Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sarajevo: Art Gallery of BiH will close September 1st!

SARAJEVO, August 26 (FENA) – Due to number of problems it faces in its everyday work, bringing it to the mere survival, Art Gallery (AG) of BiH, as one of the seven institutions of culture of state significance which have not had their legal status solved for 16 years officially confirmed today that doors will be closed for visitors from September 1.

Employees of this oldest and most significant institution of BiH which deals with art and acts in accordance with Law on Museum Services presented number of reasons at the press conference today which forced them to this ultimate step due to inability of further normal functioning.

During the last eight months only one, January salary, was paid to employees of AGBiH from the funds they earned themselves. Furthermore, this institution has not had management for years, i.e. steering board to which, as well as in other six institutions, term expired in 2004. There has been no management because director Meliha Husedzinovic retired on May 1.

That disabled further functioning of the Gallery, because there is no possibility to sign numerous documentation, apply for program assistance, realize partnership within program "Culture" and numerous exhibitions.

It was also stated that employees of AGBiH do not have health insurance, which is repeated every year, because payment of insurance is conditioned with payment of grant of Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH which co-finances these seven institutions of culture annually.

Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH has not allocated funds from this grant, justifying it is due to non-forming of government on state level. AGBiH was financed with 150.000 KM from this grant, which covers 50% of basic needs of this institutions and those are the only funds used for salaries for the employees.

Ministry of Culture of Sarajevo Canton gives 5.000 KM for AGBiH per month, which covers bills, whereas Federal Ministry of Culture provided assistance of 15.000 KM. It takes over 400.000 KM for AGBiH to function normally.

Employees ask the government to issue decision on financing, which will not be in form of assistance or co-financing, and to appoint steering board and director of AGBiH.

Art Gallery of BiH is marking 65 years of existence this year.

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