||During the 1992-1995 war Bosnia’s complex cultural heritage became a target for destruction by those wishing to enforce a mono-ethnic vision of the country. The destruction was rarely the result of damage incurred during war operations, but was an inherent part of a programme of ethnic cleansing and a systematic attempt to eliminate the cultural inheritance and symbols of a particular group with the intention not only of denying their historic existence but of discouraging their return. Overwhelmingly (but far from exclusively) Muslim or Ottoman monuments were targeted.
After the war, despite the world-wide focus on the destruction of the cultural heritage in Bosnia, there have been very few restoration projects carried out by the international community, apart from the World Bank-driven projects in, while the rebuilding of mosques and churches is intensely politicized. This was notwithstanding the recognition of the central place destruction of cultural heritage played in the Bosnian War in Annex 8 of the Dayton Peace Accords. It provided for a Commission to Preserve National Monuments with a mandate to receive and decide on petitions for designating property as National Monuments to ensure their preservation and protection.