The Slovenia Times

Slovenia gets new, military museum


The idea to convert dilapidated former Yugoslav Army barracks on the outskirts of Pivka, south-west, into a museum arose 15 years ago in the local community.

At the time, its proponents could probably not imagine it would so quickly grow into the country's largest museum area.

Last year, it recorded around 51,000 visitors, which makes it one of the most popular Slovenian museums, yet it still gets no state funding.

Making it to the national register does not automatically bring state funds, although it facilitates applying for funds and makes it easier to cooperate with museums at home and abroad.

However, Culture Minister Zoran Poznič promised at Tuesday's ceremony in Pivka that the ministry "will try to find a way to finance the Pivka museum".

Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, meanwhile, praised the museum's role for national military history, saying it "is of utmost importance because it displays Slovenia's military history, with its exhibition on the 1991 Independence War especially interesting."

The Park dedicated its first permanent exhibition to the ten-day Independence War, and boasts a large collection of military artefacts such as the P-913 Zeta submarine, the Gazela TO-001 Velenje helicopter or the German military engine 52-4936.

In 2014/15, it underwent extensive renovation and expansion to add a new pavilion and garages for military vehicles.

Its director Janko Boštjančič said yesterday the museum was often referred to as a success story while it was in fact a story of courage, since, looking back, the chances of success were rather slim.

Robert Smrdelj, the mayor of Pivka, the museum's founder, said the success was a result of good cooperation between the local community, the defence and culture ministries, and the Slovenian Armed Forces.

The courage of the team behind the museum was also highlighted by the newspaper Primorske Novice in Wednesday's commentary, highlighting its ability to draw EU funds.

"The Park did it because it had the municipality and the ministries on its side apart securing EU funds, which it managed to attract with good projects.

"In this sense it is a case of best practice showing how an obstacle to development can be turned into a success story," the paper said.


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