Peculiar Artifacts in Bosnia and Herzegovina - an imaginary exhibition (2017)

On November 23th, 2016 at 04.30 AM XXX wrote :

Dear Thomas,

Thanks for your email.

The idea about the exhibition sounds interesting, but frankly, I think that you chose the only venue that is wrong for it. Having very extensive ‘local knowledge’ of that area I can tell you that putting the exhibition in the Zemaljski Museum (especially in the still empty prehistoric wing) would be understood wrongly by the locals as a ‘confirmation’ that the pyramids really exist, regardless of the approach the exhibition might have. Your thinking from a post-modern (or even meta-modern) perspective relates to the visitor from the West who has different, impartial approach to the problem and I suspect that it could make serious damage to the authority of the colleagues from the Zemaljski Museum. There were many well-intended initiatives over there by Westerners who genuinely wanted to help, which backfired because of lack of local knowledge.

I hope you spoke about this with Dr. Mirsad Sijari?, who is the director of the Museum – as he is the only person who really can decide whether to support this project or not (except if he is pressed into it by the Ministry of Civil affairs that is controlled by the Bosniaks in this mandate, or local NGO mafia). This being said, I still would not mind participating in the interview. However, it is still not fully clear to me what the purpose of the interview is.

The photos on the website are quite good and I can see your intention to see this as a social phenomenon, although some titles of the pictures are quite strange and unacceptable, as e.g. the photo of medieval stecci from the Radimlja necropole that is titled The Bosnian tombstones drawings, referring to the Bosnian Pyramids (????????). Also, you mention the re-drawing of the plan of Zemaljski Museum by Gauthier Oushoorn – I am not clear about the purpose of it.
Hope to have more clarifications and, as I said, happy to participate in the interview.


Pre-historic wing, National Museum of Bosnia-and Herzegovina, Sarajevo

For the project Thomas Nolf travelled to Bosnia-and-Herzegovina to explore the Bosnian Pyramids, stone spheres and other peculiar artifacts in relation to the social-political context. Aiming to draw an alternative biography that counteracts the post-war disillusion, he photographed, intervened and ultimately tried to pedestal the phenomena as a history to believe in.

Since the reported discovery in 2005, a lot of controversy has surrounded the statements of discoverer and leader of the Archeological Park Foundation Semir Osmanagich and his team claiming the existence of the pyramids in the town Visoko. Along with the insufficient scientific justification and varied interpretation of his findings, political pressure has been exerted from different authorities in the Bosnian government to stop the excavations.

During this controversy, the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina closed its doors in 2012 due to a political funding crisis, partly resulting from the Dayton peace agreements which left the country in ambiguous entity. Although it reopened in 2015, the prehistoric wing of the building is still inaccessible to the public because of a lack of money to repair the roof, damaged from the Sarajevo siege.

Therefore, in 2017 Thomas Nolf proposed an exhibition on the Bosnian Pyramids to the National Museum in Sarajevo. The intention of the exhibition is to show photographs and artifacts but also to use the pyramids phenomenon as a funding tool that could finance the needs of the museum itself.

The book has been made afterwards the refusal. It gives a visual account of different historical artifacts; monuments; landscapes and tourist sites in Bosnia-and-Herzegovina, with text contributions by Danijel Dzino, Srecko Horvat, John Hooper, Semir Osmanagic, Cornelius Holtorf, Andrew Lawler, Irna, Thomas Nolf

Pre-historic wing, National Museum of Bosnia-and Herzegovina, Sarajevo