News 05 Apr 13

Culture Minister Pledges to Reopen Belgrade Museums

Bratislav Petkovic has announced the reopening of three important museums, including the National Museum.

Gordana Andric
BIRN
Belgrade

The National Museum, the Historical Museum of Serbia and Milos’s Konak [residence] will all be open during 2013, while the Museum of Contemporary Art is expected to reopen in 2014, Bratislav Petkovic, the Serbian Culture Minister, said.

The Minister has set the reopening of the Historical Museum of Serbia for April 12. The museum, which this year marks 50 years of its existence, will also get a permanent exhibition for the first time.

The exhibition will be dedicated to the royal dynasties of Karadjordjevic and Obrenovic. The museum closed for refurbishment in November 2012.

The reopening of Milos’s Konak with a permanent exhibition is scheduled for April 28. The Konak was the summer residence of Prince Milos Obrenovic from 1831 until 1860.

The residence became a memorial museum to the prince after his death, but after Serbia changed dynasty in 1903 the authorities transferred the exhibits from the residence to the National Museum. It again became a memorial museum dedicated to Milos Obrenovic in 1954.

According to Petkovic, the long-awaited reopening of the National Museum will be in October.  The National Museum closed in 2003 at the order of Prime Minister Zoran DjJindjic, as leaks posed a threat to the artefacts.

Since then there were several projects for the museum’s refurbishment, but all failed due to a lack of funds.

After the Progressive Party took power over the ministry following the May 6th general elections, the ministry formed a Construction Committee, consisting of representatives of the museum, the ministry, as well as architects, which drew up a new plan.

This envisages the gradual rehabilitation of the museum rather than its reconstruction, as was originally planned.

On April 3rd, Petkovic said that “megalomaniacal” projects for the reconstruction of the National Museum had been dropped and the ministry had opted for more realistic plan.

According to the plan, the museum collection will successively open by October, when the whole museum should be open.

Petkovic also announced that the Museum of Contemporary Arts will be open by mid-2014. At the moment, the project for the museum’s refurbishment is being revised and adapted to match the technological progress achieved in the meantime, given that the project is ten years old.

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