Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vučević opens exhibition “Fight for Serbia’s Statehood and Freedom of Serbian People”

Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević opened the exhibition titled “Fight for Serbia’s Statehood and the Freedom of the Serbian People” in the Central Military Club in Belgrade to celebrate the 220th anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising.
At the beginning of his speech, Minister Vučević congratulated the Gallery of the Central Military Club and the director of Media Centre “Odbrana” on winning the Sretenje (Candlemas) Order, as well as to everyone else who had created in that building.

Speaking about the exhibition, Minister Vučević pointed out that three words contained in its title were the trinity in the fate, history and future of our homeland and that they should certainly not be separated.

- If I were to add a word, it would be “battle”. It is sometimes military, sometimes warriors’, political, social, but always defensive when it comes to our country and our people. It is never-ending.  Whenever we tried to extinguish the flame of battle, we wandered in the dark of untruths, lies, deception, we lost touch with ourselves. Whenever that flame of freedom, the flame of battle, burnt, glowed, we knew where we were going, we knew what path we were on, what we were supposed to do. And it is our duty, not only to our ancestors, but also to our descendants to hand over to them the torch of fight for Serbia and our people, wherever they live, so that it never goes out. And so that it always shows them the way Serbia and our people should go, as it shows us the way now, and as it showed the way in the past to Karađorđe and Miloš Obrenović and many other known and unknown heroes who gave the most valuable thing they had – their lives – Minister Vučević said.   
He gave special thanks to the authors of the exhibition, who, thanks to their work, have become an inalienable, inseparable part of the culture of remembrance. Also, the minister of defence stressed the importance of getting together and gathering, as well as the goal set by the President of the Republic – to restore the observance of the most important holiday – Sretenje (Candlemas).  

- Together, we have managed to make it not just one ceremony at one venue, but a series of events celebrating this important holiday for several days, in several venues with a larger number of people participating, and that is the true purpose of the “red letter days” in our calendars - for people to get together, and not to hold one or two ceremonies just for the sake of it - said the minister of defence.
Emphasizing the exhibition’s importance, Minister Vučević said that it should also be displayed in other parts of Serbia, that it should not be available only to a small number of people, but to a larger number of citizens of the Republic of Serbia.
  - Let there be new dawn, let new generations come, let Serbia live in eternity - Minister Vučević said.
Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Nikola Selaković said that the title of the exhibition contained three important words - freedom, state and fight.

- And it wouldn’t be a mistake to put an equals sign between these three words. For our people, the theme of this exhibition is not one historical period, an epoch or a moment in history, for the Serbian people this is entire history. For us, fighting for freedom means fighting for the state, because it has been empirically proven in history that for us, Serbs, there is no freedom if there is no state. That is why this exhibition does not only cover the period of the First Serbian Uprising and its 220th anniversary, which we are celebrating this year. That is why, at the proposal of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević, we decided not to hold the exhibition on the Statehood Day, on Sretenje (Candlemas), because we have a whole year ahead of us to celebrate the 220th anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising - Minister Selaković said.
  The exhibition "Fight for Serbia’s Statehood and the Freedom of the Serbian People", whose authors are Zoran Ivanović and Nebojša Đuranović, consists of paintings, sculptures and drawings that show in an artistic way the fight of the Serbian people for their freedom and state.
According to sculptor and author of the exhibition Ivanović, today's struggle for development implies a hard struggle for spiritual values, a struggle for culture and a struggle for one's own identity. An important part belongs to the time in which we were shaped as a nation, to a time in the past, to memory, he added, stressing the importance of memorial sculptures that feature great historical figures and ideas, with the great power of artistic expression.

Painter and author of the exhibition Đuranović said that the exhibition had been carefully prepared and that it was a retrospective of works created over the past decades, showing the continuity of fight of the Serbian people for freedom and statehood.
  The opening of the exhibition was attended by Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Tomislav Žigmanov, Minister of Sport Zoran Gajić, ministers without portfolios Novica Tončev and Đorđe Milićević, state secretaries at the Government of the Republic of Serbia, members of board of the minister of defence, representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, veteran associations and associations nurturing the traditions of liberation wars, public figures and numerous guests.   

The exhibition will be open to visitors until March 30.  
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Minister Vucevic's address
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Minister Selakovic's address
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Exhibition author Ivanovic's address
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Exhibition author Djuranovic's address
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The opening of the exhibition