Exhibition opening: state-owned museums group exhibition

Under the auspice of ICOM Slovenia state-owned museums celebrate International Museum Day with a group exhibition at the exhibition plateau at Metelkova. The main focus of this year’s exhibition - an event that has now become a tradition, is MUSEUMS AS CULTURAL HUBS: The future of tradition.

The opening will be on Saturday, 18 May 2019, at 11.30 am at museum plateau Metelkova 2.

The role of museums in society is changing. Museums keep reinventing themselves in their quest for becoming more interactive, audience-focused, community-oriented, flexible, adaptable and mobile agencies. They have become cultural hubs functioning as platforms where creativity combines with knowledge and where visitors can also co-create, share and interact.

While preserving their primary missions – collecting, conservation, communication, research, exhibition – museums have transformed their practices to remain closer to the communities they serve. Today they look for innovative ways to tackle contemporary social issues and conflict. By acting locally, museums can also advocate and mitigate global problems, striving to meet the challenges of today’s society proactively. As institutions at the heart of society, museums have the power to establish dialogue between cultures, to build bridges for a peaceful world and to define a sustainable future.

As museums increasingly grow into their roles as cultural hubs, they are also finding new ways to honour their collections, their histories and their legacies, creating traditions that will have new meaning for future generations and relevance for an increasingly diverse contemporary audience at a global level. This transformation, which will have a profound impact on museum theory and practice, also forces us to rethink the value of museums and to question the ethical boundaries that define the very nature of our work as museum professionals. At once a focal point for the community and an integral part of a global network, museums offer a platform for translating local communities’ needs and views into a global context.

We invite you to visit us and become the co-creators of the future of tradition.


International Museum Day 2019

The worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day on and around 18 May 2019.
The theme chosen for 2019 is Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition

The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on and around 18 May each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week.

Participation in International Museum Day is growing among museums all over the world. In 2018, more than 40,000 museums participated in the event in some 158 countries, also in museums and galleries in Slovenia.

Again this year, Slovenian museums and galleries will celebrate the #IMD2019 with free entry and rich musuem programme.

 Programme of Slovene museums and galleries for IMD 2019.

International Conference
Between Memory and Oblivion
Ljubljana, 5th and 7th October 2017
National Museum of Contemporary History, Slovenia

Museums play a key role in the creation and representation of the shared cultural heritage of different communities. They have become social nodes that encourage peaceful relationships between people and the improvement of society, addressing traumatic histories through mediation and multiple points of view. The discovery of divisive histories and the ability to express what cannot be said are duties that museums must carry out as active co-shapers of society. They can help reach peaceful solutions to traumatic events from the past and foster an understanding of history that encompasses many points of view by sharing knowledge.

ICOM Slovenia, the Slovene Museum Association, the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana (Department of Sociology) and the National Museum of Contemporary History are organizing an international conference aimed at answering questions about the understanding of hidden histories and the interpretation of cultural heritage today. We are interested in the ways in which collective memories that do not correspond to the dominant historical narratives interact (or do not interact) with the national narrative and how this is reflected in museum exhibitions. What stories are overlooked in museums? How is undesirable and neglected history structured in individual historical periods? What forms and what dismantles public consensus about which heritage should be preserved and in what cases does it become unwanted or even denounced? How does collective memory work and where does forgetting come into play? What limits the freedom of museums and what are the roles of NGOs? What creates consensus and who dictates the interpretation of the past – the professional sphere or politics?

Tackling with this questions, the conference provides us with a better understanding of the role of museums as tools for creating peaceful communities and an overview of such implementations in different national environments.

Conference programme

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Morning coffee

9:30: Opening remarks

9:50: Keynote speech:

Taja Vovk van Gaal (House of European History, Brussels, Belgium), Contested History: European Approach

10:40: Coffee break

10:50: Panel 1:

−     Marcin Jarząbek (Institute of History, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland) New Museums and Old Problems. Upper Silesian heritage and Polish politics of memory in the 21st century

−     Nataša Jagdhuhn (Europäisches Kolleg Jena, Germany), Affirming historical continuity: The Second World War – through the lens of the most recent wars

       Kaja Širok (National Museum for Contemporary History, Slovenia; Faculty of Arts University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Narrating the 20th century: the reinterpretation and transformation of “difficult” museums  

12:10: Coffee break

12:30: Panel 2:

       Elma Hašimbegović (Museum of history of Bosnia and Herzegovina), What happens when once shared heritage becomes unwanted?

