Exhibition showing five millennia of metallurgy in Slovenia
The exhibition is also part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the University of Ljubljana, aiming at acquainting the public with the frequently overlooked role of metallurgy and metalworking in Slovenia.
Museum director Barbara Ravnik said at a presentation that extraction and processing of metals on the territory of present-day Slovenia had a rich history, with roots of this craft reaching back more than five millennia.
The exhibition takes the viewers from the very beginnings to modern times, in which metallurgy and metalworking stand for important activities, contributing a large share of the country's GDP and featuring internationally recognised products, technical innovations and research achievements.
According to Ravnik, it is one of the museum's largest projects, both in terms of the number of exhibits and the invested effort. It was initiated by the materials and metallurgy department of the Ljubljana Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.
Peter Fajfar of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the co-author of the exhibition, said that the objective was to promote metallurgy as one of the most successful industries and study programmes in metallurgy and engineering materials.
The exhibition will show how the pile dwellers in Ljubljana Marshes from the 4th century BC mastered the casting of copper, the situla art from the Iron Age, ironworking, and mercury mining in Idrija. Also on display will be more recent achievements, including in space technology.
The other co-author, Tomaž Lazar of the National Museum, added that the exhibition was accompanied by an extensive bilingual monograph which aimed at presenting a comprehensive synthesis of the knowledge about metallurgy from pre-history to present time.
The exhibition, which will be on display until 3 May 2020, will also be accompanied by presentations of job opportunities in metallurgy and metalworking and workshops presenting ancient methods for extracting iron from the iron ore.