“GUARD” IN THE MUSEUM? Goran Vesić on the fate of the recently confiscated valuable painting by Paja Jovanović

A PICTURE of Paja Jovanović “Guard”, which was seized by customs officers at the “Nikola Tesla” Airport from a man who tried to bring it into the country without reporting, the City of Belgrade recently tried to buy without success, but the national treasure will still be available to everyone. in the Museum of the City of Belgrade, Deputy Mayor Goran Vesić told “Sputnik”.

MUSEUM GUARD?  Goran Vesić on the fate of the recently confiscated valuable painting by Paja Jovanović

Photo by Tanjug

– There will be a lot of work for the Prosecutor’s Office in this case, in addition to the fact that the picture was entered without reporting to customs, a domestic citizen must not have a bank account abroad. The question is, if he bought it in cash, how did he take the money out of the country – said Vesić.

He reveals that the City had information that “The Watchman” is being offered on the art market, thanks to the City Museum, which monitors auctions all over the world, in order to react and return the national treasure home.

– We were not allowed to speak publicly about the fact that the City of Belgrade is interested in buying this painting, so we would raise its price. That is why I asked a western company that operates in Belgrade to buy a painting and donate it to the Museum of the City of Belgrade. They were ready to pay up to 50,000 euros, they were at the auction, but the painting was sold for more than twice the price, for 110,000 euros – Vesić said.

He adds that he was sorry that the City failed to return the painting to Belgrade, and that the news that Serbian customs had discovered the painting at a buyer who wanted to bring it into the country without registration, made him very happy.

– It is important that the painting is in the country and that everyone who visits the Museum of the City of Belgrade will be able to enjoy the beauty of our national treasure. What our people would say is not who was told, but who was tried – Vesić concluded.

According to the customs law, the goods that are the subject of the misdemeanor are confiscated and remain under customs supervision until the end of the misdemeanor procedure. Anyone who does not report the goods in the prescribed manner upon entry into the country commits an offense and will be fined from one to four times the value of the goods that are the subject of the offense.

Lawyer Nebojsa Perovic tells us that depending on all the facts that will be established during the misdemeanor procedure, the court will make a decision whether the subject of the customs misdemeanor, in this case the picture, will be confiscated:

– State bodies, in accordance with all the evidence they will collect, will make a decision on whether they may initiate criminal proceedings for smuggling goods, for which they are threatened with a sentence of six months to five years in prison and a fine. Goods that are the subject of smuggling are confiscated.

Lawyer Veselin Cerović believes that the state cannot take away the picture from the owner and that it must return it to him when he pays the customs violation.

– We are waiting for his answer why he did not report the picture. He made a big mistake. He bought the painting legally, reported it at the airport in Vienna and took it to Serbia, has a proper invoice and a certificate from the auction house and a certificate of VAT refund, so he has all the legal papers to bring this work of art that is a national good into the country. . It is not clear to anyone why he did not report her, did he not know that he should or was he sloppy and forgot? I don’t think they can accuse him of smuggling, because it is not about illegally procured or banned goods. If they do that, then it is a gross state robbery of a work of art.


In this case, there is a lot of doubt – whether the man who entered the picture is the owner or just a courier, whether he has a report that he may have smuggled pictures before or not, when he went to Vienna, where did he get the money to buy that picture, has income outside Serbia, if not how he took the money from Serbia to Vienna, which also entails a new application, why did he put such an expensive picture among the wardrobe in a suitcase when such works are packed in specially secured boxes with an indication of what his luggage was …?

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