Organizer: Zagreb City Museum
Exhibition concept by: Aleksandra Bugar
Duration: 30 December, 2021 – May 22, 2022
Zagreb is a City and a space and people, and also much more. The City appears, is expanded and built, renovated and new foundations, canals and roads are being laid… and archaeologists find, interpret and communicate. With each new find, knowledge of the City on the hills called Grič and Kaptol, but also in the wider area of the City and its surroundings, is changes and is supplemented. And above them, in every courtyard, paved or asphalt road, in the parks and meadows and further on to the slopes of Medvednica and the Sava valley, indeed on all sides, lie countless more secrets. When they peek out of the ground they become parts of new stories that are slowly, but inexorably, embedded and woven into the fabric and understanding of the City itself. Zagreb before it was established by its founding charter. Zagreb as space, not written about or totally unknown or barely known. Zagreb only as an idea, in thoughts, place being created, born. Like parts of a story, they provide a single mosaic of the past ̶ Zagreb in spe.
Through its ‘Tactile Info Points’ Programme Zagreb City Museum has, for many years, worked to adapt its permanent exhibition for people with disabilities, especially the blind and visually impaired. It is recognised as a space that is open to all social groups, that cooperates with various associations and constantly encourages accessibility for people with disabilities. It was for these reasons that Zagreb City Museum became part of the Come In! International Museum Community in 2020. We proudly display this logo and are continuing to adapt the Museum’s spaces and permanent and temporary exhibitions to the requirements promoted by this community, and our philosophy boils down to five words – the Museum is for everyone!
Therefore the exhibition you see before you has been designed to be accessible for all visitors and adapted for people with disabilities. The preparation of this exhibition considered certain technical adaptation standards: the height of display cases, replicas of objects that blind people can touch, font size, abbreviated legends in braille, enlarged print and legends in sign language.
Archaeology is embedded in the very foundations of Zagreb and thus the very foundations and essence of the Zagreb City Museum’s mission. It has undoubtedly significantly enriched the interpretive potentials with which the city is portrayed and presented in its immense complexity.
All items selected for this exhibition are just that – a selection. From the large quantity of archaeological materials held in Zagreb City Museum’s holdings, and the results of the Museum’s archaeological research performed during the first two decades of the 21st Century and, in the early 1990s, by the our older colleagues, respected researchers, those selected for this occasion were – only six. They were selected for their potential to revive the story of space, time and people in Zagreb’s distant past. They introduce us to a period that spans several thousand years, from prehistory to the Early Middle Ages. We are introduced to these objects from the five sites in which they were found, so in many ways they are like small portraits of the City itself.
The Exhibition “Small Items/ Great Stories” is the first in a series of ‘Zagreb in spe’ Exhibitions, and we are aiming to present various aspects of the lives of people from the past who lived in the area now occupied by Zagreb and Zagreb County through archaeological exhibitions. By understanding the past through learning about different archaeological sites across the city, we try to sensitise the viewing public to the need for more active preservation and affirmation of the cultural heritage present in the area we live in.