Many of Europe’s former concentration camps have stood as memorials to those who suffered within. Now, international outrage has been sparked by Montenegro approving a project to transform a former camp into a luxury beach resort.
Located on the bay of Kotor, on the border between Montenegro and Croatia, the former camp on Mamula Island is dominated by a 19th century fortress.
During World War II it was used as a concentration camp by Italian troops who served fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. It is predicted 2,300 people were imprisoned there, of whom 130 were murdered or starved to death. Not the most obvious location for a luxury resort, right?
The resort is set to include swimming pools, yacht marina, spa, restaurants and dance floor. However, many people think it is insensitive to the families of the victims and a blatant disregard of the seriousness and tragic events that happened there.
Olivera Brajovic, head of Montenegro’s national directorate for tourism development, said:
“We were facing two options: to leave the site to fall into ruin or find investors who would be willing to restore it and make it accessible to visitors,” and also said that the concept was aimed at preserving one of the most impressive architecture landmarks of Montenegro.
The ethical debate surrounding this land has been under deliberation since December 2013 when the government advertised it as an investment opportunity.