Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Availability of Books Helps Integration of Ukrainian Refugees Says Minister

ZAGREB, 19 July 2022 - During the handover of books by Ukrainian authors to the National and University Library (NSK) on Tuesday, Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said that their availability in Croatian libraries can help refugees from Ukraine to integrate more easily into their new environment.

The handover was held as part of the "Ukrainian books on the shelves of the world's libraries" project, launched at the initiative of the wife of the Ukrainian president, Olena Zelensky.

"This is our contribution to efforts to make the Croatian and Ukrainian people closer to each other in these difficult times and our contribution to help the refugees integrate as easily as possible during their stay in Croatia and to help them with the availability of books," Obuljen Koržinek said.

NSK Director-General Ivanka Stričević said that the books, which were donated to them by the Ukrainian Embassy in Croatia, represent a wealth that will be passed on in future times when the war in Ukraine ends.

"We want to help our libraries respond in the best way to the needs of their users, Ukrainian citizens who find themselves in their environment, and to create the foundations for future cooperation," said the director.

As a sign of solidarity and support for Ukraine, NSK launched a series of activities, including free admission to the Library for Ukrainian refugees over the age of 16 and the publication of three special bibliographies and thematic collections "War in Ukraine."

The purchase and distribution of books by Ukrainian authors in Croatian libraries was initiated jointly by the AidHub foundation together with Croatia's Ministry of Culture and Media in order to help publishers who have found themselves in a difficult situation.

"Our goal is to acquire books by Ukrainian publishers who suffered greatly in these war circumstances. We are also working on an initiative for every Croatian publisher to print at least one book in Ukraine in order to at least help save jobs in that country," said Mišo Nejašmić from AidHub.

In addition to the purchase of books for Ukrainian citizens who took refuge in Croatia AidHub is working on the organisation of a summer camp, where 700 children of different ages will stay, most of whom will be high school graduates. They will spend time in the camp learning the Croatian language.

Ukrainian books are already available in more than 200 libraries, said Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Kyrylych.

"The Ukrainian book is aimed at Ukrainians who have the urge to read. The book is the depth of the sea, it is alive if it is read," said the ambassador.

This is not the first such donation in Croatia, as books by Ukrainian authors were donated to public libraries across the country at the end of June.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Minister for Renewing Heritage and Putting it to New Use According to NEB Criteria

ZAGREB, 8 June 2022 - Croatia may not be rich in resources, but it has an extremely rich heritage that needs to be restored and put to use according to New European Bauhaus (NEB) criteria, Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Wednesday, opening of the NEB National Platform Council.

At the meeting, which brought together representatives of numerous ministries, institutions, organisations and associations, the minister said that Croatia faces a demanding transformation of the entire legislative and physical planning and management system, which is something the NEB initiative is one of the most competent to discuss.

"We are faced with postulates to not waste space, but renew and save resources. Renewal and revitalisation of what we have using modern techniques and creative contributions, taking into account modern needs, is how we see the role of NEB, she said, recalling the example of Šibenik, where the high capacity of transforming a city was seen through the wise restoration of cultural heritage and putting it in the function of the present."

The coordinator of the National Platform and director of the Regional Energy Agency of Northwest Croatia, Julije Domac, noted that green integrated planning is a fundamental approach of NEB, which is emerging as a new cohesion factor of the European Union. Among the most important topics that NEB raises are the future of food and sustainable development, sustainable use of cultural heritage, sustainable development of rural mountain areas, and the like.

One of the basic requirements is that investments be made according to the values of NEB, he said and concluded that Croatia strives to create a set of values that would be its contribution to the implementation of NEB in the European Union.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Klovićevi Dvori Gallery Marks 40th Anniversary With "Ukrainian Rhapsody" Exhibition

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - Zagreb's Klovićevi Dvori Gallery on Wednesday marked its 40th anniversary with an exhibition of graphics entitled "Ukrainian Rhapsody" and the screening of a film about the gallery.

The exhibition, initiated by former culture minister Božo Biškupić, was opened by Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek, who said that Klovićevi Dvori was one of the most important world galleries, having hosted more than 1,500 exhibitions.

The exhibition, featuring works by 14 Croatian artists, is a token of solidarity with the suffering of the Ukrainian people, Obuljen Koržinek said.

Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Kyrylych, who attended the event, thanked Croatia and its prime minister for their strong support to Ukraine.

Attending the opening of the exhibition were also Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, government ministers, members of parliament and other prominent public figures.

The exhibition "Ukrainian Rhapsody" lasts until 19 June.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Culture Minister Satisfied With Pace of Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage Buildings

ZAGREB, 30 March 2022 - Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek has expressed her satisfaction with the pace of reconstruction of cultural heritage buildings following a devastating earthquake two years ago.

"The Ministry of Culture and Media has signed contracts for projects worth HRK 3.5 billion. According to yesterday's data, more than 50 projects have been launched and some have been finished. Six or seven out of 150 buildings have been restored, and those are smaller buildings. Over the next month, structural reconstruction will begin for about 50 buildings," Obuljen Koržinek said in an interview with Croatian Radio on Wednesday morning.

She said that some of the projects were risky and would take years to complete, such as Zagreb's Mirogoj Cemetery, Cathedral, Museum of Arts and Crafts, and Mimara Museum.

Speaking on the financial aspect of the reconstruction process, Obuljen Koržinek said: "As far as cultural heritage is concerned, we will spend our entire initial allocation by the initial deadline." 

