The building that along with the National Theater dominates over the Republic Square is the National Museum. This is the headquarters of one of the most valuable collections of French artists in this part of Europe: more than 250 pictures by Matisse, Gauguin, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Rouault etc. Picasso’s works, golden sarcophagus and Egyptian mummy, old Stone Age sculptors of Vinča and more than 300 000 Roman, Greek and Byzantine coins complete the riches of the National Museum. Along with the expositions of objects from all over the world and from the different periods, the National Museum is proud of its collection of Serbian painters from the 18th and 19th centuries, sculptors of Ivan Meštrović and Miroslav’s Gospel – manuscript Gospel Book on parchment written in Cyrillic in the 12th century that is protected by UNESCO.
The building of the future Museum was built in 1903 in the new-Renaissance style for purposes of The Treasury Directorate. After the Second World War this beautiful building hosted the National Museum. The Museum was founded in 1844 and represents one of the oldest and most important cultural institutions of Serbia. Collection and funds that are now preserved in the National Museum were collected with care for two centuries in order to preserve and develop Serbian and International culture. Unfortunately, due to reconstruction of the Museum, rich art exposition is now closed.