When the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiques was founded back in 1952, it was to sensitize broader public on the importance of preservation of Dubrovnik’s cultural and historical heritage, raising awareness and interest for them, appealing to the pride and appreciation of the public. In the 19th century the antique architectural riches of the city were poorly protected, works of art sold, stolen or vanished; the awareness of their importance for the city but a budding idea. That pro-active thinking was put into action after World War II by the city’s proud son Lukša Beritić (1889-1969), naval engineer, patriot and art enthusiast, co-founder, the first president and the lifelong honorary president of the Society. Through his tireless efforts, backed by his impeccable reputation as explorer, writer, activist (he was the commissioner of the Conservation Institute for Dalmatia for Dubrovnik), and honorary curator, he contributed to public approval and acceptance of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, and was trusted with maintenance and management over the city’s most glorious antiquity: the city walls. The Society also put tremendous effort into preservation of the walls of Ston, a complex of defense walls and forts unique in Europe.
Despite several institutions working on protection of antiquities in the area, the Society (which since 1960. has been legally registered) has always had an important position in these activities, enjoying public trust. Throughout the years it became evident the bright idea of Mr. Beritić was well ahead of its time, as the public became aware of the importance of preservation of cultural riches. His ultimate wish came true: volunteers, experts and institutions working together to raise awareness and protect cultural heritage of the Dubrovnik area. The greatness of his visionary idea is obvious now more than ever.
In the year the Society is celebrating 60 years of activity we would like to thank all our many members, especially experts, distinguished honorary members, benefactors and volunteers who have spared no time, effort and care to help the Society grow and develop our identity and our own heritage.
Structure and membership
Society members are volunteers and membership is open to public. Every individual can become a member, both Croatian nationals and foreign citizens, under condition they agree to the rules and regulations of the Society statute. All activity on behalf of and for the Society is voluntary, and cannot be reimbursed, or rewarded with any kind of public reward.
The structure of the Society is regulated by the Statute, written and passed by the Assembly. The Assembly is the highest body of the Society and all members of the Society are members of the Assembly, too. The Assembly elects the Grand council, the highest organ of the Society and the one that rules of the Society between two Grand council sessions. The Grand Council elects members of the Small council, the collegial executive organ of the Grand council which rules the Society between two sessions of the Grand council, among its members.
The Small council elects the president of the Society among its members. The Assembly also elects the five members of the Supervisory board, who oversee the activities of the Society and its financial matters. The Grand council elects members of the Advisory board from the ranks of its most deserving members and non-members in case of scientists, artists and public figures who could contribute to the Society and its cause. The Advisory board is a collegial advisory organ of the Society and its members are elected for life.