Since its inception in 1946, the operation of the Art Gallery of B&H has been in line with its ‘visual arts museum’ legally defined duties. The current enacting law pertaining to the B&H Museum line of work was implemented during a war year of 1994 by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Since the adoption of the Dayton Peace Agreement up until today, the national governing authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina have not determined their founding rights towards the Art Gallery of B&H as well as six other cultural institutions (National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Museum of Literature and Theatrical Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired Persons and Film Archive of B&H ).
Unresolved legal status of these institutions has resulted in shortages of financial resources consequently hindering their day to day operations. For instance, the Art Gallery’s operational costs are funded solely through grants, via public tenders, such as the Budget of the Federation and the Canton of Sarajevo (via its overseeing Ministry of Culture and Sports) and the budget of the Council of Ministers (via the Ministry of Civil Affairs).
Unfortunately, these funds are unpredictable, irregular and have been declining steadily every year, almost completely obstructing the work of this institution.
While, The Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with six other institutions, has initiated the process to resolve its legal status and its constitutional rights with the appropriate national authorities – fully backed with the support from the OHR office, the Ombudsman for the Human Rights and the media – the final resolution is still pending.