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The publication “The doors in the traditional architecture of the Boka Kotorska and their conservation” is the result of cooperation between EXPEDITIO and the Svenska byggnadsvårdsföreningen - the Swedish Association for Building Preservation following the restoration volunteer camps carried out in Perast. Volunteer restoration camps are one of the possible and very positive aspects of non-governmental organizations that are concerned with heritage protection. These volunteer camps contribute considerably to the conservation of cultural heritage and through these positive actions it is possible to prevent degradation of cultural properties and train volunteers to carry out restoration work, using traditional materials and techniques. At the same time, by promoting the use of traditional techniques and materials, awareness is raised about how important this type of work is.

The third restoration camp which was organized in autumn 2004 on the Viskovi ć Palace in Perast focused on the conservation and restoration of wooden doors. During the camp, a main entrance door on the Visković palace and two doors on the neighbouring house of the Balaban family were restored. Instructed by experts for woodwork, i.e. two carpenters from Sweden, the volunteers had a chance to become acquainted with the whole process of timber restoration and to do the work in practice. We have decided to edit a publication that would present our experiences gained at the camp because during its preparation phase we became aware of the scarcity of available information, at least in written form, on traditional doors and the process of their construction and conservation.

We have chosen traditional doors as the topic because apart from the practical tasks they perform as secondary elements of traditional buildings, they are an important aspect of the multiple layered heritage of an area. In Boka Kotorska, as in many other parts of Montenegro, numerous traditional doors have been preserved. However, they are often neglected during the maintenance or reconstruction of houses. Very often, the traditional wooden doors are inadequately conserved or simply replaced with new wooden, metal or “plastic” ones.

By working on traditional doors and preparing this publication we wanted to draw attention to the values of traditional doors and their importance for preserving exceptionally valuable and complex heritage of the Boka Kotorska. Furthermore, we want to point out the necessity of preserving the traditional doors, both through restoring and maintaining old doors and constructing the new ones by using traditional techniques and traditional materials.

After an introductory part, which describes experiences from the volunteer restoration camps, the publication gives basic information about traditional doors in the architecture of Boka Kotrska, the principles of restoration and guidelines for their maintenance and conservation. The publication is intended as a guidebook not only to craftsmen but also to all people who have traditional doors on their houses, focusing on values of doors and methods of their preservation.

The publication has been prepared by EXPEDITIO and participants of the 3rd volunteer restoration camp on the Visković Palace. The co-authors of the publication were Jasminka Grgurević, a conservation painter and Ilija Lalošević, a conservation architect, while an expert consultant was Calle von Essen from the Swedish Association for Building Preservation. The funds for the publication were provided by SIDA - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

We hope that the publication will contribute, at least to certain extent, to preserving the traditional doors in the Boka Kotorska and be encouragement for possible future researches of this and other topics related to traditional techniques and crafts.

With regards,
Aleksandra Kapetanović
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