Seven Skies: Kosovo Independence Monument Dedicated to Freedom of Movement

Marking the 16th anniversary of Kosovo’s independence, Prishtina’s iconic Newborn monument sends a positive message focusing on the freedom and movement of citizens after the visa liberalisation.

With the logo ‘7 skies,’ the iconic ‘Newborn’ Independence monument in Kosovo’s capital, in 2024, unlike many critical political messages conveyed in recent years, will bear symbols of European countries where Kosovo citizens are now able to go freely, without visa restrictions.

“The theme of this year’s illustration will be the opposite of the ‘sky with wire fences‘ from 2016, which was a revolt against the visa restrictions on Kosovo citizens,” Dea, one of the artists working on this year’s repainting of the monument, told BIRN.

Seven different skies, representing the daily cycle of the sun from sunrise to sunset, are painted in the seven  letters of the monument, representing  well known touristic sites of European cities.

Newborn Monument in Prishtina, Kosovo, Photo: Xhorxhina Bami/BIRN

The so-called Newborn monument, located in the centre of the capital, Prishtina, in front of the former Yugoslav era Palace of Youth and Sports, was unveiled 16 years ago- the day when Kosovo declared its independence. People soon stampeded to put their signatures on the monument.

Each year, the monument is repainted and the word Newborn, symbolising the birth of the new state, is intended to send a message.

The creator of the monument, built-in 2008, Fisnik Ismaili, continually contributes to choosing ideas to be used in each Independence anniversary.

Newborn Monument in Prishtina, Kosovo, Photo: Xhorxhina Bami/BIRN

Representatives of ‘Metal Teknika Asllani’ company,  which had less than a week to complete the construction of the letters in 2008 prior to the declaration of the independence, feel proud and privileged for their contribution to the symbol of the newest country in Europe. 

 “We were informed 5-6 days before the declaration of independence. The creator had already consulted with engineers,” Fatmir Azemi, the director of Metal Teknika Asllani, told BIRN, adding that “we mobilised our staff and worked 24 hours without interruption”.

“In the midst of many projects we have realised, Newborn holds a special place due to its symbolism for the state, making us feel proud,” he emphasised.

The engineer who worked on the conceptual project of the monument, Muhamet Azemi, claimed that initially,  “we did not know that this would be the symbol  of Kosovo’s independence”

“The fact that we had the willingness to work in 3 shifts was a special pleasure because these opportunities do not come often in life. It was a privilege for us,” he told BIRN.

Azemi explained that “ the time was short, and the weather conditions were not favourable for work,” because the cold temperatures did not allow for the paint to properly dry. 

Newborn Monument in Prishtina, Kosovo, Photo: Xhorxhina Bami/BIRN

Every year, volunteers and companies assist in colouring this monument, while the message changes based on the country’s political and social situation.

During these 16 years, the NewBorn Monument has been illustrated with various images and logos.

In 2023,  the letters were rearranged, and a call was made to not have a ‘new Broken Republic’ as a message against the formation of the Association of Serb majority municipalities with executive powers  that would endanger the sovereignty of the state.

“This year’s theme is no different. It is provocative, perhaps more than other times, but as always it is related to the situation in which our people and our country are, and is yet another significant crossroads towards the statehood of Kosovo,” was stated in the official page of Newborn Monument in 2023.

Newborn Monument in Prishtina, Kosovo, Photo: Ardita Zeqiri/BIRN

Initially, the plan was not to change its colour and design, but its degradation as a result of graffiti and damage prompted the creator of the project, Fisnik Ismaili to accept change and each year give it a new image that symbolises a current situation or relevant theme.

The monument has also held symbolism of states that have recognized Kosovo, women subjected to sex violence during the war in Kosovo, the empowerment of women, the successes of women, the creation of the army, etc.


16 February 2024 - 17:04

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