Support from TİKA to “Historical City of Osijek” Exhibition in Croatia

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) organized the “Historical City of Osijek” Exhibition in Eastern Croatia’s largest city Osijek, in cooperation with the Museum of Slavonia and the Ministry of Culture of Croatia.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition, which was met with great enthusiasm by the art lovers in Osijek, was attended by Croatian Ministry of Culture Undersecretary Ivica Poljicak and Republic of Turkey Zagreb Ambassador Mustafa Babür Hızlan. City of Osijek Deputy Governor, Osijek’s Deputy Mayor, academicians, local journalists, educators and students also got together in the opening ceremony. Museum Director Dr. Denis Detling gave the inauguration speech for the exhibition, “We have worked very hard as the museum personnel to showcase this exhibition, which shows the historical progression of the heart of the city of Osijek. To see the culmination of our efforts today is a great pay off that brings us joy. We would like to thank the Ministry of Culture for their support as well as the Republic of Turkey and TİKA for enriching the exhibition with their contributions and for aiding with the printing of the catalog.”

The exhibition features many important works. One of such works is a painting of the Turkish fountain, which was built in the Ottoman era and which stood in the historical city until the 1950s, drawn by the famous artist Gustav Antolkovic in 1923. It is considered to be the most faithful rendition of the structure that was later demolished. TİKA donated this painting to the collection of the Museum of Slavonia, and built a three-dimensional model of the fountain drawing inspiration from other materials in the Museum of Slavonia. Thus, a piece of the shared cultural heritage was added to museum’s collection. TİKA also undertook the printing of the bilingual exhibition catalog.

Curator of the exhibition Dr. Mladen Radic said, “As we were preparing the exhibition, we did not only rely on our personnel but also received help from other cultural institutions and from TİKA. We depicted the historical progression of Osijek’s old town and we also included the portraits of people who live today, trying to show that there is a living and breathing aspect of the city.” Croatian Ministry of Culture Undersecretary Ivica Poljicak emphasized the historical significance of Osijek and its importance for Croatia; and he thanked the Museum of Slavonia and TİKA for their cooperation throughout the project.

Speaking after the undersecretary, TİKA Zagreb Coordinator Haşim Koç expressed that “the high participation to the opening ceremony demonstrates the love of people of Osijek towards culture and arts” and the shared history of more than 150 years is a reason for the affinity between the people and cultures of the two countries, making it easier to implement joint projects in Slavonia.

Ambassador Hızlan spoke before opening the exhibition and discussed the potential of the cooperation between the two countries based on the shared values, “I assumed this position approximately 3 months ago. Osijek is the second city I officially visited outside of Zagreb. The first one was Sisak, which was again due to a TİKA project, and now I am in Osijek for another TİKA project. Both Sisak and Osijek are cities with which we share a common history and a common culture.” As a result of his visits to the Governor and the Mayor, Hızlan stated a mutual agreement on revitalizing the efforts for the Sultan Suleiman Bridge and on becoming more active with cooperation on various issues. He thanked all institutions and organizations for their contributions to the exhibition and opened the exhibition with the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture.

After the inauguration ceremony, the attendees were able to see the exhibition with the curator Dr. Mladen Radic and they were able to get detailed information. The “Historical City of Osijek” Exhibition will be welcoming its visitors until March 2019.