Tuesday, 20 November 2018 | News today: 22

Skopje’s landmark Cifte Hammam to be reconstructed with US grant

Minister of Culture Asaf Ademi and US Ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily signed Wednesday a contract for a $91,000 grant to reconstruct Cifte Hammam in the Old Bazaar of Skopje.

The grant is awarded to the National Gallery of Macedonia by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for a project to repair mould damage (the interiors and the exteriors), protection from stormwater leakage, and protection from UV radiation.

The signing of the contract provides a continuation of the efforts aimed at preserving the cultural landmark that is part of the National Gallery of Macedonia serving as an exhibition space, said Minister of Culture Asaf Ademi.

“Every city has its own landmarks, its own history and buildings, which today serve as cultural monuments protected by the state. The era of hammams is long gone, but we can still admire their beauty. Cifte Hammam is the place where you can feel every pore of a bygone time, built as a legacy of Isa Bey,” he stated.

Cifte Hamman was badly damaged in 2017 by floods caused by torrential rain. “I’m confident that the grant will help protect the building and return to its former glory,” Ademi said.

The Cifte Hammam grant is the second grant for the National Gallery of Macedonia from the US Embassy. It follows the 2010 grant for reconstruction and construction of a drainage canal of Daut Pasha Hamam.

US Ambassador Jess Baily said the grant was awarded in order to make sure a historic building at the heart of the Old Bazaar was preserved.

The Cifte Hamman project is the third preservation project for a landmark in Skopje’s Old Bazaar, according to him. “Over the years, the United States has supported several other important restorations, including Daut Pasha Hamam, St. Spas Church and Suli An.”

“The Ambassadors Fund is a competitive grant with US embassies from around the world sending proposals to be judged by experts in Washington. And to be very frank, it is rare to see so many projects being realized in one place. It is a testament to the cultural value of the Old Bazaar, not just for Macedonia, but also the world,” said Baily.

This project is a true partnership between the US and Macedonia, said Baily emphasizing that the US government would continue to support the preservation of Macedonia’s cultural heritage.

The 18-month project was kicked off in June 2018 and is expected to be completed by late 2019.

The project for servicing Cifte Hammam will take place in several stages, funded by the Ministry of Culture as part of its investment project fund for 2018, and financially supported by the $91,000 grant.