Croatian Prime Minister opens new Alka Museum in Sinj.
On Saturday, prime minister Zoran Milanović attended the opening ceremony of the Museum of Sinjska Alka, as a part of the celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Alka, reports Jutarnji List on August 8, 2015. He said that the Croats from that region have fought for 300 years for their own state and justice. Milanović said that the first Alka he remembers was the one in 1971, which he will never forget. He compared the beautiful and expensive uniforms worn by Alka knights and the clothes of labourers worn by their ancestors, including members of his own family who came to Sinj from Herzegovina before the famous battle in 1715.
“Alka cannot be removed from politics, because it is too symbolic, too full of history. The people have always wanted only one thing – to live in peace, to not go to war, to not carry a gun, but it was not to be. It is up to our generation to ensure that for the next hundred years Croatian people lives from its work. Now we have our own state, and that story in a way started right here exactly 300 years ago”, said Milanović.
He added that people came to that area as soldiers to fight for their families, but for foreign rulers as well. “They fought for the Venetians, for foreign masters, then for the Austrians, and it is only at the end that their descendants here have fought for their own country, for justice. We are proud of what happened here 300 years ago. I do not see it as a fight against Islam or any other religion”, said the prime minister.
The museum was opened by the president of the Alka Knights Society Stipe Jukić, who said that the construction of the museum completed a multi-year project, which in total cost 90 million kuna.
Culture minister Berislav Šipuš said the number of exhibits in the museum is enormous. The minister explained that the museum contains documents dating from the time of the famous battle 300 years ago. “So, from the past to the present and to this celebration, all together it makes a fascinating story and one fascinating new museum”, said Šipuš.
The museum contains costumes, equipment and written records from the history of Sinjska Alka. It is expected to become the centre of cultural events in the Sinj area. The ceremony was also attended by deputy prime minister Branko Grčić, several ministers and the prefect of the Split-Dalmatia County Zlatko Ževrnja.
The complete construction of the Museum of Sinjska Alka cost about 25 million kuna. Half of the costs were financed by the Croatian government, while the remaining part was financed by the County, the city of Sinj and the Alka Knights Society.