The Magic of the Pirot Carpet
Nikolic family collection

Silosi Belgrade
Authors of the exhibition:: др ум. Леонора Векић и др ум. Златко Цветковић.
Maintenance time: 13. 06 – 16. 09. 2023.

The exhibition produced by the GAIA movement called The Magic of the Pirot Carpets was opened on June 16, 2023 in the unusual space of the Re-Creation Center Silosi Belgrade. It is dedicated to one of the symbols of Serbia’s intangible heritage and includes more than 60 large-format of Pirot carpets from the Nikolic family collection, along with numerous smaller rugs, table cover and pieces of furniture. The authors of the concept, design and setting of the exhibition are professors of the Faculty of Applied Arts, Leonora Vekic, DA and Zlatko Cvetkovic, DA.

            The exhibition The Magic of the Pirot Carpets is complemented by a monograph, which cataloged a hundred carpets from the collection of the Nikolic family by academic painter and art historian Milica Zivadinovic, PhD, a short documentary film directed by Maja Uzelac, the video films Kaleidoskop by Milica Zivadinovic and Ornamentographer by Leonora Vekic and Iva Ciric. As part of the exhibition, the audience was shown the play Cveta Agnine’s Gift Carpet based on the play of the same name by the Momcilo Antic, which was performed in the dialect of southern Serbia by actresses Angelina Lukic and Sara Jovanovic under the direction of Jug Djordjevic. The graphic display of specially designed information panels was designed by Zlatko Cvetkovic. The selection of texts was arranged by Milica Zivadinovic, Jelena Mitic, Anastasija Cetkovic. The exhibition is complemented by specially composed music based on the sounds of the Pirot region and carpet making, by Aleksandar Markovic. The project was accomplished implemented with a donation from the company ESENSA d.o.o. Belgrade.

            The Pirot carpet was already recognized as a phenomenon at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1892 due to the identical face and reverse as well as the specific relationship between the colors and ornaments. At world exhibitions until 1940, it was seen as the national symbol of Serbia. Since 2012, Pirot carpet-making has been included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Serbia under the protection of UNESCO, and on that occasion 96 ornaments and 122 patterns were singled out, each of which has a folk belief in how it affects its owner and the home where it is in.