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Slovenia all about Plečnik in 2017, 2018

Ljubljana, 5 January - Slovenia's most celebrated architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957) will be taking the spotlight for the next two years in Ljubljana and elsewhere as his work is honoured both locally and internationally.

The renovated Plečnik House in Korunova Street.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

The Žale cemetery.
Foto: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

National and University Library (NUK).
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
File photo

Plečnik's work will be in the focus of Ljubljana's Galleries and Museums (MGML) as part of preparations for events marking the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2022.

Plečnik made a unique mark on the architecture of the city of Ljubljana, which is also a charming meeting point of antiquity, Baroque and Secession.

But he also left behind several unrealised projects, which will be the focus of an exhibition planned at Ljubljana Castle, said MGML director Blaž Peršin.

Another exhibition, scheduled for the beginning of this year in Plečnik's house in Ljubljana, will showcase unreleased photographs of the architect's pavilion in Croatia's Brijuni made from stone and wood.

Peršin said that the MGML would like to display Plečnik's legacy around Ljubljana as an open museum exhibition enabling visitors to see his work with the help of the latest technology, brochures and tour guides.

Meanwhile, efforts to have some of Plečnik's most famous works in Ljubljana and a church in Prague listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List are continuing.

Slovenia will propose the listing of the St. Francis's Church; the Church of St Francis of Assisi; the Ljubljanica riverside promenade with the market; Vegova Street with the National and University Library; Žale Cemetery; and the St. Michael's Church on the outskirts of Ljubljana.

The Czech Republic, meanwhile, which came up with the initiative, will nominate the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in Prague.

The project is one of the most significant efforts to comprehensively improve, protect, present and develop Plečnik's legacy, the Slovenian Ministry of Culture has told the STA.

Having collaborated on the project to nominate Plečnik's works for the World Heritage List since 2011, Slovenia and the Czech Republic are planning to submit the nomination to the World Heritage Centre for evaluation in 2018.

The nomination project is led by both countries' culture ministries in collaboration with national task forces and culture heritage protection experts.

Plečnik did extensive work in Vienna and Prague, but it is Ljubljana that is home to his most celebrated works.

He redesigned much of central Ljubljana in the first half of the 20th century, including the iconic Triple Bridge, the riverbanks in the centre and the central market.

Other landmarks in the Slovenian capital include the Bežigrad Stadium, the National and University Library, Žale Cemetery and the Križanke open-air theatre, his last major project in the city.

In 2009, his works in Ljubljana, 50 units in total, were declared a cultural monument of national importance.

Slovenia already has three World Heritage Sites: the Škocjan Caves, the prehistoric pile dwellings on the Ljubljana marshes and the mercury mine heritage in Idrija.

© STA, 2017