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WAR DAMAGES TO MUSEUMS AND MUSEUM HOLDINGS IN CROATIA
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ERNESTINOVO
Naive Sculptors' Art Colony Petar Smajić

31215 Ernestinovo
Type of museum: art museum
Founded: 1973


Category of museum holdings: C
Number of items: 600
The naïve sculptors' colony, founded in 1973 has collected considerable holdings over the years, works by naïve sculptors made mainly in Ernestinovo during the annual art colony.
The most valuable part of the holdings were 11 sculptures by Petar Smajić, a prominent representative of Croatian naïve art and a co-founder and participant in the colony. The collection was located in a building surrounded by a park where the sculptures were placed.
The collection was located in the territory that was occupied from 1991 to June 1997, and professional staff and the service for the protection of monuments were denied access to it.

Protection:

Because of a lack of time, the collection remained unprotected on the occupied territory.
Information concerning the museum during occupation:
* There is no information concerning the state of the collection during occupation.
* According to the report by the head of the collection before the war, during the occupation of Ernestinovo, the building housing the collection was destroyed, while the documentation was thrown into mud.
It was established that the Inventory book and a part of the holdings have disappeared.
According to the knowledge of the head of the collection, during occupation, various people scattered the sculptures in the surrounding area; after the decree by the occupying Ministry of Cultury, a large number of sculptures were moved to Erdut; 10 sculptures were allegedly taken by Arkan's soldiers; a group of paintings and sculptures is located in Banja Junakovac in Serbia; a reporter from Belgrade has stolen a large number of statues; a part of the collection was burned as firewood.
* The head of the collection has managed to save a part of the documentation and photographic documentation and reconstruct a list of the pre-war holdings.

Structure damage:


The disappearance of the collection was established only after the liberation of the occupied territory and the return to Croatian sovereignty at the end of 1997.
The list of damage was drawn up according to the reconstructed list of holdings (since the inventory book has disappeared) with the assistance of the head of the collection before the war. The determined number of missing, plundered and destroyed sculptures is approximate since it is impossible to determine the precise numbers.
The sculptures that remained in the park are partially destroyed, and some of the sculptures have been damaged.

Damaged collection details►

Ernestinovo, building of Naive Sculptors' Art Colony Petar Smajić before the War. 

(from MDC's photograph library)

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