''By announcing a Contest for the development of an urbanistic-architectural preliminary solution for the Memorial Centre in Donja Gradina memorial area, Ministry of Education and Culture began the realization of one of the highest priority tasks that the Government of the Republic of Srpska set to do'', stated the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Srpska, dr. Dane Malešević at today's public opening of encoded envelopes from the authors of the solutions that were put forward, held at the Administrative Centre of the Government of the Republic of Srpska.
In this occasion, he stated that two works, which were graded as best by an expert committee, will together create an ideal solution, because they were not complete while considered separate.
The works in mind are the solutions of project offices ''Polis'' and ''A plus B arhitekti'' from Banja Luka.
Minister Malešević explicitly stated that we are obliged to work together in a dignified manner to prevent that the horrid suffering of people which happened in the are of Donja Gradina is lost to memory.
''This area represents the biggest execution ground of the Jasenovac concentration camps, and from the perspective of studying the crimes of genocide in the Balkans, one of the most important places'', said Minister Malešević.
He highlighted the fact that the Memorial Centre in Donja Gradina memorial area is an extremely important project because, thanks to it, a place will be built which will be used for constant examinations, as well as to represent a historical structure and help remember a genocide and a holocaust.
Minister Malešević made clear that there are six parts which are planned in the construction of this structure – an access plateau with a model of the Jasenovac concetration camp and the area of Donja Gradina, a museum, an administrative centre and educational-research centre with a technical complex, a plateau for commemoration and performances, Serbian, Jewish and Romany religious structures and the memorial for the victims and a monument for the children casualties.
According to him, Donja Gradina represents a place of memory and an immovable cultural property of exceptional importance to the Republic of Srpska.
Milica Kotur, acting deputy minister of Culture and the president of the contest committee – jury which graded the aforementioned works, stated that the Memorial Centre will be a structure that stands on an area of 4.5 hectares (approximately 11 acres), which will enable Donja Gradina to become a place of constant examinations, as well as a presentation of a historical building and a memento for the memory of genocide and holocaust, explicitly stating that this is an obligation of the civilization towards the victims of this horrible killing ground.
''All the activities related to the contest were coordinated by the Board for Development and Observation of the Project, which was tasked to follow all the phases of preparation, development and execution of the Project, acting as a professional and advisory body'', said Kotur and reminded of the obligation established with the decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska.
''In accordance with the decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska made at the meeting held on 28th of December, 2014, which tasked the Government of the Republic of Srpska to develop the Project for the Memorial Centre in Donja Gradina memorial area, Ministry of Education and Culture and the Public Institution of Donja Gradina memorial area established the Decision for the mutual implementation of the procedure of public acquisition of the urbanistic-architectural preliminary decision for the Memorial Centre in Donja Gradina memorial area through an anonymous, international contest'', added Kotur.
Deputy President of Jury, Slobodan Maldini, clarified that this architectural-urbanistic project needs to present a complex which posesses a regional importance.
Maldini said that the contest participants generally did not understand the requirements which concern the religious objects.
''After analyzing the works which were sent to us, we decided to choose two works with indisputable qualities, but lacking in certain aspects. That is why we came to a decision to create a merger of the two best works and create from them a solution that will be applied, instead of just picking a single best work'', added Maldini.
According to him, the work of the ''Polis'' office presented in a high detail the architectural object of an educational-research cetre which includes a museum, a gallery and a reception centre for visitors, and also did a lot to deal with the issue of the main entrance and sculptural composition.
Six works were received at the contest. First place work was awarded 15.000 KM, while the second place work was awarded 10.000 KM.
The contest for the urbanistic-architectural preliminary solution for the Memorial Centre in Donja Gradina memorial area was held between 27th of July 2015 and 9th of November 2015.