Monument protection after 1938

After his appointment as a professor at the Faculty of Arts, France Stelè, the first and long-term head of the Banate Monument Office, left the management of the office to his successor. The position of conservator and Banate Monument Office clerk was taken over by the art historian France Mesesnel (1894–1945), an art critic, curator and lecturer in Skopje. Building on his predecessor’s foundations, he began to establish protection principles also in settlements, which he tried to include in town planning. He advocated the preservation of castles, which were deteriorating rapidly during the economic crisis. The Second World War limited the activity of the Monument Office in terms of territory and function. The documentation was quickly arranged and protection of monuments against air attacks was organised. Archaeologist Boris Baćić and art historian Stane Mikuž, who was interned in 1944, also worked at the office. Mesesnel was also arrested later and after an intervention, assigned to Carinthia. The management of the Office was temporarily assumed by Stelè, who continued in this post after the liberation, since Mesesnel had been killed by members of the Home Guard near Turjak just before the end of war.