Herceg Novi – At the news that famous tennis players, sisters Serena and Venus Williams are interested in buying about 250.000 square meters of land with almost 100 facilities of the former military premise “Orjen battalion” in Kumbor the head of the church of Sveti Jeronimo, Benjamin Petrovic and the local men Zvonko Antunovic have reacted.
In the circle of the military premise there is a Catholic church of St. Sunday (Sveta Nedjelja – Chiesa Cattolica St. Domenica) which, as preacher Petrovic claims, as a mistake has been signed as the property of the Military.
He is afraid that together with the sale of the property of fomer military premise in Kumbor the church of Sveta Nedjelja will be sold.
Kotor bishopric from Herceg Novi Primary court in March this year asked to put a temporary ban of taking away of the chrch of Sveta Nedjelja, because according to cadastre books, until the last measurement of the land, it was signed as the property of Catholic church. The first and at that time the only inscription of cadastre book dates from 1884. Also in the cadastre from 1906 the church is signed as the property of Catholic church, as well as about 200 square meters of surrounding land.
The church was built in the middle of XVII century by famous Perast men Vicko Bujovic on his own property, who distinguished himself as a hero in numerous fights, especially during the liberation of Herceg Novi from Turkish domination (30th September 1687). With the decision of the Senate of Perast on the 18th of March 1704 Bujovic got the title of Prince or Count and Kumbor feud of 120 camps (days of plowing).
On the property in Kumbor, where he spent a lot of time and according to some data where he had his own palace, Bujovic built a church with one transept on the east side, and with a belfry on the west side. The church from 1704 to 1709 when Bujovic got killed was painted by the most famous baroque painter of Boka, some even say also on the territory of former Yugoslavia, Tripo Kokolja. The painter was Bujovic’s best men on his wedding.
– Based on the analysis of researched wall surfaces, aphides, and the arch which were examined with a sonda it can be concluded that entire interior of the church of Sveta Nedjelja was painted by Koklja’s hand – it is written in the repertory “Boka of the architect Zorica Cuburovic and painter – conserver Jasminka Grgurevic from the regional bureau for protection of monuments of culture in Kotor. They have discovered the pictures in aphides on which the lamp in hand holds the branch of palm.
Even though it has great value because of Kokolja’s paintings, the church of Saint Sunday is not a protected monument of culture, but in the Bureau they explain that “from the expert and protection point of view, it has the same treatment as if it were”.
The Church of St Sunday because of many years of negligence and dump, but also because of the special position in the circle of military facility is devastated. For years it hasn’t been repaired and the church service was performed only from time to time, with a special permit of former authorities. In the earthquake in 1979 the belfry was ruined and it still hasn’t been repaired. In 2003 the church was hit by a thunder and it almost cut the church in half. It was as a certain warning that it is about time to do something for the protection of the church.
With expert supervision from the regional bureau for protection of monuments of culture, and also engagement of some local people, first of all Zvonko Antunovic who is keeping all the documentation related to this church, the roof has been partly repaired.
From Kotor bureau they think that after the research works a statistical solidness of church should be made, a new roof cover, facade, floor, the yard of the church for which they would need between 15.000 and 20.000 euros. The calculation of how much would the conserving restoring works of Kokolja’s paintings would cost has not been made.
According to the existing documentation, both Petrovic and Zvonko Antunovic say that there is no reason not to return the church in property of Catholic Church in order for it to be repaired and in order for the priests and believers to use it freely.
They think that the future buyers of the former military premise “Orjen battalion” in Kumbor should aid the repair of that exquisite monument of culture,
The price of a square meter in the immediate vicinity of military premise in Kumbor already now is 500 euros.
For the future buyer, who will probably separate millions sum of money for that complex, the financing of the repair of the church of St Sunday would be financially really small, but it would be a sign of good will for the future relations with the neighbors.
IT IS NOT FAMILIAR WHERE BUJOVIC IS BURRIED
Zvonko Antunovic points out that not even today it is familiar where Vicko Bujovic was buried. According to some assumptions, since he died in Perast it is highly possible that he was buried on the property in Kumbor under the floor of church of St Sunday. Near the church in the past there were 45 graves and they were also transferred in 1985 across the Orthodox church of Sveti Vasilije an across the orthodox graveyard also in Kumbor.