National Museum opens Golden Trail exhibition to mark 200th anniversary
Ljubljana, 21 June - To mark its 200th anniversary, the National Museum of Slovenia is launching today the Golden Trail exhibition, which features 172 golden or gold-plated exhibits from its permanent collections as well as items from another 32 Slovenian museums.
As the predecessor of the first Slovenian museum, the Provincial Museum of Carniola, whcih was established in 1821, the National Museum is not only celebrating its second centenary but also the historical roles of all Slovenian museums in preserving the Slovenian national heritage.
Gold is one of the common points of all the displayed collections, said the exhibition's co-author Alenka Miškec. What is more, gold is one of the metals that never loses its shine and has been used in the most prominent and most valuable artefacts, embodying power, esteem, high social status and wealth of the owner.
The exhibition centres around four main topics: Power and Authority, the Church and the Holy, Honour and Glory, and Wealth and Luxury, along with the introductory and concluding parts.
The intro explains why gold is such an extraordinary element, teaches visitors about its properties and traces the history of prospecting for gold in the rivers Mura and Drava, and the concluding part offers notes on gold as a symbolic element.
The introductory part presents the oldest golden artefacts found on the Slovenian territory, among which is the Celtic golden coin dating back to the 2nd century BC, and different procedures used for gold-plating, the museum's conservator-restorer Igor Ravbar said before today's opening.
On display at the Power and Authority pavilion are golden coins, dating from Ancient Greece to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, as well as a pastoral, a rare example of Medieval church insignia.
Gold served as a symbol of the Holy in clerical circles, represented the aesthetic perfection of the house of God and helped create a ceremonial atmosphere, said Blaženka First, co-author of the Church and the Holy pavilion.
The Honour and Glory part features certificates and medals, among which is Olympic athlete Leon Štukelj's gold medal and hurdler Stanko Lorger's gold medal he received at the Balkan Games. The Borštnik Ring, contributed by the Slovenian Theatre Institute, is on display as well.
Concluding the main part of the exhibition is the Wealth and Luxury pavilion with objects that once adorned mansions and higher middle-class apartments alongside valuable jewellery from the Iron Age to modern-day pieces by Slovenian jewelr's Zlatarna Celje and Slovenian designer Lara Bohinc.
The exhibition, which also offers a multi-sensory interactive museum tour available for families with children, will be on display until May 2022.