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12 Feb 13

Drama Theatre Mulls Dropping 'Yugoslav' Name

The famous Belgrade theatre may have to scrap the word 'Yugoslav' from its name, fearing exclusion from a list of cultural institutions automatically entitled to Serbian state funding.

Blic, Politika Belgrade

The commission appointed by the Serbian government to select cultural institutions that will be awarded "national institution" status has ruffled feathers by leaving out the prestigious Yugoslav Drama Theatre, founded in 1947.

The list was sent to the National Culture Council on February 9. It will make the final draft list on February 20.

The theatre was reportedly left out of the list because it, although a Serbian cultural institution, it still has the word "Yugoslav" in its name - a reflection of the fact that it was founded back in 1947.

It is one of the last cultural institutions in Serbia to bear the title of the former country in its name.

According to Blic newspaper, a dispute continues between members of the Commission and the National Council over the name but it is not yet clear what other name the theatre should adopt.

The status "institution of national importance" was first mentioned in Serbia's new culture law of 2009.

Under its terms, institutions enjoying this status can draw funds directly from the state budget, while all others have to go through public competitions for funds.

The Commission received some 75 applications for the status of institution of national importance from which it selected 41 institutions.

Among the institutions that didn't make the draft list are Filmske Novosti (Film News), the Museum of Genocide Victims and the Central Institute for Conservation.

Another newspaper, Politika, notes that National Council decisions do not necessarily need to match the suggestions of the Commission, as the list can be expanded or narrowed.

Any discrepancies showing up in the list will be solved by the Culture Ministry, which will send the draft list to the government, it wrote.

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