New Serbian Parliament Building Inaugurated

resizer193Deputies in Serbia’s Parliament will meet for the first time today in their new chamber, the renovated Hall of the National Parliament in Nikola Pasic Square.

The chamber has been restored to its 1936 appearance.

President of Parliament Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic said deputies would first take part in a series of scheduled legislative votes before moving to the new bulding to start a new session.

“We decided that it would be good for the first point on the agenda to be something related to national identity, such as the Law on the Coat-of-Arms, Flag and Anthem, to begin our work on Tuesday with that point on the agenda,” Djukic-Dejanovic told reporters in Parliament.

She added that she believes deputies will be more serious and effective in the new working space. “This move, with its environment and tradition of parliamentarianism, which is relatively long, will oblige deputies to be more civil and to work more effectively,” she said.

The Hall of the National Parliament was opened in 1936, although the project originated in 1901. Construction work began in 1907, but was interrupted when the architect, Jovan Ilkic, died and his plans were lost. Ilkic’s son, Pavle, drew up new plans, and building work resumed.

The first parliamentary session in the building was held on October 20 1936. Since 1939 the entrance has been dominated by an equine statue by the famous Croatian sculptor, Toma Rosandic (1878-1959). In Socialist Yugoslavia the building housed the federal parliament.

During a protest on October 5, 2000, a group of demonstrators broke into the building and set part of it on fire. The library was partially destroyed and furniture was stolen together with a large number of valuable paintings which have not been recovered.

Since July 23, 2006, the building has officially been designated as the Hall of the National Parliament.

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