The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Not being able to pay salaries for a year, Bosnia's National Museum closes after 124 years
Students shout slogans near a banner that reads "Shame on you" in front of the National Museum, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. Bosnia's 124 year-old National Museum closed its doors Thursday thanks to disputes among politicians and dwindling state funding. Having not received their salaries for a year, employees first gathered at the fountain in the Museum's botanical garden and threw a coin into it making a wish the institution will reopen soon. AP Photo/Amel Emric.

By: Aida Cerkez, Associated Press

SARAJEVO (AP).- It survived the breakup of the Austrian empire, two world wars, the longest city siege in modern history and a bloody war in the 1990s that killed 100,000 people. Yet after 124 years, Bosnia's National Museum closed its doors Thursday due to dwindling state funding and disputes among rival ethnic groups.

Having not received their salaries for a year, employees gathered at the fountain in the museum's botanical garden and threw a coin into it, making a wish that the institution will reopen soon. Then they left the building in downtown Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, and nailed wooden boards that read "closed" across its front door.

Museum director Adnan Busuladzic says he has lost hope that politicians will solve the problem any time soon.

"There are two opposing ideas on how this country should be organized," Busuladzic explained. "This society is at war over those ideas and nobody cares about a museum."

This museum and six other institutions that are the custodians of Bosnia's national heritage — and care for precious medieval manuscripts, religious relicts and natural history artifacts, among other items — are victims of the 1995 peace agreement that ended Bosnia's war. The deal split the Balkan nation along ethnic lines into two semi-autonomous parts linked by a weak central government and guided by a constitution that did not envisaged a ministry of culture.

This left the seven cultural institutions without a guardian and without funding.

For years they have been surviving on donations or often-insufficient, ad-hoc grants from different layers of government and hoping that political leaders from the country's mostly Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosniaks will agree on what to do with Bosnia's shared historical and cultural heritage. The questions extend even to whether to preserve it.

Bosnian Serbs oppose giving the central government control over the cultural sites. Their leaders insist that Bosnia is an artificial state that should be dissolved and that each of the country's ethnic groups has its own heritage.

Bosniaks, meanwhile, say safeguarding the shared history of the Bosnian people is one way to keep the country unified and it was they who scrambled to beg for funds from several ministries. With Europe's debt crisis dragging into a third year, those ministries have no more reserves to tap into now.

To prevent the museum from closing, several students chained themselves to a pole in the lobby and remained inside, declaring they will stay there until the problem is solved and the museum reopens. Dozens of others held a sit-in in front of the building, many refusing to believe that it was truly closing.

"We want this museum to stay open. Tourists are coming to our city, they want to see our culture and history. How? How? All the institutions of culture are closed here," said protester Nihad Alickovic. "Is this a deeper game? To destroy the history of this country? They all should be ashamed because of this."

Bosnia's National Gallery and its Historical Museum closed down earlier this year. With the National Museum's closure, four other cultural institutions are still struggling: The Institute for Monument Protection, the Bosnian Art Gallery, the Bosnian National Theater and another small museum.

For an entire year, the National Museum's 65 employees still came to work every day without being paid. As she left the building Thursday, museum librarian Andrea Dautovic said the issue was not even about her not having a job any more — it was about what Bosnia has lost in the process.

"What will happen with future generations who now are losing this cultural jewel?" she said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Today's News

October 5, 2012

Grand Palais sheds light on a phenomenon which traverses the history of art and society

Unknown drawing from Van Eyck studio found: One of the greatest discoveries in early drawing

Masterworks by Tiffany Studios from the Geyer Family Collection to be offered at Sotheby's

Exhibition explores Renaissance Augsburg's rich traditions and innovations in works on paper

Ai Wewei world premieres the installation "81 Wooden Balls" at Art Museums of Bergen

MoMA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones with a comprehensive film retrospective

Iconic Warhol images to lead Sotheby's Prints Sale in New York on 1 and 2 November

With no resources to protect it, Pakistan struggles with smuggled Buddhist relics

Spectacular flea-market discovery: Rare woodcuts by "Brücke" artists found

Surrealism as it has never before been shown before at Moderna Museet in Malmo

Two unrecorded works by distinguished Irish artist Paul Henry for sale at Bonhams

Not being able to pay salaries for a year, Bosnia's National Museum closes after 124 years

Swann sells complete set of Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian for $1,440,000

Rare century-old $5 Alaska bill to be auctioned

Playboy Magazine illustrator Pat Andrea exhibits at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery

Demonstrators to rally outside offices of developer threatening to demolish London's Cork Street

Reverie by Chris Moon Curated by John-Paul Pryor at LONDONEWCASTLE Project Space

Rice University exhibits African-American art for centennial

Portland Museum of Art installs monumental sculpture by Anthony Caro

Fall arms sale at Bonhams offers rare Parker Brothers A1 Special shotgun

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful