Yesterday I went to the Ivo Andric Museum located near the Parliment building in downtown Belgrade. He was a true Yugoslav, being born and raised in Bosnia and having homes in Croatia and Serbia. He ended spending the majority of his life in his later years in Belgrade. The Ivo Andric Foundation made a museum out of his apartment. It was a modest apartment, and typical from a man that material things did not mean much. He was a man of principles.
It was interesting to see his small cerca 1976 apartment. The photo above is from his desk. It was also the first time I saw a Nobel Prize medal. He won the 1961 Nobel Prize for literature for his book, Bridge Over the River Drina. I was a chaperone with the grade 11 students from the ISB High School. We stopped at the Hotel Moscow for a cup of coffee before visiting the museum. Andric used to spend a lot of time there and the cafe there was THE place to be in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. All the celebrities, intellectuals, and visiting dignataries made a stop there. The morning gave me a glimpse of how it was back in the time of Tito and Yugoslavia. Sad that they couldn’t keep the federation together – I think everyone would be much better off if they did.
I asked the tour guide if Andric had any living relatives and she said no close ones. There is a group of people that manage the foundation. I wonder what Andric would have thought about Višegrad today. It is the scene of his book and it is much different after the Yugoslav Civil Wars. He probably understood Bosnia better than anyone.