The Saint Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik has officially become a candidate for inclusion on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List. The official evaluation done by this international organization will be completed next May. UNESCO has informed the Croatian Ministry of Culture about its decision a few days ago. The decision has confirmed that the nomination procedure has been completed and that all the technical requirements have been fulfilled, reports sibenik.in on March 8, 2016.
The report on the nomination, titled "The Defence System of the Venetian Republic from the 15th to 17th century", was submitted to UNESCO before the deadline. The entire idea came from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Activities and includes fortresses in Italy, Montenegro and Croatia.
The first part of the evaluation procedure should be completed by September, and the exact timeframe will be known when UNESCO submits the official paperwork and their representatives decide whether Šibenik gets to boast about another world heritage site, after the Cathedral of St. James.
While this would obviously contribute greatly to tourism in Šibenik, the inclusion of the St. Nicholas Fortress on the list of the world heritage sites would also open the door to new funds needed for its reconstruction. The County has recently decided to invest over a million kuna in the fortress. During the previous government, the talks were launched with the Ministry of Culture about applying for the resources for the fortress outside of the usual funds and to treat it as a strategic project important for the whole country.
If the fortress becomes the latest addition to the World Heritage List, this would be a huge achievement for Šibenik, because the fortress would finally become not only the project of the local significance, but of national interest. This is why it is exceptionally important for the St. Nicholas Fortress to be named the second entry from Šibenik under UNESCO’s protection.
The City of Šibenik and the County are involved in a lawsuit trying to prove who of the two has the authority over the fortress, and sources say that the Administrative Court has sent the case back to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, which should now come up with the final decision.
The fact is that the problems surrounding St. Nicholas Fortress should be resolved bearing in mind Šibenik’s best interest. Experts are advocating opening it for visitors as soon as possible, so that the money from the ticket sales could be used for reconstruction.