The building that houses the National Museum is a cultural monument of great significance, and this should never be forgotten – says Aleksandra Sevic, an architect/ conservator who, on behalf of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the City of Belgrade, supervised the renovation of the National Museum.
Over 11,000 square meters of the Museum’s building have been renovated, and as many as 1,200 people of different professions participated in the restoration.
During the four years, which is how long the restoration lasted, the people engaged in it had a difficult task of preserving the building as it was, which was built in 1903 and designed by Nikola Nestorovic and Andre Stavanovic. The building was reconstructed just after the WWII since it was severely damaged in bombing of Belgrade and the Museum moved in in 1952. Another reconstruction happened in the 1960s.
During the latest reconstruction, even the chandeliers were restored, while replicas of those chandeliers that were missing were made, like the central chandelier which is brand new.
“The experience of this space will now be more ceremonial, because the exquisitely restored walls that are now illuminated. A lot of gilded elements were found during the restoration and their beauty has been restored. Painters-conservators, as well as experts from different profiles, chemists and technologists from the Republic Institute for the Protection of Monuments, came to the conclusion that certain columns in the the hall were entirely covered in gold back in the day”, Sevic adds.
The staff of the National Museum went through training courses on how to manage modern systems, parallel with the restoration. The Museum now has 20 telecommunication and security systems, 9 electric and 10 thermo ones. They are all integrated into a single central management system. Air conditioning and lighting are controlled through separate management systems.
The official opening of the restored National Museum is on 28th June, at 23h.
This post is also available in: Italiano