The opening ceremony for Sarajevo Vijećnica (City Hall) on Friday, May 9, 2014 – which is also Europe Day and the Day of the Victory over Fascism – was diverse and highly symbolic. This building, which serves as a symbol of the meeting of civilizations, was set ablaze and heavily damaged in 1992 during the war.
Vijećnica’s reconstruction has taken nearly 18 years to complete and over 300 performers participated in the opening ceremony, including Vedran Smailović, the famous Sarajevan cellist who was featured in the 1992 photo where he is playing Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor in the recently-burned Vijećnica – an image that traveled far and wide, shocking the world along the way.
The Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra also participated in the opening ceremony. It was exactly 20 years ago, back in 1994 during the war, that the orchestra performed under the direction of the famous conductor, Zubin Mehta, when it played in the hall of a Vijećnica that was in ruins.
The highlight of the opening ceremony was the 3D video mapping which projected the turbulent and rich history of Vijećnica and Sarajevo onto the facade of this world symbol of the meeting of civilizations.
Thanks to the creative individuals at Knap Studio, this video art installation sent a message to the entire world that Sarajevo has survived and that it’s ready to move forward and begin a new chapter in its rich history.