Vasilija Jamakosmanovic has been living in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for more than half a century.
Vasilija’s first neighbors are museum exhibits, fossils, and courtyard tombstones. It all began when the orphan from Croatia met Mustafa, love of her life, during a dance.
Mustafa got a job at the Museum, and since then this institution is their home.
“Mustafa has worked with the masters for years, in fact, we moved here in ’65, because we have waited for the water, electricity and sewage to be installed, since nothing has been ready, and we have continued to live here,” said Vasilija Jamakosmanovic.
Photos are today’s reminder of that life. Vasilija recalls with a melancholy. And then the war came. She spent it right here. In the Museum. Mustafa, as she remembed, was trying to save what was in the Museum. To prevent robbery and theft.
“They started to steal the exhibits, and Mustafa tried to prevent it, so he appeared livid later. When I asked what happened to him, he said he fell. My neighbor said I should keep Mustafa quite, or they will kill him,“ the resident of the National Museum said.
Mustafa died in 2003. She still has sons. Damir is in Canada, and Enver takes care about her. She is ill, she says, but still happy and filled with love. Enver’s childhood in the Museum is remembered by only nice things. As she said, there were many children with whom he was playing.
“There was no asphalt here, but tombstones, which were really long time in the boxes, for about fifteen years ago, so we were playing football near it. I loved that sport even in the pavilions. Here we used to fight with the oysters. When the nuts appeared, we did not give them, and they did not give their, but still I have got a lot of friends back then, “ Enver Jamakosmanovic remembers.
Although they have lived here for more than 50 years, they are not the owners of the apartment. Will they stay there or get a new home – they do not know. Until then, they will live in the Museum, be its guardians, even when it seems to you that there is no one there.