The Veda and dr Zdravko Pečar Collection” catalogue, Belgrade, in 1977.
Under the patronage of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade, the Museum was opened to the public in 1977. The initial collection of African art was acquired by dedicated art enthusiast and passionate collector, dr Zdravko Pečar and his family. During the two decades he spent in West Africa, first as a journalist and reporter and later as a diplomat and Yugoslavia’s ambassador to seven African countries, he gained a profound knowledge of African history, culture and art, forging at the same time a close relationship with the peoples of Africa, their customs and ways of life. Great perseverance, as well as personal and financial efforts enabled the Pečar family benefactors to collect the valuable pieces, which today constitute an extraordinary collection of African art. What makes Belgrade’s Museum of African Art unique is the fact that all museum artefacts were exported from Africa with written permissions from respective African governments.
Although dr Pečar bequested much of his exceptional collection to the City of Belgrade, a considerable portion is still privately owned by the Pečar family (however, on loan it is displayed in the Museum). The founding collection of the museum is continually being enhanced through purchases and donations not only of single pieces, but of whole collections as well. Hence, the museum collection currently comprises several thousand authentic tradition-based objects from West, Central and East Africa.