Sarajevo Roses: Mortar Scars Filled With Red Resin as War Memories

Jul 7, 2016 0 comments

During the Bosnian War of 1992-95, the city of Sarajevo was under siege by the Serbian army for a period of 44 months —the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. It is estimated that an average of 330 shells hit the city every day, leaving craters all over the streets and on the sidewalks. After the war was over, many of these craters, especially those explosions that have resulted in deaths of civilians, were filled with resin and painted bloody red in honor of the blood that was spilled. Because of their characteristic floral shapes, these resin-filled craters are bitterly called Sarajevo Roses.


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In the last few years, many of the Sarajevo Roses have disappeared as roads and sidewalks were repaired and the roses laid over with asphalt and concrete. Families of the victims of the siege have rallied for the preservation of the Sarajevo Roses, pleading with authorities to consider them as monuments of the war that should be protected.

As of 2015, the government is working on the restoration of 12 remaining roses of the nearly one hundred that were originally created.

"The criteria for preserving the remaining roses is that at least three people must have been killed in the explosion," said Osman Smajlovic, Assistant Minister for the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Smajlovic also said that the restored Sarajevo Roses will be nominated to UNESCO's World Heritage List.


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Photo credit: Béatrice BDM/Flickr


Photo credit: Damien Halleux Radermecker/Flickr


Photo credit: Martha Heinemann Bixby/Flickr


Photo credit: Mandy/Flickr


Photo credit: Terra Libera/Flickr


Photo credit: hélène veilleux/Flickr

Sources: Wikipedia /


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