The 2012 Night of Museums event was held in 40 European countries last month.
By Ivana Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade -- 14/06/12
The exhibit at Belgrade’s National Library of Serbia focused on the early 20th century, with its cars, telephones and publications. [Ivana Jovanovic/SETimes]
The European Night of Museums started as a cultural event a few years ago when museums and other cultural institutions in a variety of cities agreed to stay open late to draw potential patrons. The Balkan project under the same name had an additional aim -- to recapture life as it was before the conflicts in the region -- and to demonstrate how things have progressed since then.
In Belgrade, the event took place in 67 locations, with more than 300,000 visitors from Serbia and abroad.
Nemanja Kostic, the Night of Museums spokesperson for Serbia, said "Our national Night of Museums is third in Europe. A significant number of regional visitors came this year and last year also. International museums always have exclusive exhibitions … but here, in our museums, the Night of Museums is completely different than the other 364 days of the year."
The retrospective on the common past exhibit drew the highest turnout, and included a walk through the Karadjordjevic Palace Complex with a guide, something not normally offered to the public.
The complex is an elite part of Belgrade, covering 135 hectares of land. It is comprised of two palaces, a castle guard, gendarmerie house, marshal building, a chapel, and a garden with 70 sculptures.
Tijana Boric, the curator and guide, said that during the tour "Prince Aleksandar and Princess Katarina are happy to greet the visitors, since they love to show how the 20th century is reflected through all aspects of this complex, from the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and up to modern-day Serbia."