Monday, 24 May 2004
The Royal Compound in Dedinje, like the greatest historical and cultural monument, opens for the public
The State must take care of The Royal Palace
* The “forbidden city” has original Rembrandt, artworks of Rafael’s and Boticelli’s school, Mestrovic, Pedja Milosavljevic, Mica Popovic, Ming dynasty vases... * In cooperation with the National Museum and SANU, a group of our and foreign top restoration experts should be established, says the member of the Crown Council Prof. Dr. Dragoljub Kavran * Stealing of the artworks belonging to Karadjordjevic Dynasty would be a terrible crime over our cultural heritage. That is why The Royal Compound is secured by the Guard, MUP and personal security of the Crown Prince
Crown Prince Alexander’s family has wished to open The Royal and The White Palaces to the public ever since they returned to the country. This “forbidden city” is situated in over 1430 hectares of the prime land in Belgrade – the slopes of The Royal Park go down all the way to Rakovica road. Few hundred meters away from the white marble building of The Royal Palace is the location of The White Palace, a mansion built by private funds of King Alexander I for his sons: King Peter II and Princes Tomislav and Adrej. In the area the size of 600 average properties, there are several buildings – Gendarmerie, Guard house, pavilions, the so called “thatched house” for the guests, swimming pools, gardens...
- Just like Buckingham Palace, The Royal Palace in Stockholm and other European courts, our Royal Compound is a historical and cultural national monument of the highest importance – says the member of the Crown Council Prof. Dr. Dragoljub Kavran.
Even Tito had realized that, saying after a short stay at The Palace that “he did not belong to the place after all”. The memento of his “short stay” at The Palace is the grave of his mistress Davorjanka who was buried in the estate. The Head of the Royal House Alexander Karadjordjevic believes the grave is a part of our history, same as is the bullet from a partisan’s rifle that hit the forehead of Christ Almighty in the dome of The Royal Chapel. The entire property of the Karadjordjevics was confiscated by a decree in 1947. Until the return of the Crown Prince in 2001, no one had resided at The Royal Palace, because Milosevic had chosen The White Palace for his residence. Regrettably, priceless artwork, among which original Rembrandt, Canalletto, Nicholas Poussain, Palma Vecchio, works of Rafael’s and Boticelli’s school, are badly neglected and inadequately preserved.
- Inappropriate restorations ruin paintings. A group of our and foreign top restoration experts should be established in cooperation with the National Museum and SANU. Other works of art should be urgently restored too: the wall of the dining room is decorated with a 17th century Flemish tapestry “Adoration of the kings” which is literary falling apart from its own weight – says Prof. Kavran. The Palaces exhibit master pieces of our artists - Risto Stijovic, Mestrovic, Pedja Milosavljevic, Mica Popovic, as well as many decorative items: wedding trunks of King Peter I, Ming dynasty vases, silverware...
That is why The Royal Family has proposed that The Royal Compound with its unique and priceless artwork should not be the property of the individuals, but of the state, with permanent tenure given to the Crown Prince and his family. Kavran believes that Serbian public has not yet realized what the role of a modern monarchy is.
- Medieval and contemporary constitutional parliamentary monarchy are fundamentally different. Today’s monarch only represents the state, builds its reputation, makes contacts with other countries, but does not influence political decisions. There are no favors to any political party. The Church and the Crown are the symbols of unity, which means they are above political processes. Members of The Royal House have no place in the political arena – points out Kavran.
Prof. Kavran believes passing the Law on denationalization would not solve the status of The Royal Compound for it would be split between several heirs and eventually disappeared. The priceless works of art at The Palace are protected by the law and they are not allowed to be taken out of the country. The experience of other, wealthier countries shows it is wisest to have them in one place – says Prof. Kavran.
- Stealing of the artworks belonging to Karadjordjevic Dynasty would be a terrible crime over our cultural heritage. That is why The Royal Compound is secured by the Guard, MUP and personal security of the Crown Prince. That is why it is expected that the final solution for the status of The Royal Compound is going to be as the property of the state, just like in the most of other countries – finishes Kavran.
S.Dj. Markovic T. Kaludjerovic Photo: N. Jovanovic
Copyright © 1998 NJ.K.V. Prestolonaslednik Aleksandar II
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