The spent bullet casings are slowly being removed from the building known as the sniper’s nest in Mostar. I have two of them in my pocket right now. Those are the remains of two small things that may well have killed people. If you have seen video of a human being gunned down by a sniper (or indeed seen the real thing as doubtlessly so many Mostari have), that is a sickening thought. I consoled myself that me taking those two casings made no difference to the outcome of lives now lost.
The gradual flow of tourists through the city and the building has meant that the scavenger hunt has lifted up the things of interest, leaving, increasingly, only the detritus. The place is littered with glass from windows that once were. It’s a scary place. You have to climb in over a locked gate – as the piles of broken bottles, syringes and ample graffiti art testify – where so many others have gone before. Those others aren’t just tourists though – some are locals. They’ve written their slogans and painted their pictures on the walls.
An apartment block is adjacent to the ruined building. I wonder whether its occupants have to struggle with terrible memories every day, or whether the building has yet become part of the landscape.
Here are some photos of the inside of the building: