Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Exhibition “First World War through Dejan Kragić’s Collection“ opened in Central Military Club

State Secretary in the Ministry of Defence Nemanja Starović opened the exhibition "First World War through Dejan Kragić’s Collection" in the Central Military Club’s small gallery in Belgrade today.
  State Secretary Starović expressed his satisfaction at the opportunity to host representatives of the association of citizens Serbian Historical Heritage at the Central Military Club building and to thank them sincerely for their efforts to preserve historical truths about our people.
- Their work is extremely useful and valuable in a broader social context. Namely, driven by deeply patriotic feelings, they preserve physical objects from our history that bear witness to bygone times. These collectors have been investing their time and resources to save from destruction historical artefacts that bear testimony to our past. Some of these objects clearly indicate what they were used for and they show without a doubt what life was like in the past - State Secretary Starović said.
According to him, some objects on display do not even exist in official museum collections and cannot be seen anywhere else but in the collections of certain people who are true patriots loyal to their state.
  - In this way, they remind us and help us come into direct contact with our history. What we will see today is not written documents or an interpretation of history, this is history itself and history through artefacts. Based on them, we will be able to draw conclusions about past times, which is priceless - emphasized State Secretary Starović.
The Ministry of Defence is grateful, he said, to the author of the exhibition, Kragić, for his work and exhibitions put on so far, because he keeps alive the memory of the glorious days of our country and people.
During the opening of the exhibition, the author, Dejan Kragić, awarded honorary membership plaques and the Obilić Medal of the Serbian Historical Heritage Association to deserving individuals.
An honorary membership plaque was awarded to Minister Miloš Vučević, which was accepted on his behalf by State Secretary Starović, and to the advisor to the Minister of Defence, Nikola Banjac.
  The Obilić Medal of the Serbian Historical Heritage Association for providing generous support to protecting heritage and preserving traditions was awarded to the head of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Defence, Brigadier General Mihailo Zogović, the director of Media Centre “Odbrana”, Colonel Biljana Pašić, the director of the Central Military Club Gallery, Jelena Knežević, and other deserving individuals.  
Gallery Director Jelena Knežević addressed the gathering on behalf of Media Centre "Odbrana". According to her, with this new exhibition, Media Centre "Odbrana" continues to keep alive the memory of the participants in that bloody conflict.

- The exhibition "First World War through Dejan Kragić’s Collection" is an overview of the First World War divided into seven sections - Serbia and the Allies, Central Powers, Belgrade under Occupation, Red Cross, Serbian Days in France, Propaganda and Maintaining Tradition. The items displayed are only a small part of Mr Kragić’s rich collection, but they are valuable enough to deserve your attention - emphasized Jelena Knežević, adding that some of the exhibits are rarities.
  The director of the Historical Archives of Novi Sad, Petar Đurđev, said that only a small part of Kragić's collection was shown in this exhibition.
- This is an invitation for other collectors to consider collaborating with the state in an effort to find the best solution for protecting our cultural heritage - said Đurđev.
Speaking about the exhibition and his work so far, the author of the exhibition, Dejan Kragić, said that the Serbian Historical Heritage Association has existed for ten years.
  - Thank you so much for your support. It is the reason why I have decided to repay you on the tenth anniversary of our association, to present honorary membership awards and medals to deserving friends of the Serbian Historical Heritage Association, because I see you all as friends, not as an institution - said Kragić.
The exhibition has been prepared in cooperation with Media Centre "Odbrana" and the Serbian Historical Heritage Association, whose founder and president is Dejan Kragić. His decades-long work has resulted in a collection that covers the period from 1914 to 1918.
The exhibition is open to visitors until April 20, 2024.