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Museum of Contemporary History celebrates 70th anniversary

Ljubljana, 29 January - The national Museum of Contemporary History is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, having been established as a Museum of National Liberation soon after WWII. To mark the occasion, the museum will put up an exhibition chronicling the milestones in society and its own history.

The Slovenian Museum of Contemporary History.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo

In the beginning, the museum was tasked with collecting material from the Second World War, but its mission has since expanded to document the period after 1914.

The museum launched its first permanent exhibition, on the 1941-1945 National Liberation Movement, in 1955, four years after moving to its current location at Cekin Mansion in Tivoli Park.

In 1960, the exhibition expanded to include material from before and after the war, enabling the museum to hire first curators taking care of the post-war socialist establishment and pre-war workers' movement.

In 1962 the museum was transformed into a Museum of People's Revolution, expanding its exhibitions with the workers' movement and its own history.

Another milestone came in the 1980s, when its activity expanded to cover the entire 20th century, whereupon the museum assumed its present name in 1994.

Two years afterwards, it launched a new permanent exhibition - Slovenians in the 20th Century, which is still on display.

The exhibition features political, economic, military, cultural and other events as well as the way of living in Slovenian lands between the First World War and 1996.

To celebrate its anniversary, the museum will launch in June an exhibition called Museum's (r)Evolution 1948-2018 to present some of its most treasured items which epitomise the national history of the 20th century.

The show will be the museum's contribution to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, and will run until April 2019.

Also this year, it will present stories of refugees in Europe and recount events from the year of protests 1968, both as part of collaboration on European projects.

Some of the photos from its rich collection will be put on show in May to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the JBTZ trial, one of the key events in the mosaic of Slovenian independence.

The museum boasts a collection of more than two million negatives and photos, parts of which are put on display on an annual basis.

The collection is also a result of it getting a proper photo lab as well as a restoration service for paper and metals already in the 1950s.

Another interesting exhibition will open in August, when 70 years since the Yugoslav Communist Party was excluded from the Cominform over severe differences with the Soviet leadership will be marked.

The museum has also two units outside Ljubljana, at Rajhenburg Castle, which served as a Nazi assembly camp, and at the National Storage Facilities in Pivka.

Seated in a 1752 Baroque mansion in the midst of Ljubljana's main park, the museum tries to make some extra money by offering the mansion for weddings.

© STA, 2018