Today, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Republic of Srpska (MCARS) , the public presentation of the MCARS building reconstruction project was held.
The first phase of the project will be funded by the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and implemented in 2020. For the first phase, 255,000 KM was allocated.
This significant donation which MCARS received, is among the largest individual donations in Europe, awarded to Bosnia and Herzegovina, singled out in front of 5 European countries that have competed during 2018.
US Ambassador to B&H, Eric Nelson pointed out that the Museum of Contemporary Art is a cultural treasure worth investing in and should be a place for citizens to gather and interact.
“The US Embassy and the Government of Republic of Srpska agree on the following, that this institution is a cultural treasure worth investing in. This is a wonderful museum with its collection and focus on community development. Museums are not just buildings that house collections, they should be a gathering place and a hub of communication, community interaction”, said Nelson.
He thanked the President of Republic of Srpska, Željka Cvijanović for nearly doubling the contribution of the Government to the contribution made by the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and making this partnership to improve the Museum.
“This project is the fulfillment of an ambitious vision and I would like to congratulate the director of the Museum, Sarita Vujković and her team for their impressive work, for drafting a project that was good enough for them to win a close election”, Nelson emphasized.
The first phase of the reconstruction concerns the renovation of the roof and the adaptation of the attic to a public library, which will be the first specialized library in B&H for art studies, offering students and art lovers a new and more modern approach to study and research.
“This museum is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s best contemporary art museum, different from the museums whose mission is to connect citizens with the past. This museum connects citizens with the ideas and trends of today and opens new perspectives for the future,” said the US ambassador.
Nelson also emphasized that the United States is a forward-looking country and that the partnership they offer is firmly grounded in “helping citizens and this country move forward, toward a brighter, more prosperous, fairer and more secure future.”
The need for reconstruction and adaptation of the museum was also recognized by the Government of Republic of Srpska, which allocated 486,000 KM for the second phase of the project from the Public Investment Program of the Republic of Srpska.
The President Željka Cvijanović thanked the US Ambassador Eric Nelson, saying that the partnership is measured by how much can be done together for the benefit of the citizens.
“I am sure, once the Museum gets a new look, it will be a gift to Banja Luka and Republic of Srpska, but also a gift to the world. I thank the ambassador for this joint venture. I think partnerships are measured by how much things we can do together for the benefit of the citizens”, said Cvijanović, adding that :
“Each of us identifies with this building and it is much more than a building, because it carries a lot of messages. I am sure that everyone who comes to Banja Luka and later if they should list what was left in their memory, surely the Museum will not be left out. ”
The second phase of the reconstruction of the museum is related to the new facade with ambient lighting, the renovation of the exhibition space as well as the depot where the art collection of the museum is kept. The project of reconstruction of the museum building, through its realization, will enable the adaptation of previously inadequately used premises, for the purpose of creating new contents that the museum provides.
The director of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republic of Srpska, Sarita Vujković, said that this reconstruction came at the right moment, because it was absolutely necessary.
“These institutions are like ships that need to be maintained on a daily basis. There is a wonderful team of people here who regularly take care of this building, but the building was erected in 1891 and the roof and tile are no longer manufactured. This reconstruction came at a very important time when we really needed it, “Vujković said.