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Bosnia's National Museum closes after 124 years

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 8:25 am

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia's 124-year-old National Museum is closing its doors due to disputes among politicians and dwindling state funding.

The 1995 peace agreement that ended Bosnia's war failed to envisage a ministry of culture, so the country's oldest and most prestigious cultural institution — whose collection includes the 600-year-old Jewish manuscript known as the Sarajevo Haggadah — was left without a guardian.

For years it survived on donations but now those have dried up and employees have not received their salaries for a year. On Thursday, the staff left the building and nailed wooden boards marked "closed" over the entrance door.

Several members of student organizations chained themselves to a pole in the lobby and remained inside, declaring they will stay there until the museum reopens.