Professor at the Academy of Arts of the Banjaluka University, Luka Kecman, emphasizes that this year should mark two major anniversaries – 800 years of autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church and 830 years since the publication of the famous medieval Charter of Ban Kulin, which is a document of the Serb language and script, and Serb cultural heritage.
Kecman pointed out that the Charter was written on August 29, 1189, in both Latin and Old Slavic Cyrillic, the Serbian national language.
“The Charter was issued by the Bosnian Ban Kulin to the Duke of Dubrovnik Krvaš and the residents of Dubrovnik. This is, as it is claimed and believed today, the oldest diplomatic act of all South Slavic peoples and states. It was issued in four copies on parchment, most probably in the office of the Bosnian Ban, located in Dubrovnik,” Kecman stated in a written statement.
He emphasized that it is a gift Charter by which Bosnian ban granted great privileges and freedoms of trade on the territory of Bosnia and throughout the Serb lands, as well as an extraordinary political context relevant to history.
“Two copies of the Charter are now in the Dubrovnik Archives, and the third, the oldest or original one has been stored in the Slavic Section at the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg since 1840. The fourth copy, apparently the oldest, has not been preserved or found,” said Kecman.
He emphasized that the Charter of Kulin Ban was definitely a document of the Serbian language and script and a document of Serb cultural heritage, but, unfortunately, that is not what certain political extremes of daily politics believe, as well as some the so-called scientific circles in the neighbouring countries.
“The pan-Bosnian and pan-Croatian euphoria over the ownership of this document, as well as a number of others, has been ongoing for nearly 200 years. Everything is assumed, forcibly taken away, forged and falsified at the expense of the Serbian language and script, while the main attributes of the Serb identity /anthem, flag, coat of arms…/ are belittled, the language and the script above all,” Kecman stated.
He pointed out that for Bosniaks, it was their “birth certificate”, “identity card”, a document written in “Bosančica” and is a matter of “Bosnian national language”. On the basis of this document both prove that they are successors of the essential values of the Serbian national being.
“The fate of this document is still under-examined, with many arbitrary and inaccurate qualifications. The real thieves and those who were spreading the false news are still unknown. The new research and findings are rightly rehabilitating Russian consul Jeremij Gagich, Metropolitan of Sarajevo Djordje Nikolajević and a number of Serbian pioneers who did not take part in the theft and sale of treasures from the Dubrovnik Archives,” Kecman emphasized.
Only now, he said, can one speak of the truth and of the ways in which many documents, the Charter included, have disappeared in a skillfully organised robbery at the Dubrovnik Archives.
“On the occasion of this anniversary, hundreds of fake inscriptions that have nothing to do with truth and science are being written by the Bosniaks, unlike our silent Serb national corps! I call on everyone by this text to recall those words of NJegoš: `Be clever Montenegrin brothers/read Serbs/’!” Kecman emphasized.
He pointed to professor Zdravko Malbaša’s latest research concerning this Charter and the backstage activities in a book entitled “The First Serb Codex Diplomaticus”, and pointed out that the information contained in the book is largely contained in this text.
Memory of one people is stored in the people’s language, Kecman pointed out, stressing that one witnesses only once the year marking the 800th anniversary of independence and recognition of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
“Generations to come will ask us, how did you mark it? Instead of answering, we will have to blush!” Kecman stated.