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“Everything that we encountered on our constant journeying across the savannas of West Africa – from the brilliant blue, cloudless African sky, the baobab and acacia trees, the kapok or karité fruit, the several meters high termite hills demonstrating the grandeur of a cathedral, or the smaller ones, like giant mushrooms that were a constant threat to the axle and shaft of the Land Rovers, all this in temperatures over 50 degrees in the sun – transposed into fantastic shapes floating in front of our eyes, which the African, driven with so much imagination, turned into forms and sculpture. That is why these plastics, these expressions in wood, bronze, terracotta, stone, and drawings on cloths are for us, persistent African wanderers, beautiful, close to heart and intelligible, and always seen and experienced in the moment as part of that nature and of ourselves.”


Excerpt taken from the “Museum of African Art:
The Veda and dr Zdravko Pečar Collection” catalogue, Belgrade, in 1977.


Under the patronage of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, the Museum was opened to the public in 1977. Over the course of two decades spent in West Africa, first as a journalist and later as a diplomat and Yugoslav ambassador in seven African countries, Dr. Zdravko Pečar together with his wife Veda Zagorac gained extensive knowledge of African history, culture and art, which was supported by nurturing close relations with African people. Their insistence on developing friendship-based contacts with both African statesmen and “common man”, as well as their great perseverance, made it possible for the Zagorac/Pečar benefactors to collect valuable examples of African art objects, which are for the most part on display at the permanent exhibition of the Museum. The benefactors donated most of their collections and pieces to the Assembly of the City of Belgrade; however a significant part remains privately owned by the Pečar family (although available for work and research in the Museum of African Art in Belgrade).

The initial collection of the Museum has continuously been enriched through acquisitions and donations of both individual pieces and whole collections, so the museum collection now contains several thousand items of authentic traditional art objects from countries of West, Central and East Africa.

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