egyptian pyramids, has never been acknowledged as a monument of human work.
The monument in question is found in Dalmatian vineyards – endless kilometers of drystone walls that surround them! It took generations of peasants and a couple of centuries to build these amazing walls and transform the rugged and rocky terrain into fertile terraces and landscape into exquisite stone lace.
Dalmatian drystone walls are not listed as world heritage, and they should be – as a unique monument of rural drywall architecture.
This is also the reason we are writing to You, with sincere hope You might find an interest in our proposition.
We would like to visually enhance our initiative by sending You a selection of photographs by mr. Ivo Pervan, one of Croatia’s most prominent photographers of cultural and natural heritage. A series of air photographs by Ivo Pervan reveal this unique stone landscape, this manuscript whose message should reach us today, and yet we somehow remain blind and deaf to its exquisite beauty and significance.
Our proposal is that UNESCO takes on the organization of Ivo Pervan’s exhibition in Paris. We kindly and sincerely hope that You can help us realize this proposal so we can present the architectural marvel of human hands to the rest of the world.
With sincere and respectful regards,