Sarajevo Canton's Culture Minister, Kenan Alikadic had cut off funding intended for the War Childhood Museum for the year, thus joining efforts with the Federation (FBiH) entity Minister of Culture Zora Dujmic in an attempt to use the current situation and threaten the War Childhood Museum’s existence, the Museum announced Thursday on their Facebook account.
“Kenan Alikadic presented the War Childhood Museum with a total amount of 0 Bosnian marks, despite the fact that Canton Sarajevo’s draft budget, adopted by the Assembly, had allocated 50.000 marks (approx. €25.000) for the War Childhood Museum. In early April 2020, the Museum petitioned the Minister, with the aim of saving jobs and projects, for a swift payment of the funds intended for the Museum, based on the aforementioned draft budget. The Minister’s reply never arrived and now in September the prolonged process of allocating funds ended with the War Childhood Museum left deprived of any funding at all,” the announcement said.
In the meantime, they say that the War Childhood Museum had met all the criteria specified and applied to the public call issued for the intended funds in a timely manner.
“It remains unclear what Minister Alikadic did with the 50.000 marks intended by the draft budget for the Museum. Additionally, equally unclear are the criteria under which certain projects that received funding are perceived as more relevant to the culture in the Canton than the War Childhood Museum,” the announcement said.
According to them, “Minister Zora Dujmovic, whose dealings have previously been declared as unlawful by the FBiH Audit Office, continues to use budget funds arbitrarily, ensuring that the War Childhood Museum, following the statement regarding the Minister’s illegal actions from 2016, is not given the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports for the fifth consecutive year.”
Despite this, the Museum said they carried out important projects, such as the #ChildrenAndGenocide online campaign and the exhibition that reached over 11 million people, opened an office in Kyiv (Ukraine) and succeeded in protecting all jobs and implementing a majority of the planned activities.
“By the end of 2020, the War Childhood Museum will have brought over one million marks (some €500,000) to the country from abroad, while pouring in 200.000 marks (approx €100,000) into state and local budgets on various bases.
The War Childhood Museum added they are now receiving donations via their website: https://warchildhood.org/donate/.
The Museum concluded saying they will not be giving any additional statements regarding this case but will explore all available legal mechanisms with which to examine and address the responsible persons' “lack of transparency and misconduct”.