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Ministarstvo kulture GRB ISPISI

Sekretarijat za kulturu grada beogradalogo

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center for science promotion

kolaracIlija Milosavljević Kolarac, a Serbian merchant, bequeathed all his property to his people with the aim of spreading scientific knowledge and culture in his last will and testament in 1878. In Kolarac's lifetime the Literary Fund was established, and until today there have been more than 200 works translated and published in the fields of literature, science and culture. The Fund for Erecting a Serbian University where scholars would transfer their knowledge to the people was also established.

The magnificent edifice of the Kolarac Foundation, where the seat of the People's University is, was finished in 1932. The architect Petar Bajalović, having an extraordinary sense of architectural finesse, tackled the issue of the Concert Hall space. The cutting edge scientific solutions for acoustics of the time were applied so that the Grand Concert Hall has been recognised as the most acoustic hall for music performances in Belgrade as well as one of the most acoustic concert halls in Europe. The Hall was officially opened on 4th February 1932, with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra concert. The People's University started its programme activity on 9th October of the same year.

The first President of the Board of the Kolarac Foundation, Dr. Aleksandar Belić, in his inaugurating speech at the official opening of the Kolarac People's University, clearly emphasized the role of the People's University in the Serbian society, having in mind the mission and vision of the Foundation. He said that there was a need for a People's University not only in this country but also in the world. At that time, peoples' universities filled the gaps existing in formal educational systems. Every year since 1968 the Board of the Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation has been awarding Plaques of the Kolarac Foundation, for exceptional contributions to individuals for the Foundation programme development and the Annual Gallery Award for the best exhibition of the season since 1977. The mission of the Kolarac Foundation consists in presenting and promoting culture, science and art. Its mission is also the development of additional educational concepts, lifelong learning, and new incentives related to cultural and educational values of the institution. The vision of the Kolarac Foundation is that of a modern, well-equipped institution with a concert hall of relevance to the City of Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia. The Kolarac Foundation is instrumental in the life enrichment of the people through cultural and educational contents.

The basic values of the Kolarac Foundation are the tradition of knowledge, its programme quality, the dedication of its staff, and the well deserved trust of its audience.