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1941-1949.

  • The expropriation of museum objects during and after the war

The Museum archives informs us that along with the acquisition of important items through gifts, examples of the unfortunate practice of expropriating museum objects, similar to those during the occupation, could also be found in the post-war period. Director Olga Šafarik informed the department in charge that “Comrade Jelena Popović, Education Commissioner of the Department of the Executive People’s Committee visited the museum on December 9, 1946, with the purpose of making a selection of museum objects to be gifted to Marshal Tolbukhin by the Executive Committee. The collection of arms and weapons from the First Serbian Uprising was eagerly put at Comrade Commissioner’s disposal”. On the same occasion, a painting was erased from the inventory of the Art Department. Another example of the same practice was seen on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the National Theatre in Belgrade; a gift was also made to the Zagreb opera and ballet ensemble. At the same time, a commission for the restitution of expropriated works of art was operating within the Museum. The Museum’s professionals participated in the Department of People’s Committees and were engaged in examination and selection of items of museological interest.

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