THE HOMELAND WAR MUSEUM IN SPLIT
Until 2015, there were several initiatives aimed at establishing an institution to honor fallen Croatian defenders and to permanently preserve the memory of wartime events from the Homeland War in Split and Dalmatia. Ideas such as a memorial room, an exhibit within an existing museum, and a standalone museum were mentioned, but none of these ideas came to fruition.
In 2015, veterans’ associations in the city of Split initiated the establishment of the Homeland War Museum in Split. With this goal, on September 2nd 2015, the City of Split appointed a commission tasked with preparing all necessary documentation for the establishment of the Homeland War Museum. During the 29th session of the Split City Council on September 30th 2015, the appointment of this commission was approved, formally commencing the process of establishing the Homeland War Museum in Split.
Veterans’ associations from the Split area also appointed a commission composed of veterans, tasked with coordinating with the City of Split and relevant authorities to monitor and coordinate the establishment of the museum and work on collecting museum materials. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ivica Bubić (158th Brigade and 6th Home Guard Regiment) was elected as the president of the Commission, with other members including Čedomir Sovulj Kennedy (4th Guards Brigade), Damir Banić (9th Battalion of the Croatian Defense Forces), Neven Katić (Croatian Navy), and Mirko Ramljak (Croatian Homeland War Veterans’ Association). It was agreed that the future museum would cover the territory of the former Split Military District, and all veterans’ associations from that area were invited to participate in the museum’s establishment process. The Split Military District covered the territory from the southern slopes of Velebit to Dubrovnik. All guard brigades and most reserve brigades participated in battles in this area where combat operations occurred continuously from 1991 to 1995. It was also decided that the future museum would be named the Homeland War Museum in Split.
Official collection efforts began on November 26th 2015, when the entire project was presented to the public. At the recommendation of the Veterans’ Commission, curator Matej Gabrilo was engaged to lead the process of collecting and processing materials according to museum standards. Matej Gabrilo graduated in history from the University of Zadar and worked at the Croatian Maritime Museum in Split on expert tasks related to materials from the Homeland War. He is also a doctoral student at the University of Zadar. After obtaining approval from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and fulfilling all necessary conditions, the Museum was founded on October 20th 2017.
The Homeland War Museum in Split is dedicated to gathering, researching, safeguarding, preserving, and showcasing both tangible and intangible assets stemming from the Homeland War.
The primary task of the Museum is the systematic collection, preservation, expert maintenance, organization, conservation, and permanent protection of materials related to the Homeland War. The Museum aims to honor the positive values of the Homeland War and educate the general public. Special emphasis is placed on educating the citizens of Split and its environs, including children, students, young families, and the elderly, about the Homeland War and promoting the truth about it. The Museum's task is to be a scientific center dedicated to researching the history of the Homeland War and warfare in general as unfortunate constants in world history. The Museum's role is to promote peace and tolerance in society.
Furthermore, the Museum's responsibilities include creating and distributing its own publications, including expert catalogs, exhibition catalogs, guides, and scientific works about the Museum’s collection and documentation from the time of the Homeland War. It maintains archives, photo collections, and various documentation from its operational sphere, systematically accumulates, conserves, and processes the book resources essential for the Museum's scholarly endeavors and public interest. Organizing permanent and temporary exhibitions independently and in cooperation with other museums and institutions in the country and abroad, taking care of registration and archival materials produced in the Museum's work, promoting the museum profession in collaboration with educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, universities), other establishments, associations, and interested individuals, all in accordance with the Ethical Code for Museums, are all tasks that the Museum aims to fulfill.
The vision of the Homeland War Museum in Split is to be the central reference point for studying and educating about the history of the Homeland War. Through its activities and exhibitions, the Museum aims to promote the truth about the Homeland War and spread its positive values to the general public. Our vision is to be a modern multimedia museum, oriented towards the future, drawing its source from the victory achieved in the Homeland War. Our vision is to promote tolerance, respect, excellence, and conscientiousness in studying, valuing, protecting, and presenting museum materials. Our vision is to be an outstanding example of management and collaboration. The Museum aims to be a place of meeting, learning, pride, reverence, and patriotism.
The vision of the Homeland War Museum in Split, therefore, is to be the premier cultural institution in Split for studying contemporary Croatian history and the values of the Homeland War on which the sovereign and independent Republic of Croatia is founded. The Museum will be an institution that contributes to sustainable development and the development of modern society. The Museum's vision is to be an excellent example of managing and presenting the truth about the Homeland War and a reference point for interpreting the contemporary history of Split and the Homeland War.