Organized by: Archaeological museum in Zagreb
Venue: Archaeological museum in Zagreb, Trg N. Š. Zrinskog 19 , Zagreb
Duration: November 20th, 2014. – February 15th, 2015.
Author of the exhibition: Željko Demo
Author of the display: Mario Beusan
Technical realisation: the AMZ technicians
Scope: 128 objects, 8 drawings, 30 boards with photographs
Type: archaeological, temporary, travelling
Subject: The exhibition project Mediaeval gold and silver in the Archaeological museum in Zagreb intends to present, display and interpret to the general public some selected objects of Croatian cultural and historical heritage kept at mediaeval collections of Croatian archaeological museums. In the centre of this rich, often unusual but nevertheless clearly stratified conundrum of cultural history, will be, gathered in a single place, diverse archaeological objects made of precious metals that, with their interesting character and cultural and historical value, illustrate, speak of and describe different mediaeval periods starting with the time that preceded the arrival of the Croats from their Transcarpathian homeland and ending with their settling of their, and our, new Central European and Eastern Mediterranean regions. In this new homeland, the Croats encountered and accepted many things, which, in a spatial and temporal interaction, created a new, traditionally and culturally enriched complex, which left an inerasable trace on the monuments of history and artisanship that we named, in time, ‘Croatian’. The archaeological heritage, more than any other complex of heritage, illustrates this partly visible, partly obscure, often completely hidden historical and material reality within which the Croatian cultural identity was formed, developed and, in the end, crafted.
In line with these insights, several experts in main Croatian archaeological museums had arranged a collaborative project in Zadar in late 2011. At first, it was supposed to be formed and prepared according to a single exhibition template and presented to the public simultaneously during 2014 in each and every head archaeological museum, i.e., the ones in Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Osijek and Pula. Each museum was supposed to select and present the most important, the most valuable, or simply the most beautiful objects from their respective mediaeval collections – individual finds, grave finds, collective finds or hoards produced from c. 400 to c. 1500 AD. The exhibitions were intended to be uniform and accompanied by catalogues that would be similar in form and scientific approach to the treatment of the material; they should have been integrated into a unified and collective exhibition complex that would, in the end, be available for exhibition and presentation in every larger exhibition space in the Republic of Croatia. Unfortunately, the times and circumstances were not favourable for these ideas, since the prearranged projections and ideas can today be – in the way it was planned – only realised in three head archaeological museums: the Archaeological museum in Zagreb, the Archaeological museum in Split, and the Archaeological museum Zadar. Even so, we should emphasize that, in spite of various difficulties, during 2015, two more head museums, Museum of Slavonija in Osijek and the Museum of Istra in Pula, plan to present similar exhibitions.