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1940.

  • The Museum working as a separate institution
  • The establishment of the Cultural Centre (Dom kulture)
  • Visit of Princess Olga

Belgrade’s municipal authorities decided to establish the City Cultural Centre encompassing the City Library (adult, young adult and children’s departments), The City Museum (together with the City Gallery of Paintings) and the Historical Archives of Zemun. It was to be housed in the building already housing the Library and the Museum. The Administration and Legal departments, as well as the Department of Financial Support were moved out on February 17, 1940. The building underwent renovation and adaptation in order to reshape its space in accordance with the purpose for which the building had been purchased five years before. After the territorial unification of Belgrade and Zemun in 1934, the archival materials of the Zemun Magistrate were moved to the municipal library and museum (August 12, 1940). It was recorded at the opening of the Cultural Centre that its holdings encompassed 22,735 books, 998 museum items, 501 works of art, 1,512 fascicules belonging to the Historical Archives of Zemun (including numerous 18th- and 19th-century documents) and 1,227 paintings and documentary images. The Cultural Centre was officially opened at the inauguration ceremony held on December 22, 1940. The Mayor, Jevrem Tomić, delivered an inauguration speech, and Academician Jovan Radonić gave a lecture titled “Belgrade and Zemun between the Treaty of Passarowitz (Požarevac) in 1718 and 1739. Marija Ilić Agapova presented a brief overview of the history of these cultural institutions. The ceremony was concluded by a concert. The attendees included a significant number of foreign diplomatic representatives, ministers, representatives of the clergy and other distinguished people. On the day preceding the inauguration ceremony, Princess Olga visited the Cultural Centre. It was owing to comments dealing with the Princess’ visit that it was possible to reconstruct the organization scheme of this institution.

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