ICOMOS has been informed by a group of ICOMOS members in Kosovo of the situation of the former department store “Gërmia” in Kosovo which is under threat of demolition. The department store was designed by the architect Ljiljana Rashevski and was built in 1972 in Pristina, the capital of the country. It was the first department store to be created after the period of destruction of World War II and also included the first escalator in the city. This department store also represented the transition from central bazaars, which were the traditional form of retail in Pristina, to department stores after World War II. For all the above reasons, this building represents a period of great significance for the history of the city and the collective memory. Furthermore, “Gërmia” is one of the only remaining examples of modern heritage in Pristina.
This demolition threat occurs as an EU funded concert hall is planned to be built to replace the department store. The ICOMOS members in Kosovo wish for other solutions to be found so that the concert hall can be built without having to demolish the department store.
In addition, our ICOMOS ISC20C Committee has sent letters to various government officials to draw attention to this concerning situation, Docomomo has also sent letters to the mayor of Pristina and the EU office in Kosovo.