The Sculpture “Sima Igumanov with Orphans” Returned to the Roof of the Palace in Terazije
The sculpture was reconstructed by sculptor Zoran Kuzmanović, and its restoration to its original place, after being destroyed for ideological reasons in 1950, was assessed by the head of Serbian foreign affairs as an important national duty performed to pay back a man who has significantly indebted Serbia.
“It is a true pleasure to be present as a historical injustice is corrected. The return of the sculpture ‘Sima Igumanov with Orphans’ to the building that bears the name of his foundation, in Terazije in the centre of Belgrade, represents the correction of a great historical injustice”, noted Minister Selaković on this occasion.
According to him, the first ideas to return the sculpture arose during the early nineteen-nineties, when the “battles started” to reconstruct the sculpture and place it in its original location.
The Minister noted the merits of academic sculptor Svetomir Arsić Basara who first opened the issue of restoring the sculpture, and the contribution of the rector of the Prizren seminary, archpriest Milutin, as well as academic sculptor Zoran Kuzmanović, reconstructing the sculpture in a form faithful to the original in his atelier in Smederevo.
“After more than 30 years after the wish to renew it appeared, we are now completing this important task. I would like to express gratitude for the blessings of his holiness (Serbian Patriarch Porfirije), and I am convinced that in the decades to come this will be the crown to our Terazije, one that was missing for nearly 70 years”, noted the Minister.
The Serbian Patriarch Porfirije noted that he is very happy, because the sculpture is being returned to its original place today, and noted that Sima Andrejević Igumanov gave everything he acquired during his lifetime to the benefit of the people.
“His foundation exists to this day. The rent for the premises of the foundation support the Prizren seminary and provide scholarships for 300 students from Kosovo and Metohija”, noted the Patriarch.
The sculpture “Sima Igumanov with Orphans” was placed on the top of Iguman’s Panace in January 1939, where it stood until 1950, when it was smashed.
Sima Andrejević-Igumanov was a Serbian merchant, humanist, and benefactor of the church and education. He remains remembered as one of the first donors in the field of schools and popular education.
He was born in Prizren in 1804, to the family of the renowned and famous Prizren merchant Andreja Đorđević, where he worked as a young man in snuff factories, learning his trade well. We worked in tobacco processing and trade, as a merchant in Constantinople and Odessa, and settled in Kiev.
As he acquired his wealth, he started to engage in charity work, sending rich donations in money and goods to churches and monasteries across Old Serbia, and bequeathing his entire property to the Serbian people.
He helped the education of young Serbs wholeheartedly during his lifetime, and was sincerely interested in the educational situation in Serbia. He transferred his wealth to our country and used it to erect educational institutions for the general benefit.
His foundation - Iguman's Palace, also known as the Foundation of Sima Andrejević Igumanov, stands in the centre of Belgrade. It was built in 1938, based on a design by two architects, the brothers Krstić.