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One Hundred Years of the Corfu Declaration

The project marking the 100th anniversary

On Thursday July 20, at 18.00 hours, in the context of an ongoing program Conversations on Yugoslavia – Introduction to the (post)Yugoslav Studies, the Museum of Yugoslavia will organize the event to mark one hundred years of the Corfu Declaration. The program involves historians: Dr. Mile Bjelajac, Dr. Danilo Šarenac and Dr. Zoran Bajin. On this occasion a copy of the original document will be exhibited, as well as the publication of Srpske novine from July 1917, along with photos of the drafters and signatories of the Corfu Declaration.

The Importance of the Corfu Declaration

 The Corfu Declaration was the first joint political act of the Government of the Kingdom of Serbia and the Yugoslav Committee, which agreed to form a joint state after the First World War. It was signed by Ante Trumbić, on behalf of the Yugoslav Committee, and Nikola Pašić, on behalf of the Serbian Government. It was delivered on July 20, 1917 (July 7, according to the old Julian calendar) and published in Srpske novosti, the official daily newspaper of the Kingdom of Serbia. By this act, the signatories agreed to establish, on the basis of self-determination of the people and on democratic principles, a common, unique, free and independent state, which would be a constitutional, democratic and parliamentary monarchy led by the Karađorđević dynasty. Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were taken as one nation and the equality of their names, signs, letters and faith was further recognized, with no mention of other nations and nationalities. The main actors could not agree on the issues of the future arrangement of the state – whether it would be federally or centrally regulated. That is why this issue was left to be resolved after the unification by the Constitutional Assembly by a qualified majority.

One Hundred Years since the Creation of the Yugoslav State

The marking of the adoption of the Corfu Declaration is the first in a series of planned activities of the Museum of Yugoslavia in the project marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Yugoslav state. The central activity will be the thematic exhibition The Creation of Yugoslavia, whose opening is planned for December 1, 2018, on the centenary of the proclamation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. With this exhibition, the Museum of Yugoslavia, in cooperation with numerous partner institutions, will try to show the evolution of the Yugoslav idea, to answer questions about the process of forming the first state of the South Slavs and what challenges it faced in the first few years of existence, how the formation of Yugoslavia was regarded during the past decades, and how it is regarded today.