SANU opposes demolition, repurposing of Belgrade Fairgrounds, General Staff complex

NEWS 17.06.202414:21

The announced demolition and radical repurposing of the Belgrade Fairgrounds and of the former army HQ and Defense Ministry complex, the so-called General Staff complex, would result in an irreparable loss of an invaluable and significant part of Belgrade's cultural identity, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) Executive Board said on Monday.

“Like all cities worldwide, Belgrade also has its landmarks that are recognizable and consist of individual buildings or urban complexes with an ambiance that collectively defines them,“ said the SANU Executive Board, stressing that Belgrade’s cultural identity includes architectural values embodied in the General Staff complex, as well as the Belgrade fairgrounds.

It said their authors were also members of the SANU, that these achievements are their legacies for future generations, and that the artistic and cultural significance of these complexes is underscored by the fact that they are protected under cultural heritage regulations.

As the highest scientific and cultural institution in Serbia, SANU said it proposes and deems it necessary to adopt a new decision reaffirming the Serbian Government’s earlier decision designating the Belgrade Fairgrounds complex as a cultural monument. Similarly, it said that the former General Staff complex should be categorized as cultural property of exceptional importance.