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New opportunities for preserving and developing cultural heritage
“Give a cent for the restoration of Slovenia’s cultural heritage”
The European Year of Cultural Heritage highlights the fact that our common cultural heritage is both local and European, and employs this dimension in facing some current challenges: on the one hand it sets up new opportunities for preserving and developing cultural heritage, and on the other hand it shows how preservation is essential, since our cultural heritage is an important and unique part of the social and economic potential of Europe that is closely linked to numerous other areas, and as such it represents the foundation of our common development in Europe.
“Through globalisation, our awareness of cultural heritage has become less binding and recognisable, while at the same time the economic crisis has contributed to the fact of there no longer being sufficient money for the renewal of cultural heritage, or rather heritage is too often regarded as a burden, and not as a development potential,” said Damjana Pečnik, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture on the start of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
Cultural heritage is indeed the foundation of our recognisability, and as such is too rarely used as a market niche for the country’s economy. The synthesis of the Slovenia brand, which brings together natural features, cultural heritage and local food and high-quality drinking water, offers us new recognition, new paths and new markets. This has also been recognised by the Slovenian Tourist Board, which declared 2018 and 2019 as years of cultural tourism.
Market opportunity with an innovative twist
The European Year of Cultural Heritage can also signify an exceptional market opportunity, through which on micro levels we can enhance both heritage products and products tied to heritage with added value, and offer them in the marketplace in a new way.
On the invitation of the Ministry of Culture, the company Costella d.o.o. joined the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The company is aware of the social and environmental responsibility it bears, so it wishes to be a proactive and innovative stakeholder in preserving the cultural heritage of the Slovenian nation. In their view, preservation of heritage and its promotion are vital for a bright future and clear identity – both for the country and its citizens. With this reasoning they proposed to the Ministry of Culture a project for producing a special collection of bottles of Costella natural mineral water, enhanced with illustrations of five motifs of the rich Slovenian cultural heritage by the young Slovenian artist Maja Gorjup (potica cake, the kurent character, beehive, hay rack and Kostel Castle) and the sign of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Whenever a bottle from this collection is sold Costella will donate one cent on behalf of the buyer for the restoration of one of five Slovenian cultural monuments (cultural heritage structures). The selection of these monuments was made by the Ministry of Culture, and the recipient of funding from the earmarked funds for preserving and maintaining cultural heritage will be selected by voting on the Facebook pages of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and Costella. The company is also the first natural mineral water entitled to use the national trademark “I feel Slovenia” in its communications and promotional activities.
Visitors to the Facebook pages can give likes for the renovation of the Aljažev Stolp tower, which stands on the highest peak in Slovenia, Triglav, the dugout canoe from the Ljubljansko Barje wetland, the Ferrari Garden in Štanjel, Kostel Castle in the Kolpa river valley and the Vittore Carpaccio painting Virgin Mary and Child on a Throne with Six Saints from 1516, held in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Koper. The item of cultural heritage that receives the most likes will also receive the funds collected in the Costella project.
Let’s preserve cultural heritage. Will you join us?
By purchasing Costella natural mineral water bearing a special sticker with the sign of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the motif of one of five elements of Slovenian cultural heritage from the EYCH 2018 collection, you will be donating EUR 0.01 for the restoration of one of the cultural monuments and contributing something to the mosaic of preserving our cultural heritage.
Aljažev Stolp tower
This cylindrical metal tower with a conical roof, which stands atop Mt Triglav, is not just a somewhat unusual but welcome mountain refuge, but soon after it’s placement grew to become the symbolic refuge of all Slovenians. However, after 122 years, time, exposure to extreme weather and inappropriate treatment by increasing numbers of visitors to the mountains have take their toll. The Alpine Association of Slovenia, the Institute for Protection of Cultural Heritage, the National Museum and others taking care of Aljažev Stolp have thus decided to completely renovate the tower in 2018.
In the flooded reaches of the Ljubljansko Barje area, in marshy sediments and the stream of the River Ljubljanica, around 60 dugouts have been found to date. This ranks the area as having one of the highest number of documented finds of this kind of vessel in Europe. Around 14.4 m long, up to 1.25 m wide and 0.68 m deep, the dugout from the stream of the Ljubljanica at Vrhnika was made out of an approximately 200 year-old oak tree and dates back to the end of the 2nd century BCE. In addition to its large dimensions and capacity, it is outstanding for its technological features.
Ferrari Garden in Štanjel
Owing to its cultural, landscape, artistic, architectural, historical and other extraordinary qualities, along with its special importance for Slovenia, in 1999 the garden at the Villa Ferrari was declared a cultural monument of national importance with properties of the cultural landscape, a monument of designed nature, a technical monument, artistic architectural monument and a historical monument. It is complete with decorative plantations, pergolas, a bowls court, pool, footpaths and viewing points, intended for delight, recreation and the display of the family’s social status. Both the purely practical, utilitarian and the symbolic decorative functions were and are still inextricably interwoven.
The castle stands in the valley of the River Kolpa, on the southern border with Croatia. It was first mentioned in written sources in 1336 as “castrum Grafenwarth”, and it was only after 1449 that it was known as Kostel. In size it is the second biggest castle complex in Slovenia, and the only one that brings together both the castle and the living settlement below it. The castle served as a border fortification in the defence of Carniola and the Celje possessions, and became an important trading post. Later it served as a key defensive point against Turkish incursions. The castle itself is fascinating, since it shows the preserved building history from various construction phases and periods (Renaissance entrance, stone window frames, vaults, loopholes and the like).
Vittore Carpaccio: Virgin Mary and Child on a Throne with Six Saints, Koper
The entire opus of the master Vittore Carpaccio stands at the pinnacle of Slovenian and European Renaissance heritage. His best-known works are painted narratives and legends of the saints, featuring the stories of St Ursula, St George, St Stephen and St Hieronymus, which are located in Venice. In these paintings Carpaccio depicted the life of that time, with a splendour of colour and an emphasis on details.
The painting Virgin Mary and Child on a Throne with Six Saints from 1516 is the first painting by this artist in the area of Istria. It measures approximately 420 x 240 cm, and is painted using the tempera technique. The large altarpiece is kept today in the Koper Regional Museum.
Text by Alenka Štrukelj