The truth is that in the last few weeks the weather has been decidedly grey in Belgrade. Locals have been scratching their heads, few can remember such a dull and somewhat cold early Summer.
However, the above did not deter tens of thousands of ‘culture vultures’ from visiting Belgrades night museum last weekend. This was the third night museum to take place and the concept is pretty simple – many museums open their doors from 6 in the evening until 2 AM in the morning. At the same time bands and music were laid on at certain locations.
Some queues were more than an hour long although this didnt hamper the enthusiasm. In fact one would be pretty hard pressed to find a happier and more varied group of people – this isn’t hype by the way, it is almost sad to see how hungry people are for events like this.
One of the most popular exhibits was located in the army museum which was named Serbian and European bloodrinkers. Facts such as the Serbian origin of the word Vampire were presented along with symbols and items used by vampires. And yes it was kind of dark down there with some strange wailing woman lumbering across what looked like a graveyard.
Also very popular was the underwear exhibit at the Ethnographic museum which displayed examples of what people ‘carried’ beneath their frocks, corsets and suits. And thank heavens, the rest of the museum was also open, not always the case, where permanent exhibits of Serbian ethnography can be found. Fantastic life size exhibits of rooms found in old Serbian houses complete with decorations from that period.
There is not a doubt in my mind that this museum is one of the most attractive in Belgrade in terms of content and of layout.
The railway museum was a little bit thin on exhibits. Its beyond my comprehension why such a huge building – and Im told it has all kinds of shafts and strange lifts going to different sections, is not open to the public.
And it’s a pity that there wasn’t one train carriage you could jump into either available, at least not on museum night.
Im told that car museum was good but since that’s open on a regular basis I decided to visit that another time. And there was plenty more included in the package including the observatory, planetarium and so on.
But the best fun to be had (in the authors opinion) was at the Paedology museum, not so much for the internet exhibit, after all its relatively easy to put together a visual history of the net, but for the bands like ‘Intruder’ which were playing live music. A lot of young people were just soaking in the sounds, beer in hand. I had to press on to see other exhibits but could easily envisage just visiting one or two museums hanging here and then moving to Barutana where a Visual art and Clubbing theme and DJ’s thing was going on. Slightly older and perhaps more classy types could sip wine in the garden of the Brazilian Ambassador compound.
Barutana deserves a special description of its own that I wont be able to do justice to but maybe Cvijus might expand on its history.
Visit the site to see what you missed. www.nocmuzeja.org.yu
But take heart, due to the evident success of the event it will be repeated and the list of museums taking part will grow.