Stari Most (2004)
Reconstruction of a Cultural Emblem by Multinational Coalition
Stari Most (The Old Bridge) is the name for the symbolic bridge that stands in the city of Mostar in Bosnia. Built by Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire, the Old Bridge represents past events and is a universal symbol for the coexistence of communities from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The landmark faced destruction when it fell into the River Neretva during the Croat-Bosniak War from 1992-1994. With the destruction of the bridge came the destruction of memories and histories, it did however also bring the attention of the world to Mostar and the bridge. Today the bridge stands as a reconstructed replica of the original bridge, often referred to as the “New Old Bridge.” Attracting many travelers, it underlines the efforts for peace and cooperation in the face of tragedy. Mostar was the most divided town in Bosnia and thus the bridge is key in representing the identity of the city and its people before, during and after the war. The New Old Bridge is now a symbol of Mostar’s multicultural history and the division of the city, often recognised as a metaphor for the bridge between the Christian and Muslim sides of the city. It also represents an important message for the future; as the New Old Bridge no longer joins together, it essentially has a different metaphor; hatred and hostility leads nowhere.