Bosnia's 124-year-old National Museum is closing its doors due to disputes among politicians and dwindling state funding.

The 1995 peace agreement that ended Bosnia's war failed to envisage a ministry of culture, so the country's oldest and most prestigious cultural institution — whose collection includes the 600-year-old Jewish manuscript known as the Sarajevo Haggadah — was left without a guardian.

For years it survived on donations but now those have dried up and employees have not received their salaries for a year. On Thursday, the staff left the building and nailed wooden boards marked "closed" over the entrance door.

Several members of student organizations chained themselves to a pole in the lobby and remained inside, declaring they will stay there until the museum reopens.