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"Imagining the Balkans - Identities and Memory in the long 19th century"


international project conducted in cooperation with UNESCO and ICOM

with support from the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro


From the opening ceremony >>>




International Exhibition entitled "Imagining the Balkans, identities and memoriy  in the long 19th century", organized by UNESCO, is dedicated to the formation and development of modern nations in Southeastern Europe, with emphasis on the cultural, political, and other processes that brought about the transformation of the traditional to modern society.


In this event participate Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Germany.


The exhibition is a joint project of national historical museums from around the region and represents an effort to establish a dialogue on the common heritage that is incorporated into the identities of the Balkan peoples.


In this way, the history museum for the first time "abolish" political boundaries to work together, using their own funds and the collection as an argument for the claim that individual identities are imbued with elements of the other, which is not only a regional but also a global process and rule.


Regardless of the fact that for centuries refer Balkan states and peoples were often conditioned by conflicts, in the period in question different forms of communication at all levels caused the mixing of traditions, which was a historical inevitability.


Melting traditional and modern has created a new quality


The exhibition consists of the following segments:


Introduction - Cofee Shop

Chapter I - Living in the Old World

Chapter II - Travelling & communicating

Chapter III - A New Social Order and the Rise of the Middle Class

Chapter IV - Creating and diffusing Knowledge

Chapter V - Mapping

Chapter VI - Using History

Chapter VII - Heroes and Anti-heroes

Chapter VIII - Public Celebrations

Chapter IX - Image of the Nation

Conclusion - Whose is this song?  


Each of the participating countries is given the possibility to exhibit objects, projections or multimedia resources. 

The exhibition will be opened in Ljubljana, 8-9 April 2013 during the Slovenian presidency of the Council of Ministers of Eastern Europe.


Floorplan of the exhibition space


The authors of introductory texts for the catalog are: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Dr Hans-Martin Hinz, President of ICOM, Dr Ziga Turk, Minister of Science, Sports and Culture of Slovenia and Maria Todorova, historian.

The authors of the setting dedicated Montenegro are Isidora Kovacevic and Aleksandar Berkuljan from the National Museum of Montenegro.


Montenegro will be presented in the following way:


Introduction – Cofee shop


Rudolf Mosinger, Montenegrins in the cofee shop, 1910 (magnified foto-panel)



A cofee pot for "Turkish coffee" and a tablecloth with a monogram of Sultan Mehmed V (originals from the museum fund, a gift to King Nikola)


Chapter I – Living in the Old World


  Postcard from the early twentieth century (magnified foto-panel)


Chapter II – Travelling & communicating


The beginning of construction of the port in Bar (magnified foto-panel)


Luca Comerio, ceremony at Obilic Square, Cetinje 1910  (magnified foto-panel)


Virtual Montenegro - stereoscope with 25 original stereoscopic 3D shots, used on the Montenegrin court of the early twentieth century


Chapter III – A New Social Order and the Rise of Middle Class


Luca Comerio, bandstand to roller skate near the Blue Palace, Cetinje 1910 (magnified foto-panel)



Chapter IV – Creating and Diffusing Knowledge


Students of the "Emperess Maria Institute," the first women's educational institution in the Balkans, Cetinje 1909 (magnified foto-panel)


Chapter V – Mapping



Map of free Montenegro in the Balkans from 1859 (Prepared by Jan Vaclik after the Battle of Grahovac 1858)


Chapter VI – Using History


Njegoš as a symbol of change, a bust in bronze by Ivan Meštrovic (at the time of Bishop Petar II Petrovic Njegoš were formed the first regular military and police forces in Montenegro, the Senate was also estabilished together with fiscal system, the first elementary schools ...)



Chapter VII – Heroes and Antiheroes


Recording of the opera "The Balkan Empress", written by the Montenegrin King Nikola



Chapter VIII – Public Celebrations & Chapter IX – Image of the Nation


Documentary film lasting 15 minutes taken in 1910 during the celebration of the coronation of King Nikola I


Conclusion – Whose is this song?



The documentary done by Bulgarian author Adela Peeva, about the song that many nations in the Balkans claim as their, has served as the basis for the story of crossing traditions


The budget:


Financial liabilities are divided into two parts:s

a single,

b common.

UNESCO will support this project with 50,000 euros, and ICOM with 15,000.

Out of this sum will be financed printing of the catalogue in English, translation into the languages of the participants, the exhibition design, introductory panels and insurance of the original objects for the duration of the exhibition in Ljubljana.Montenegro should participate with roughly 8,000 euros.

All participating countries are required to host the exhibition, so that under the given schedule the setting will be organized in Montenegro from May to September 2014.



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to the top 


Vladin dom - National Museum of Montenegro

Historical Museum, Art Museum & Archaeology Museum in Vladin Dom

King Nikola`s Palace

King Nikola`s Museum



Njegoš`s Museum Biljarda


Ethnographic Museum

Ethnographic Museum


Gallery Dado

Montenegrin Gallery of Arts Miodrag Dado Đuric


Chipur church

Court church Cipur


Mausoleum on Lovcen

Njegoš`s Mausoleum on Lovcen


Orlov krs

Mausoleum of Bishop Danilo (Orlov krs)




.Map of Montenegro

Map of Montegro


Birthhouse of Petar II Petrovic Njegos

Njegoš`s birthhouse



Copyright © Narodni muzej Crne Gore & A.Berkuljan