It’s been just over 3 months since the one and only Oliver Dragojević left us. The iconic singer was remembered especially over the last few days, as family, friends, and local citizens visited his gravesite in his hometown of Vela Luka on Korčula, leaving flowers, candles, and prayers.
Oliver has left us, but his voice will live on – and live on especially in Dalmatia. The singer’s timeless songs are hard to escape on almost all Croatian and many regional radio stations, making it no surprise, therefore, that an initiative has been made in Vela Luka to honor the legendary musician in the way he deserves. Dalmacija Danas writes on November 4, 2018, that Oliver will be honored with a museum in the very heart of Vela Luka! The news was confirmed deputy chief of Vela Luka, Dragiša Barčot.
Oliver Dragojević’s family came up with the idea for a museum
“The initiative to launch a museum came from Oliver’s family. We all know that Oliver was born in Vela Luka and spent his childhood there. He spent all his summers, winter breaks, and all the free time he had in Vela Luka. He also built two houses here. The museum initiative came from members of his family. Without any thought, we accepted that initiative,” said Barčot.
The Oliver Dragojević museum will be located in the old Communal Home in Vela Luka
“Ten years ago, Oliver received became an honorary citizen of Vela Luka, and the president of the Municipal Council gave him the Lifetime Achievement award two years ago. There was, however, an issue with the future museum space, as you can’t put a museum of this magnitude just anywhere. One of the options we had was to buy an old building and make sure it was in the center. The Cultural Center was taken into consideration, but for a number of reasons we have refused it. The municipality opted for the Communal Home for the location of the future museum. This is certainly the most attractive location we have ever considered. By what we discussed, we chose the best option, and most importantly, Oliver’s family agreed with the proposal. They liked most of all the options offered to them. To be honest, everyone was relieved when it became clear that we were all happy with the choice of location,” she added.
The old Communal Home of Vela Luka was built immediately after the Second World War. It was previously a cinema hall, and today, it is an abandoned space – on the ground floor are office spaces.
Are there any deadlines at this time of when the project will begin?
“We are now only in the phase of finding the best solution, in the stage of collecting ideas, but also donors. You know that Oliver died recently, and this is a big project that cannot be realized overnight. All the parties agreed on the project, there is no problem at present, and the Cultural Center has also been included. Those relevant factors that should be included have been included. We will all be fully engaged to make the project work.
It is important to emphasize that the city administration headed by Katarina Gugić is taking the project seriously and knows that we plan to push it to the end. There are options to apply for EU funds, and also to launch certain actions by the circle of people close to Oliver. Serious ideas are not missing, so I do not doubt its success.”
The singer will also be honored with the ‘Days of Oliver Dragojević’ event in the summer
Oliver has long been a trademark of Croatian music, but the future museum will probably contribute to the additional branding of Vela Luka?
“Along with the museum dedicated to Oliver, we also plan to launch the ‘Oliver Days’ that would be exclusively related to enriching the cultural offer of Vela Luka. We want our Oliver to be honored in every respect, and during the summer we will dedicate one week exclusively to Oliver.
Next week, we will have a meeting with Vinko Barčot and all our associates to plan and determine the exact projection of activities; we want to define how the Days of Oliver Dragojević should look.
There is no doubt – there is a lot of work in front of us, beginning with organizing the Sv. Roka cemetery because a lot of people are coming to visit the grave. We will try not to neglect anything, and every good suggestion we receive is welcome. We are thinking of interesting ideas like a fountain in various colors or a life-size statue of Oliver,” Dragiša Barčot revealed.
No doubt, Vela Luka will honor Oliver in the best possible way.