National Museum is the oldest and the most important Serbian museum. It was founded by a decree of the Minister of Education Jovan Sterija Popovic on May 10, 1844 whose purpose was to collect antiquities in one place and to safeguard them for posterity. In the first decades of its work it was organised as an institution of protection but also as a scientific and research institution that constituted the national identity and was a crucial participant in the development of heritage protection. Two decades after its foundation, the National Museum became a demonstrating exhibition space.
The years between the wars brought big transformations in which the exhibitions, especially international ones that partially decreased, and the diverse research and exceptional publishing activities positioned the Museum as a center of information on good, on beauty, on special values of the national, but also of European, heritage.
The Museum fund has over 400.000 items.