There were emotional moments as Slobodan Milosevic loyalists paid their last respects to the former Serbian president. His coffin has been put on view at the Museum of the Revolution in Belgrade, a building dating back to the heyday of Communist Yugoslavia.
It is a place charged with symbolism for the mainly elderly people who queued there, taking them back to another and, for many of them, better era, before the Balkan wars and Milosevic’s demise. For members of his Socialist Party and for ultranationalists, the ex-president remains a patriot who was betrayed by liberals conniving with the Hague tribunal.
Outside the museum, other supporters gathered, some of them holding portraits of Ratko Mladic, the fugitive former general indicted on war crimes charges. Milosevic will be buried in private at the weekend in his home town of Pozarevac.
He will be laid to rest in the grounds of his house, under the lime tree where he first kissed his high school sweetheart, Mira Markovic, who would become his wife and his closest politicalally. Milosevic died of a heart attack in jail in the Hague, during the closing stages of his war crimes trial. The full results of an autopsy are still awaited.