Croatian History Museum to Stage First World War Centenary Exhibition

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ZAGREB, November 8, 2018 – The Zagreb-based Croatian History Museum will mark 100 years of the end of the Great War by staging an exhibition called “1918 – A Turning Point for Croatia”, which will be formally opened at 11 am on 11 November in memory of 11 November 1918 when the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and Germany was signed and when it was agreed that a ceasefire took effect at 11 am on that day.

The exhibition, that will run through 19 May, includes 518 artefacts and exhibits as well as parts from the relevant archive and library holdings. The museum’s director Matea Brstilo Rešetar said on Thursday that, while in the past exhibitions in this museum included solely artefacts from that institution’s holdings, this exhibition would include exhibits and artefacts from other museums and similar institutions.

Brstilo Rešetar told a news conference that the exhibition would focus on the decisions of political elites that had far-reaching effects on the course of Croatia’s history. “The first global conflict known as the ‘Great War’, which ended in 1918, caused huge human and material losses, and led to the collapse of old empires and the creation of new states and new geopolitical and social relations,” according to information about the exhibition which the museum posted on its web site.

“For the historical development of the Croatian people, the year 1918 was undoubtedly a turning point and thus this exhibition primarily presents political and social developments. Towards the end of the year, Croatia terminated all state and legal relations with the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and joined a new, Yugoslav political entity.

“The activity of Croatian political parties and personalities active in the country and abroad focused on solving the national question. In the South Slavic territories of the former Monarchy, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was created in late October. Internationally unrecognized, the State of SHS soon joined a new common state with Serbia and Montenegro due to unfavourable external and internal circumstances. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed in Belgrade on December 1, 1918.

“The Peace Conference held in Paris during 1919 failed to ensure lasting peace,” the museum writes in its comment on the exhibition.

Croatia’s president to attend Paris ceremony marking 100th anniversary of end of World War I

Over 60 heads of state or government, including presidents Donald Trump of the USA, Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia, are expected to take part in the central ceremony marking the end of the First World War in Paris on 11 November, the AFP news agency has recently reported.

On 10 November, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are due to visit the forest near Compiegne in northern France where the armistice between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage, marking the end of hostilities which began in 1914.

Croatian President Grabar-Kitarović is due to attend the Paris ceremony, as announced by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković during his visit to the French capital in early October.

For more on Croatia’s history, click here.


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