Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana, Blaž Peršin, Director of the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, Andreja Rihter, Director of the International Foundation – Forum of Slavic Cultures, Jerneja Batič, Head of the Villa Zlatica renovation project, and Irena Žmuc, author of the permanent exhibition Ivan Hribar and the Ljubljana Bourgeoisie, ceremoniously opened Hribar’s renovated Villa Zlatica.
Villa Zlatica was once the home of the mayor whose activity left the most profound mark in Ljubljana’s history. The villa was renovated by the City of Ljubljana and entrusted to the management of the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana. It also accommodates the new headquarters of the International Foundation – Forum of Slavic Cultures. The opening ceremony was attended by Ivan and Marija Hribar’s heirs as well as ambassadors of Slavic countries and the organisations involved in the renovation of the villa.
In his speech, Blaž Peršin, director of the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, pointed out that “The significance of Mayor Hribar, a liberal free-spirit who launched the reconstruction of post-earthquake Ljubljana and left an indelible mark in the genes of our city, is immeasurable. Hribar was a man with exceptional understanding and passion for
development and technological advancement. His statement that ‘The 20th century will be a century of electricity’ was prophetic. With progress as the guiding principle of his term of office he contributed to every aspect of the city’s development. In addition to his considerable material legacy he will also be remembered for his spiritual and cultural greatness. He translated La Fontaine’s fables into Slovenian, if we mention just one of his many contributions. He was also the initiator of the City’s art collection, and his collection of Slovenian impressionists is the basis for the City Museum and National Gallery’s collections.”
Ivan Hribar was a tireless advocate of the United Slovenia (Zedinjena Slovenija) programme and of unification of southern Slaves into a common country. He was the recipient of honorary commendations of the Imperial Russia, the Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Serbs Croats and Slovenes, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of SCS to Czechoslovakia. All this testifies that the Slavic soul was embedded in his being. It is also the reason why today Villa Zlatica is the home of the International Foundation – Forum of Slavic Cultures. “Mutual trust between the local community, a cultural institution and an international institution is not easy to come by. Not only in Slovenia, but also in the international arena. Our coexistence is the beginning of a new chapter, and Ivan Hribar is the bond between us. Like he in the past, the Forum builds bridges and nerves the creativity of Slavic cultures. The temporary exhibition entitled EXCHANGING – CONNECTING – NERVING – PROMOTING – TRAINING: From Hribar to the Forum of Slavic Cultures shows that,” said Andreja Rihter, Director of the Forum of Slavic Cultures.
Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana, stressed that the city is always prepared to lend a hand in something we can all be proud of and show off to the world. The renovated Villa Zlatica is definitely such a feat. “I’m especially happy that it offers both a working environment and a place to be enjoyed. May it long serve its purpose,” the Mayor concluded his speech.
Guided tours of Villa Zlatica will take place from Tuesday through Sunday every full hour between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm from Tuesday, 11 May 2021.