On the 7th of February, 2014, protestors set fire to the presidency office in the Bosnian capital city of Sarejevo. Many historic documents stolen, while others were damaged by the fire.
Soon after the fire, Turkey’s Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) got hold of Shaban Zahirovic, the head of the Bosnian State Archives offering assistance. They were informed that as much as 60% of the documents were damaged or otherwise looted.
TIKA has taken on the responsibility to restore the Ottoman documents, and will work with Turkish experts to restore as much of the archives as possible.
It is said that “most of the Ottoman files remain intact, but much of the Austrian-Hungary period files were lost.”
The following is from the February 9, 2014 edition of theguardian.com:
Archive director Adamir Jerkovic condems blaze at state archives in Sarajevo as an “act of vandalism.”
Some of the most important historical documents charting the history of central Europe in the 20th century are feared lost, after a fire at the state archives of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
The archive, which contains mostly documents from 1878 to 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian ministry of finance was in charge of Bosnia, but also older material from the Ottoman period and documents from the war crimes commission after the second world war, was targeted by protesters on Friday.
While staff have not been allowed to enter the building to assess the damage, historians are concerned that key documents have been lost in what archive director Adamir Jerkovic condemned as an act of vandalism.
News of the damage comes as central Europe prepares to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first world war. After the closure of the National Museum of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2012 and the burning down of the National Library in 1992, there are fears that this region in Europe may be left without key empirical records of its own history.