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Slovenian community in Italy marks 70th anniversary of its weekly

San Pietro, 15 October - The Slovenian community in the Italian region of Slavia Friulana will mark on Friday the 70th anniversary of its weekly Matajur, which is now called Novi Matajur. The newspaper of Slovenians living in the province of Udine, Italy, was first issued in 1950, but the celebration was moved to this year because of Covid.

The first issue of Matajur was released in Udine on 3 October 1950 and the paper was issued every two weeks. The Slovenian minority wanted to point to the problems of the Slavia Friulana with a written publication in Slovenian and thus also contribute to preserving the cultural and linguistic community.

The anniversary, which was originally planned last year, will be marked tonight with the opening of an exhibition at the gallery of the Slovenian Culture Centre in San Pietro.

The exhibition presents the history of the Veneto region, and Matajur and its successor Novi Matajur.

It celebrates all those who have worked for the paper, especially three former editors-in-chief Vojmir Tedoldi, Izidor Predan and Jola Namor.

The event is to attract readers and authors from local Slovenian communities who occasionally contribute to the paper.

At the ceremony an interview with Predan's wife will be screened 25 years after his death.

Predan was the paper's editor-in-chief in 1974-1984, during which time it was renamed to Novi Matajur. In 1985, it became a weekly.

Among the guests at the ceremony will be Ksenija Dobrila, the president of the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Union, senator Tatjana Rojc, a member of the Slovenian community, and State Secretary Dejan Valentinčič of the Office for Slovenians Abroad.

The weekly Novi Matajur got a new visual identity last October to mark the 70th anniversary and some new contents, including a section dedicated to events in the Slovenian border region of Posočje.

According to editor-in-chief Miha Obit, the newspaper continues to preserve the awareness of the unity of the Slovenian linguistic and cultural minority in the province of Udine, which nowadays is most affected by young people moving to towns.

The paper, offering a commentary of current social and political developments in Slovenia and Italy, has one special feature. Local news is regularly reported on in one of the three Slovenian distinct dialects spoken in the area.

© STA, 2021