Invisible Heritage: Ancient Egypt and the Museums in Serbia

  • Vera Vasiljević Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
museums in Serbia, Ancient Egyptian collections, archaeological heritage, cultural heritage


The museum collections in Serbia, along with one mummy and two coffins, include a little over one hundred fifty artefacts from Ancient Egypt, acquired mainly as gifts by the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, with only one scarab discovered during the archaeological excavations in the country. The Egyptian antiquities in our museums, scientifically studied and published almost without exemption, have long been inaccessible to the public, or occasionally available to a limited number of visitors (part of the collection of the National Museum in Belgrade situated in the Archaeological Collection of the Faculty of Philosophy). They are not mentioned in the web presentations of the museums where they are kept, i.e. the museums in Vršac, Belgrade, and Sombor. Potential reasons for this invisibility will be discussed, especially the issue whether these antiquities are perceived as heritage, in what category of heritage are they listed, and according to what criteria.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Vera Vasiljević, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Department of Archaeology


Al-Kharrat, Edwar. 2005. Cultural Authenticity and National Identity. Diogenes 52(2): 21–24.
Anđelković, Branislav. 1991. Arheološki materijal bliskoistočnog porekla u Srbiji. Glasnik srpskog arheološkog društva 7: 67–77.
Anđelković, Branislav and Jonathan P. Elias. 2013. Ernest Brummer and the Coffin of Nefer-renepet from Akhmim. Etnoantropološki problemi 8(2): 565–584.
Anđelković, Branislav and Joshua Harker. 2011. Identity Restored: Nesmin's Forensic Facial Reconstruction in Context. Etnoantropološki problemi 6(3): 715–728.
Anđelković, Branislav i Miroslava Panić-Štorh. 2002. Staroegipatska zbirka Gradskog muzeja u Vršcu / The Collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the City Museum of Vršac.Vršac: Gradski muzej Vršac.
Anđelković, Branislav and Emily Teeter 2006. Corpus of Egyptian Antiquities in Serbia: Additions and Corrections. Гласник Српског археолошког друштва 22: 253–264.
Bikić, Vesna. 2007. The early Turkish stratum on the Belgrade Fortress. Byzas 7: 515–522.
Bikić, Vesna. 2012. Tobacco Pipes from the Belgrade Fortress: Context and Chronology. Journal of the Académie Internationale de la Pipe 5: 1–8.
Brennan, Christine E. 2015. The Brummer Gallery and the Business of Art. Journal of the History of Collections 27(3): 455–468.
Cvjetićanin, Tatjana. 2014. Predmeti ili narativi. Arheološke postavke u Srbiji: utemeljenje muzejske arheologije. Etnoantropološki problemi 9(3): 575–596.
Cvjetićanin, Tatjana. 2015. Predmeti ili narativi. Arheološke postavke u Srbiji: doba artefakata. Etnoantropološki problemi 10(3): 558–593.
Cvijović, Momo. 2003. Do ut des – darovi i uzdarja. Beograd: Muzej istorije Jugoslavije.
Erdeljan, Jelena. 2017. A note on two unpublished Coptic textiles from Belgrade. Zograf 41: 19–24.
Galaty, Michael L. 2011. Blood of Our Ancestors: Cultural Heritage Management in the Balkans. In Contested Cultural Heritage. Religion, Nationalism, Erasure, and Exclusion in a Global World, ed by Helaine Silverman, 109–124. New York: Springer.
Gavrilović, Ljiljana. 2011. Muzeji i granice moći. Beograd: Biblioteka XX vek.
Gorenc, Marcel. 1979. Egipat. Serija vodiča – Arheološki muzej, Zagreb. Zagreb: Arheološki muzej.
Kawai, Nozomu. 2017. Egyptological Landscape in Japan: Past, Present, and Future. CIPEG Journal 1: 51–59.
Lefebvre, Gustave. 1924. Le tombeau de Petosiris. Description. Le Caire: Institut français d’archéologie orientale.
Mađarić, Vlado. 1965. Učešće Jugoslavije u međunarodnoj akciji za spasavanje spomenika stare Nubije. Zbornik zaštite spomenika kulture 16: 19–27.
Marović, Milan. 1990. Galerija umjetnosti nesvrstanih zemalja „Josip Broz Tito“ Titograd. Informatica museologica 20(3–4): 47–48.
Milosavljević, Monika i Marko Janković. 2011. Uvodna reč: Šta je to Nedelja osmanskog nasleđa? U Nedelja osmanskog nasleđa. Međunarodni skup, 5–6. Beograd: Filozofski fakultet.
Riggs, C. (2010). Ancient Egypt in the Museum: Concepts and Constructions. In A Companion to Ancient Egypt II, ed. Allan Lloyd, 1129–1153. Oxford: Blackwell.
Sollie, Siri Therese. 2012. The Exhibition of the Ottoman Heritage – From the Collective Memory to the Museum Display. Glasnik Etnografskog muzeja 76: 19–41.
Smith, Laurajane. 2006. Uses of Heritage. London: Routledge.
Stevenson, Alice. 2014. Artefacts of excavation: the British collection and distribution of Egyptian finds to museums, 1880–1915. Journal of the History of Collections 26(1): 89–102,
Stevenson, Alice. 2015. Egyptian Archaeology and the Museum. Oxford Handbooks Online DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935413.013.25
Stojanović, Dobrila. 1980. Koptske tkanine. Beograd: Muzej primenjene umetnosti.
Vasiljević, Vera. 2012. Princess Ru and Papyrus. Stereotypes on ancient Egypt in graphic novels. Etnoantropološki problemi 7(3): 764–788.
Vasiljević, Vera. 2013. Stari Egipat u našem kulturnom nasleđu? Etnoantropološki problemi 8(3): 825–844.
Vasiljević, Vera. 2016. Senka Egipta. Beograd: Dosije studio.
Versluys, Miguel John. 2107. Exploring Aegyptiaca and their Material Agency throughout Global History. Aegyptiaca. Journal of the History of Reception of Ancient Egypt 1: 122–144.
Versluys, Miguel John. 2108. “Une géographie intérieure”: The Perpetual Presence of Egypt. Aegyptiaca. Journal of the History of Reception of Ancient Egypt 3: 159–166.
Zotović, Mihailo. 1985. Arheološki i etnički problemi bronzanog i gvozdenog doba Zapadne Srbije. Dissertationes et monographiae, 26. Beograd: Savez arheoloških društava Jugoslavije – Zavičajni muzej Titovo Užice.
How to Cite
Vasiljević, Vera. 2018. “Invisible Heritage: Ancient Egypt and the Museums in Serbia”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 13 (3), 617–630.