“Skopje shouldn’t just remain a report from the front pages, but a duty for all of us as well, a duty for all the people that at some time, by the similarity of some catastrophe may become Skopians.”- this was said by the famous Italian writer Alberto Moravia regarding the catastrophic earthquake that happened in Skopje in 1963. In this period the entire world and the community of the then existing Yugoslavia showed a great solidarity to help the rebuilding of Skopje. Spontaneously the first donations from the artists around the world began to arrive. The International Association of the Artists (AIAP) on its congress held in 1963 in New York made an appeal towards the associations of the artists and all the artists around the world to help the forming of the collection of the works of art that would stimulate the reconstruction of the city. The first action of this sort was organized by the Italian Section of AIAP guided by the gallery-curator Mario Penelope, the artist Enrico Paulucci and the director of the National Gallery of Contemporary Art in Rome – Palma Bucarelli.
Than with the same purpose, in France is formed the Committee for Help for Skopje, led by the famous painter and historian Jean Cassy; amongst others the member of this Committee was secretary of the famous May Saloon – Mis. Jacqueline Salts. In the committee from the English site participated the painters Denis Bowen, Kenneth Koutz-Smith… These first donations together with the ones that followed, that were from the International Association of the Critics (AICA), and of the Museums (ICOM), together with the other organizations and individuals, contributed that in a short period of time in Skopje was formed a significant collection of art-works. This achievement supported with the patronage of the local politicians encouraged the idea for forming the Museum of the Contemporary Art. The City Council accepted the program for the work of the new museum, suggested by the newly formed Initiative Body, and with the official act from the 11th of February 1964 the Museum of contemporary art was formed. As suggested by the polish architect Adolph Ciborovski for the location of the building of this museum was chosen the highest point of the hill Kale. The government of Poland decided this building to be its donation. On the concourse for the project of this building won the group of polish architects that were known under the name of Polish Tigers. The building of the museum begun in April 1969, and ended in November 1970. Now this modern and functional building hosts a collection of works of art from some of the most famous artists in the world.
by Igor Pop Trajkov