The National Museum was founded by a decree of the Minister of Education Jovan Sterija Popovic on May 10, 1844 as Serbian Museum (Muzeum serbski) whose purpose was to collect antiquities in one place and to safeguard them for posterity. In the first decades of its work it was organised as an institution of protection but also as a scientific and research institution that constituted the national identity and was a crucial participant in the development of heritage protection. The National Museum soon grew into an official representative of the state and the society, testifying to a possible strength of culture and museums in Serbia.

Intensive activity of collecting and developing collections was soon joined with the diverse research work that transformed the Museum from the depot of past into a demonstrating exhibition space. The years between the wars brought big transformations in which the exhibitions, especially international ones that partially decreased, and the diverse research and exceptional publishing activities positioned the Museum as a center of information on good, on beauty, on special values of the national, but also of European, heritage.

The last few decades, the rich exhibiting and publishing activity as well as the diverse programmes for the public with new technologies in a prominent place, confirmed that the National Museum is an important center of communication and source of knowledge, an open, dynamic and accessible museum.

Read more