How the Bosnian scientific institutions see Mr. Osmanagic’s project - part 2 (and end?)
Article published on 25 May 2007

by Irna

I have described a few days ago in this article some official documents published on geolog-mrak (bs)’s blog. It appears that Mr. Osmanagic’s Foundation has asked from the Ministry of Culture an excavation permit (including for excavations in the protected area on Visocica, see here) as well as some subsidies; and that the Minister, Mr. Gavrilo Grahovac, has, before answering, contacted various Bosnian scientific institutions in order to get their opinion on Mr. Osmanagic’s project. Geolog-mrak had already published part of these opinions (from the geologists of Tuzla University and of the Federal Institute for Geology, and from the scientists of Sarajevo National Museum and of the Academy of Science of Bosnia), each of these opinions being very negative; now he has added a letter (bs) from the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (en),

Commission pour la protection des monuments nationaux page 1
Commission to preserve National Monuments
Commission pour la protection des monuments nationaux page 2
Commission to preserve National Monuments

that had already given (see here) a negative opinion on the new project of "preservation of Old Town Visoki" that Mr. Osmanagic uses as alibi trying to obtain the authorization for digging again on Visocica. This new opinion is about the whole project of the "Bosnian valley of the pyramids"; there again, the Commission judges very negatively: "We consider that this project [...] does not belong to serious archaeological research, but has an exhibitionistic and sensationalistic character". And they remind the Minister of some evidences: that there is in Bosnia a high number of monuments and sites of national or european importance that could totally disappear because of lack of money for their preservation and restoration (see for instance this file from the Council of Europe (en) about twenty such threatened sites), and that the few financial, scientific and technical means of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be devoted first to these sites.

Then, the last document (bs) published on geolog-mrak’s blog on the 22nd of May is a letter from the Minister Gavrilo Grahovac himself,

Ministère de la Culture page 1
Ministry of Culture
Ministère de la Culture page 2
Ministry of Culture
Ministère de la Culture page 3
Ministry of Culture

who writes to the government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Minister’s opinion is clear: on the basis of the scientific opinions he received, he concludes, unsurprisingly, that there is a lack of "basis allowing the government of the Federation to support and financially participate in the archaeological research" in the "Bosnian valley of the pyramids" (and not only in the protected area but outside this protected area as well). The most interesting is the explanation of this opinion, and the reasons he gives for rejecting Mr. Osmanagic’s requests:
 the project "does not belong to serious archaeological researches";
 there is a serious doubt about the "credibility" of most of the people who appear in the list of the Foundation collaborators, and about their scientific qualifications;
 a number of the foreign "researchers" have no valid working permit on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
 the Foundation publishes its findings without any control by the institutions, and prevent their scientifical analysis (see here the case of the "artifacts" that the Sarajevo Museum team was forbidden to see on Vratnica);
 the archaeological field work is made unscientifically and destructively;
 the geologists have shown that Visocica as well as Pljesevica are the result of natural phenomena, and these geological phenomena are interpreted and presented to the public by the Foundation in an unscientific and erroneous way;
 last, the Ministry seems to deny the Foundation the right, claimed in its statutes (bs), to organize archaeological excavations, and recommands that an official enquiry questions the legality of these statutes and of the Foundation registration, particularly the existence of a real scientific staff...

As Stultitia immediately noticed (bs), this last recommandation from the Ministry probably explains why, just a week after receiving this letter, the Foundation published on its web site a series of employment offers (bs), where it can be seen that they look for various scientists, particularly an "archaeologist in charge for the research project"; and why they generously offer various financial grants to graduate students (bs) and students preparing PhD (bs) who would accept to come in Visoko in order to give a "veneer of science" [1] to the whole project...