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The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina finds it necessary to publicly inform all legal subjects, public institutions and general public that as the owner and, consequently, copyright holder, of the jewellery and coins from the Museum’s collections, on 1 April 2009 signed the business contract with the Goldsmith Workshop “Sofić” from Sarajevo on realization of the joint project on production of souvenirs – replicas of the objects which are part of the BH cultural heritage.
With the above mentioned contract the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the copyright holder of the objects (coins of king Tvrtko II, coins of king Stjepan Tomašević, ring from the site Arnautovići, earring from the site Mahovljani, double pendants from the site Gomjenica, two earrings from the site Višići, necklace from the site Višići, silver fibula from the hoard - the site Štrpci, silver earrings from the site Gorica, golden ring with semiprecious stone representing scarab from the site Ošanići, bronze dagger from the site Veliki Mošunj, coin of king Tomaš, fibula from the Jezerine site) conceded the rights to the Goldsmith Workshop “Sofić” for production of replicas and putting them on market for the purposes of gaining a financial profit and promotion of tangible cultural heritage kept in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to that contract each object – replica should have had a sign of authenticity: “Authenticity confirmed by the National Museum of BH”.
The contract expired on 2 April 2016, when the Museum’s management decided not to extend it, on which decision the Goldsmith Workshop “Sofić” was informed. The decision was a result of a whole series of reasons, among which numerous complains of our visitors, associates and partners stand out, related to instability and bad quality of the replicas, diverse and arbitrarily defined prices, frequent cases of selling without billing etc. As the replicas in question were sold under the slogan “help the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, especially problematic fact for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for the new Museum management was that 75% of the price was retained by the GW “Sofić”, while the rest should have been allocated to the Museum.
Having all this in mind, the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not want to go on with the old contract, unfavourable for the Museum, so a new contract was offered to representatives of the GW “Sofić”, which included mechanisms that would control the number of produced and sold replicas, but the mentioned representatives refused to sign it.
According to information the National Museum of BH has, and in spite of the absence of a valid contract, GW “Sofić” has continued to sell, and probably to produce, replicas, without allocating any money to the Museum.
As selling of the replicas has continued under the slogan “help the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, and as the Museum has no control over it, does not have any profit, it is our duty to warn the public of this problem and incorrectness.
It is our opinion that Goldsmith Workshop “Sofić” in this way gains illegal profit with no financial obligation toward the legal owner of the objects, the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so we have informed the authorities in charge about everything mentioned.
We regret that with signing the contract in 2009 the Museum made such an unfavourable business agreement, but we regret even more for bringing in misapprehension all those who over the past two years showed their support to the National Museum of BH through buying the replicas of the jewellery, because with the spent money they in fact did not help the Museum but private persons, who used “support to the National Museum of BH” and “promotion of the BH cultural heritage” as a disguise for their personal enrichment.
In the meantime, while the authorities in charge conduct legal and inspection activities, we call you to refrain from buying replicas of the jewellery and coins from the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, in our opinion, Goldsmith Workshop “Sofić” illegally puts on market.
Dr. Mirsad Sijarić
Acting director of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina