On Friday, the Homeland War Museum was officially opened in Turanj, a village near Karlovac where the collection of the Homeland War arms and equipment has been preserved as an open-air exhibition for a while.
Now the entire museum, including the exhibition within the building, has been opened to the public by the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
At the museum opening ceremony, she reminded everyone that Turanj was not only one of the many locations where Croatia was defended during the war, but that it was also an important symbol of victory for all of Croatia.
The President reminded everyone that the imagined border of the so-called Greater Serbia was supposed to be Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag, and that because of the shape of Croatia, the biggest danger was around Karlovac.
However, she added that “Croatia wasn’t broken here – rather, Turanj became the symbol of victory for Croatia”. The President also said that it’s important to cultivate the culture of remembrance, and expressed her hope that the Homeland War Museum will become one of the key symbols of the memory of the Homeland war, along with the water tower of Vukovar.
Tomo Medved, Minister of Veteran Affairs, said that the museum is mostly directed towards the younger generations, as a permanent reminder of more recent Croatian history and the strength, determination and bravery of Croatian soldiers. The Homeland War Museum has already become a part of the visit made by eighth-graders to Vukovar, Turanj, Knin and Okučani, which is a part of obligatory history lessons. Medved added that the Museum should also serve a tourist purpose, as it will be in all tourist catalogues and maps of the region.
Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek visited the museum and said that it’s very modern, and that she hopes that it will soon become one of the most visited museums in that part of Croatia. The total investment into the Museum was almost 27 million kuna, and the Ministry of Culture participated with eight million kuna.
The building that houses the museum was named “Hotel California” during the worst days of destruction, and it has been conserved in such a delapidated state, which made it the exhibit in the museum itself. In addition to the indoor exhibition, the open-air collection includes 23 makeshift armored vehicles and several planes used during the war.