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Exhibition on Ljubljana industry on show at City Museum

Ljubljana, 27 October - An exhibition on industry in Ljubljana that also topicalizes the ever changing relations between labour and capital will be launched at the Ljubljana City Museum on Thursday evening. It traces the evolution of the relationship from the industrial revolution to the present.

City Museum Ljubljana.
Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA

The exhibition depicts how Ljubljana dealt with new industries as they arrived, according to the museum's director Blaž Peršin, who said it offered the experience of "travel through time and space"

The show starts off with the sugar refinery on the banks of the Ljubljanica, the first modern industrial facility in the city, which also had the first steam engine up and running in 1835.

It goes on to depict capitalists of the time, businessmen whose vision made Ljubljana into an industrial hub. At the same time, the exhibits tell the story of the life of the proletariat.

The rise of industry in the late 19th and early 20th century takes a sharp turn after WWII, when factories were nationalised and many capitalists chased out of the country.

The end of the war marked the beginning of the ascent of large socialist enterprises, which were in charge of organising the lives of their workers, providing everything from housing and education to recreation and entertainment.

The next break came in the 1990s, when Slovenia shed socialism and enterprises were privatised, with many erstwhile behemoths collapsing, which led to mass unemployment.

The story is told through artefacts, many of them everyday items that the museum thinks will make people nostalgic.

These range from products made by the once famous companies that defined to ambience of Slovenian households, to trade fair posters and things as quotidian as receipts.

The physical objects are coupled with audiovisual materials such as shots of Ljubljana factories and television ads.

The materials come from several museums, TV and film archives, and from private collectors.

Guided tours will be available in English every Sunday in December, April and May at 4:30 PM.

© STA, 2016