About The International Trust for Croatian Monuments

December 2019

Following the sudden death of our trustee Peter Stormonth Darling, in September this year, we are glad to be able to announce that Anna Somers Cocks, OBE,.who founded The Art Newspaper in 1991 and during the 1990s wrote frequently in her paper about the destruction of cultural heritage in Croatia, is now our trustee. Anna took over the chairmanship of "Venice in Peril Fund” when John Julius Norwich retired from that position. Anna still writes important articles for The Art Newspaper, where she remains as Honorary Chairman.

Charity Registration No. 1040187

34 Cadogan Square London SW1X OJL

The International Trust for Croatian Monuments was founded in 1991 under the auspices of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS UK) in response to damage and destruction of monuments of culture in Croatia caused by war. It became an independent charity in 1994. The trustees from the beginning and for many years were Serban Cantacuzino CBE, the Viscount Norwich, Sir Henry Grant de la Poer Beresford-Peirse, Capt. Ante Jerković and Lady Jadranka Beresford-Peirse. Sir Roger de Grey, the then President of the Royal Academy of Arts, was also a trustee, until his untimely death in 1995.

Following the deaths of Capt. Ante Jerković and Sir Henry Grant Beresford-Peirse in 2013, Peter Stormonth Darling, Sir Henry Njerš de la Poer Beresford-Peirse and John de la Poer Beresford-Peirse became trustees. During 2018 the Trust lost both Serban Cantacuzino and John Julius Norwich. Sir Timothy Clifford joined the board of trustees in January 2019.

During these many years it has always been our aim to raise awareness of the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Croatia and to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of those sites that have become threatened either by war, neglect or lack of funding. We have pursued this policy with faith and determination and we believe that help is still needed. Through a series of appeals, articles, lectures, exhibitions and concerts, and with the generous support of many people in this country, from all walks of life, substantial funds have been raised and channelled to Croatia for specific restoration projects.

The Trust would like to acknowledge here the generous support of some of the institutions and individuals who have enabled us to do so now for many years. They are, among others, The Headley Trust, The Prince of Wales's Charities Foundation, The Swan Trust, The Peter Stormonth Darling Foundation, The Margaret Thatcher Foundation, The Rothschild Foundation, the late Sir John Smith, The Sandy and Zorica Glen Charitable Settlement, The Samuel Storey Charitable Trust, The Carpenters' and Mercers' Companies Charitable Trusts, ICOMOS (UK), The Royal Academy, Weymouth College, The City and Guilds of London Art School, Royal Opera House, Mrs Lesley Lewis, Dr and Mrs Frederick Davies, Mr and Mrs Marvin Carsley, Col. And Mrs A.E.F. Cowan, John Nicoll, Frances Lincoln Publishing Company, Nina Campbell, the late Brian Sewell, Mr and Mrs Alan Templeton.

Among the many events that we have organised since 1991, I would like to mention especially the following:

  • A series of exhibitions of photographs recording damage to artistic heritage of Croatia which were held in THE BUILDING CENTRE and in THE COURTAULD INSTITUTE OF ART in 1991, in THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL and in THE PHOTOGRAPHERS' GALLERY in London and in MUSEU DE ARTE ANTIGUA in Lisbon in 1992 and in THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS OF SCOTLAND in Edinburgh in 1993.
  • Two piano recitals and a concert by Maestro IVO POGORELICH, in the Royal Festival Hall in 1992 and in Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels in 1994 in aid of Dubrovnik and in the Royal Festival Hall in 1999 in aid of Vukovar.
  • "THE ART FOR ART AUCTION", held at Bonhams in 1994 in aid of the cathedrals in Sibenik and Osijek.
  • The exhibition "ROYAL ACADEMICIANS IN DUBROVNIK", Royal Academy of Arts in 1996, in aid of Dubrovnik.
  • Lecture by SERBAN CANTACUZINO on damage to architectural heritage of Croatia held in the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2000.
  • Lecture by JOHN JULIUS NORWICH on Alfred Gilbert held at the Royal Geographical Society in 2003.
  • Three exhibitions devoted to the painter VLAHO BUKOVAC, 1855 - 1922, held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in 2005 and in the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate and at Bonhams in London in 2006, curated by Alex Kidson.
  • The exhibition dedicated to the work and life of the Croatian soprano MILKA TRNINA, 1865 - 1943, held at the Royal Opera House in 2006/2007.
  • The publication of the book, CROATIA, ASPECTS OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND CULTURAL HERITAGE, Frances Lincoln, 2009.
  • Exhibition on the life and work of the scientist, polymath and diplomat ROGER JOSEPH BOSCOVICH S.J., F.R.S., 1711 – 1787, held at the Royal Society, November 2011 – February 2012, to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Boscovich and 250th anniversary of his becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society, curated by Dr Ivica Martinović.
  • Lecture by Dr Ljerka Dulibić on the collector and founder of the Gallery of Old Masters in Zagreb, Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, 1815 – 1905, held at the Wallace Collection in 2013.
  • Concert In Memory of Sir Henry Grant de la Poer Beresford-Peirse, the founder of the International Trust for Croatian Monuments, held at the Holy Trinity, Sloane Square in June 2015, with Piers Lane, piano, and Ivana Lazar, soprano, and Dubravka Šeparović Musović, mezzo-soprano, from the Zagreb Opera House.

Steinway and Sons kindly mounted an exhibition in support of our work in Croatia.  Please click here for further information.

The Trust has supported restoration of churches, cathedrals, museums, libraries and works of art. With the help of British specialists we have supported book and paper conservation in Croatia and established a stained glass workshop in Osijek. We have tried to revive the growing of flax in and around Ivanić Grad, east of Zagreb, and, after a flourishing start, due to dwindling support on the side of the authorities there, this is now a very small project indeed, but still worth every effort to sustain it. In particular, we have helped with the education and training of young conservators and restorers at institutions of excellence in Great Britain. We believe that investing in young conservators and restorers is our best investment and for that purpose funds are still needed. We also support Croatian scholars in the advancement of their research by attending courses and conferences in Croatia and wider afield.

The Royal Academicians who went to Dubrovnik in 1995 and painted it, resulting in the exhibition in the Royal Academy, were Norman Ackroyd, Ken Howard, Brendan Neiland, Anthony Eyton and the late Paul Hogarth and Donald Hamilton Fraser. The funds raised were used for the restoration of the allegorical figure of FAITH on the roof of the church of St Blaise in Dubrovnik.

The art historians who took part in the publication of the book, Croatia, Aspects of Art, Architecture and Cultural Heritage, in 2009, were John Julius Norwich, Robin Harris, Stjepan Ćosić, Branko Kirigin, Michael Vickers, J.J. Wilkes, Sheila McNally, Christopher de Hamel, Donal Cooper, David Ekserdjian, Joško Belamarić, Timothy Clifford, Marcus Binney and the late Brian Sewell.

Our grateful thanks go to everybody mentioned in this short “ABOUT US”.

Jadranka Beresford-Peirse