       Tonček Kregar (Museum of Recent History Celje, Slovenia), Between (re)interpretation and revisionism: The case of Museum of Recent History Celje

       Aleksandra Berberih Slana (National Liberation Museum Maribor, Slovenia), From a museum of war to the Museum for Peace

13:50: Lunch break

15:10: Panel 3:

       Višnja Kisić (Center for Museology and Heritology, University of Belgrade, Serbia), Recognizing heritage dissonance and contestations – implications on contemporary museum practices 

       Ina Belcheva (University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, France), The socialist past trough socialist art: the search for a museum representation of the socialist period in Bulgaria

       Blaž Vurnik (Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana / City Museum of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Entering the Privacy of Distant Childhoods. The Research on the Hidden Children in Ljubljana during the Second World War

(till 16:30)


16:30 - 18:00 Visit of the exhibition Temporary Boarder. Life and Longing in zone A (1945-1947) with discussion 


Friday, October 6, 2017

Morning coffee

9:00: Panel 4:

       Alenka Černelič Krošelj  (The Posavje Museum Brežice, Slovenia), Hidden and contested stories of Posavje, a small region in the “big picture”

       Sanda Kočevar (The City Museum of Karlovac, Croatia), The City Museum of Karlovac and its voices of a difficult past

       Neža Čebron Lipovec (University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities, Slovenia)/ Martina Mihić/Maša Sakara Sučević, Collective memories and the therapeutic potential of sharing them: Storytelling in contested urban centers of Istria

10:20: Coffee break

10:40: Panel 5:

       Alenka Pirman (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Contemporary Artwork in the Former Political Prison’s Cells. A Case from Rajhenburg Castle

       Blaž Bajič (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Tentative observations on creative co-production of death masks

       Branko Šuštar (Slovenian School Museum, Slovenia), Museums and Problems with Educational Heritage between Memories and Oblivion

11:50: Closing remarks

12:30: Lunch break

13:30: Visit of the sites of memory of Ljubljana



19:00: Exhibition opening in Slovene Ethnographic Museum:

LGBT: Razstava štirih (The exhibition of four)

Saturday, 7 October 2017

 ICOM Slovenia; Association of  Slovene Museums; Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, Department of Sociology; National Museum of Contemporary History; Milko Kos Historical Institute of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts; Walk of Peace in the Soča Region Foundation 


The character of war heritage is, just like wars are, ambiguous and thus it provokes manifold emotions and interpretations. Is it possible that anything positive and encouraging comes from a total destruction of human bodies and souls, of the landscape and environment? Are we able to find a trace of humanity in the most inhuman conditions of war?


9:30 – 9:45          Welcome addresses

9:45 – 11:00         Bernd von Droste zu Hülshoff: HERITAGE – THE MESSENGER OF PEACE (Keynote speech)

                                 Petra Svoljšak: HERITAGE OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR IN SLOVENIA


11:00 – 11:30        Coffee break


                                 Gojko Zupan, Silvester Gaberšček: ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE ON WAR SITES IN THE SOČA REGION

                                 Ernesta Drole: MILITARY CEMETERIES IN THE SOČA REGION


13:00 – 14:15       Lunch break

14:15 – 15:45       Željko Cimprič, Ivana Leskovec: HUMANITARIANISM AND WARS

                                 Vojteh Cestnik: ANIMALS IN WARS

                                 Tanja Roženbergar: BONDS OF INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE

                                 Ricarda Schmidt: PEACE COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION


15:45 – 16:00   Conclusions

International Museum Day 2019


The worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day on and around 18 May 2019.The theme chosen for 2019 is Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition. The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among...[more]

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