Arsov: Comprehensive research of the archaeological site “Bila Zora”

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Ministry of Culture and the Office for the Protection of Cultural Heritage this year placed the project “Bila Zora” at the range of capital facilities for archaeological research and will grant funds in the amount of half a million MKD.

With these funds in April will begin studies at the site, which will be lead by the professor Dr. Dragi Mitrevski and will be engaged students and professionals in the field of archeology of our country, said in the interview for Kurir the Director of the National Museum of Sveti Nikole, Aleksandar Arsov.

Ministry of Culture for this year provided significant resources for further exploration of the site “Bila Zora.” What kind of actions will follow?

Currently we are working on the construction of the road from the village Knezhje  to the site Gradiste – ” Bila Zora” in length of about 1000 meters and according to my information, it is the first such action in our country, i.e. construction of paved road to the archaeological site before it is fully explored and open to tourists. Project Bila Zora for this year is placed at the rank of capital facilities for archaeological research and grant funds in the amount of half a million MKD by the Ministry of Culture and Protection Administration of Cultural Heritage. With these funds in April will begin studies at the site which will be lead by the professor Dr. Dragi Mitrevski  and will engaged students and professionals in the field of archeology of our country. Great support in this section we have from the local government Sveti Nikole, because this is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. In this context, the Museum together with the local government in the future will make efforts for 24 hour physical security of the facility or the provision of room and guards that will protect from looters and negligent visitors and providing lighting to the site. The region of Ovche Pole abounds with many archaeological sites, which unfortunately we cannot explore due to the reasons we do not have sufficient funds, but we hope that the research at “Bila Zora” in the coming years will bring many tourists. This year with the help of Professor Dragi Mitrevski we managed to conserve significant part of the exhibits, which are now transferred to the museum and during this year we will organize exhibition or presentation of objects found at the site in the past and visitors can become familiar with current research. We will do our best in the future; despite the archaeological site surveys, “Bila Zora” also to perform regular conservation of the artifacts discovered, as they are significant part of the whole research.

There is information for visit of expert team of world experts at “Bila Zora” and “Geoglifot” at the village Crniliste for perform geophysical surveys on these sites.

Yes, that is true. During this month will arrive team of ten top world scientists with unique sophisticated equipment in the world that will carry audio – geo-scanning these sites. Initiator of research is Mr. Domagoj Nikolikj, researcher from Republic of Croatia and it involves experts who work in the world-famous research centers like CERN Switzerland, Vincha and others. We hope that these studies will provide clearer picture of what is found in many places and will help in further archaeological research. To mention, that the sponsor of this research is Mayor of Sveti Nikole Zoran Tasev, whom we are especially grateful because he had understanding and gave us full support.

What is the protection of churches and what in that context, you as institution work on?

I as Director of the National Museum of Sveti Nikole and as a historian, considering the situation of frequent robberies of icons of our churches, monasteries and destruction of our cultural heritage, we recently made ​​contact with Bregalnicka Diocese and Mr. Ilarion and I proposed in the near future, as this part of the cultural heritage has extremely valuable icons from the old masters, to gather them all from  unprotected churches in rural areas, to restore, protect and exhibit them in the museum. This will prevent future thefts and destruction of the country’s cultural heritage. Twenty icons from the oldest church “St. Nikola” from village Burilovci, which is cultural monument protected by law and museum for long time, to create conditions and gather them, together with icons from other churches, and to organize  exhibition for the public.

Looters of hidden treasure are constantly emerging in this region. How do you deal with them?

National Museum is the only institution that deals with the protection of archaeological and historical values ​​of Ovce Pole area. Looters existed in the past and will continue to exist, but the museum in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Directorate for Protection of Cultural Heritage and the many honest and conscientious citizens will seek to minimize this occurrence. The state has shown that there will be no mercy for those who have sold out and destroyed our cultural heritage, and we as an institution will give our best to prevent such occurrences. Essentials segment of my management with this institution is to give the maximum contribution to the invaluable asset that we have, to collect, preserve and leave for the Macedonians generations that come after us.

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