Zagreb’s Backo Mini Express Museum Threatened with Closure

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Mladen Miletic writes, Zagreb’s Backo mini express turned little train museum attracted global interest thanks to its “setting” of 150 trains and their compositions per 1,500 rails in a mere 350 square metres of exhibit space, and in addition to Croatian and foreign tourists, the museum was also visited journalistic teams from China, Japan, Korea, Australia, and elsewhere.

During his visit to Zagreb, world-renowned Danish conductor Michael Schønwandt also visited the location in the very heart of Zagreb (Gunduliceva). But the global coronavirus pandemic and the tragic Zagreb earthquakes of 2020 saw the trend of many visits turned very much on its head.

“Over the last five years, we’ve been able to get around one hundred guests a day, and today we’re record these figures on a monthly basis. In five years of existence, we haven’t experienced such a bad summer. There are almost no Croatian guests visiting anymore, and foreign ones have become very rare.

The issue being faced by the Backo mini express train museum is also exacerbated heavily by the ongoing renovation of buildings in the heart of the city following March 2020’s devastating earthquake, meaning that everything has been regularly being covered in dust, there has been construction work, there has been scaffolding,” explained Antun Urbic Backo.

As the number of visitors continues to fall day by day, and Zagreb’s tourist traffic is nowhere near at the level it was before the global coronavirus pandemic emerged, the future of the Backo mini express train museum in the very heart of the Croatian capital is being called into question, with the threat of closure continually hanging over their heads.

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