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1954.

  • Journal Godišnjak Muzeja Grada Beograda (Annual of the Belgrade City Museum) was published; the name of the journal was subsequently changed to Godišnjak Grada Beograda (Annual of the City of Belgrade)
  • The announcement of the competition for the project of a new museum building

Increased inquisitions of museum objects resulted in a new organization scheme of professional and research activities within the Museum and an increased number of employed staff. Curators could advance in their careers through research and publishing of studies related to Belgrade’s past, illustrated with images of objects from the Museum’s collections. One of the most valuable Museum’s publications has been Godišnjak Muzeja Grada Beograda (Annual of the Belgrade City Museum), subsequently Godišnjak Grada Beograda (Annual of the City of Belgrade), journal whose aim has been to cover in one place all the important moments in Belgrade’s rich history. Its first volume was published in 1954 and was dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade.

The competition for the design project of a new museum building was first announced in 1954, when Zora Simić-Milovanović was the Director of the Museum. The site foreseen for the new building was located between Knez Mihailova, Seventh of July (presently Kralja Petra), Uzun Mirkova and Cara Uroša streets. The competition participants were encouraged to take full freedom while designing the object and its contextual setting, i.e. to treat the site as an empty plot of land, regardless of the objects already there.

The Institute of Urban Planning of the People’s Committee for Belgrade set the following propositions regarding the streets delimiting the construction site: Knez Mihailova Street was seen as a pedestrian zone, Seventh of July was to be used for motor traffic but not for city transport, Uzun Mirkova Street was foreseen for traffic, including city transport, whereas a part of Cara Uroša Street should have been closed. The announcement of the competition was preceded by a series of meetings of the Advisory Commission of the Education and Culture Council of the People’s Committee for Belgrade at which the general programme scheme of the future museum was discussed. The chief participants in the discussion on the concept of a complex museum were Dr. Milutin Garašanin, Prof. Ivan Tabaković, Prof. Drobnjaković, Verena Han, architect Bratislav Stojanović, Đorđe Mano Zisi, Milorad Panić Surep and other cultural activists, as well as representatives of city government. The idea to build, for the first time in Yugoslavia, a museum drawing on the contemporary international practice was received with great enthusiasm. It was suggested that the concept study should particularly highlight, and proportionately cover within the overall concept of the exhibition, crucial moments of the city’s historical development. The museum depots were to be treated with the same care as the exhibition rooms. It was also suggested that exhibition sections should be divided by movable screens since the museum was conceived not as a static but as a changing space.

Nineteen design projects were submitted, five of which were awarded by the jury. The first award was divided between architects Ratomir Bogojević (Belgrade), Zdravko Bregovac and Vjenceslav Rihter (Zagreb) for their joint project. It should be pointed out that the area to have been covered by the museum was over 10,000 square metres. In accordance with the Decision of the Secretariat of Education and Culture of the People’s Committee for Belgrade No. 9311 of December 28, 1954, the Belgrade City Museum’s Project Evaluation Commission held another meeting on February 26, 1955, in order to demand from the competition winners to amend their project in accordance with additional requirements set by the Jury.

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