She said that two weeks ago her ministry had shared the Croatian experience regarding the protection of works of art during the Homeland War with their Ukrainian colleagues, and announced a shipment of aid, including fire extinguishers. She said a project was also being prepared to buy up books from Ukraine and distribute them to public libraries across Croatia.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Most Projects in Zagreb Agreed Through Ministry of Culture and Media, Minister Says

ZAGREB, 23 Feb 2022 - Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Wednesday that Croatia found itself in a situation that isn't regulated by the EU Solidarity Fund (ESF) by experiencing two major earthquakes in relatively the same region in one year.

Speaking on Croatian Radio regarding post-earthquake reconstruction, Obuljen Koržinek said that Croatia was hit by two separate earthquakes in 2020 in the midst of COVID, when intervention was made even more difficult.

She underscored that the European Commission inspected Croatia's intervention plans for Zagreb and for the Banovina region, where more than half the ESF was allocated, and accepted Croatia's arguments and allowed it to absorb the entire allocation.

"The majority of projects for Zagreb that have been agreed were agreed through the Ministry of Culture and Media. We are monitoring what is being done in the field and we will certainly spend the entire allocation", she said.

She added that this however, will only cover a minor share of what is required for reconstruction.

The ESF is earmarked exclusively for public buildings and infrastructure while the reconstruction of houses and blocks of flats will have to be covered from the state budget, she said.

First step in Banovina region were minor repairs to houses

Asked why Zagreb and Banovina aren't the biggest construction sites, she cited numerous reasons. In the case of Zagreb that involves larger, more complex buildings, she said, this involves public procurement procedures so that the financing of such projects is transparent.

She recalled that a decision was made regarding Banovina to first deal with minor repairs, so that as many people in temporary accommodation could return to their homes.

Public procurement procedures have been launched for the construction of houses and that process will now be accelerated, she added.

She also underscored that the timeframe for the reconstruction of houses depends on a lot of factors and owners too have an important role and there are a lot of problems with ownership rights.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

It's Important to Respect Presumption of Innocence, Minister Obuljen Koržinek

ZAGREB, 23 Feb 2022 - Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Wednesday she condemned any suspicion of a dishonourable act, wherever it came from, but that it was important to respect the presumption of innocence, notably regarding Deputy PM Boris Milošević and the allocation of incentives.

The USKOK anti-corruption office is accusing Milošević of abuse of office in the allocation of incentives to businesses alongside five other persons, including Darko Horvat, who was arrested on Saturday and relieved of duty as construction minister.

Speaking on Croatian Radio, Obuljen Koržinek said the matter was under investigation.

"It's important not to create hysteria, not to convict people before proceedings have been carried out because many people in high positions in Croatia have been accused and labelled, which lasted for years, only to be acquitted."

She said it was very important to respect judicial institutions and not to convict people before a verdict was delivered.

Opposition's only agenda is to topple the HDZ without arguments

Asked to comment on some opposition parties' demand for dissolving parliament and an early election, she said "the opposition's only agenda is the delusional and unfounded toppling of the (ruling) HDZ."

"How has it happened that all of a sudden the SDP, We Can! and Bridge agree on everything?" she said, adding that it is their only narrative.

"They should form a party together, act together and pretend they are on different political positions", she said, telling all three to consider their actions in the election they are demanding.

"They are praying to God that there is no election and that in two years they can try to work some more on their image and rating."

Obuljen Koržinek called the opposition's statements on the judiciary as mud-slinging and an unfounded stating of untruths. "A week ago they said the HDZ had its hooks in and controlled the judiciary and now, a week later, all of a sudden the whole judiciary is excellent, independent  and should be protected."

She said such inconsistency and spitting on everything was very bad for democracy in Croatia.

"Don't hit at institutions because tomorrow you will have to build them," she told the opposition, adding that the common goal of those in power and the opposition is to affirm politics as an activity in which one works for the common good.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Culture Ministry Allocates €533k for Visual Arts and €252k for Translations

ZAGREB, 22 Jan 2022 - The Ministry of Culture and Media has granted support for the promotion of visual arts in the total amount of HRK 4.035 million (€533,000).

A total of 338 applications were submitted to the call for financing public needs in culture in 2022 for the scheme of financial support and 214 of them have been selected.

The ministry also approved HRK 1.89 million (€252,000) scheme for literary creative processes, including translations of great works into Croatian. As many as 72 projects will be funded under this scheme.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Monday, 17 January 2022

Obuljen Koržinek Calls on Serbia to Stop Laying Claim to Croatian Cultural Heritage

ZAGREB, 17 Jan 2022 - Croatian Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Sunday that the recent adoption of the Cultural Heritage Act by Serbia, which lays claim to old literature from Dubrovnik, was scandalous, calling on Serbia to refrain from usurping Croatia's territory and cultural heritage.

"We will react through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our embassy has already been contacted in this regard," Obuljen Koržinek said in an interview with public television HTV.

The Cultural Heritage Act, passed by Serbia two weeks ago, says that old literature from Dubrovnik belongs to both Serbian and Croatian cultures.

"This is mythomania, this need to usurp Croatian cultural heritage, notably literature from Dubrovnik. That is unacceptable and professionally unfounded. They included in their law provisions according to which the Dubrovnik literature predating 1867 has some sort of dual affiliation, both Croatian and Serbian, which of course is complete nonsense," Obuljen Koržinek said.

She said she expected Serbia to do away with such legal provisions and to "stop once and for all laying claim to our territory and our cultural heritage."

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

€120m Set Aside in Grants to Help Cultural Sector Cope With COVID-19 Crisis

ZAGREB, 2 Dec 2021 - Addressing an international conference on creative industries, Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Thursday that during the COVID-19 pandemic, over HRK 900 million (€120 million) had been provided for the cultural and creative sectors to help them cope with the corona crisis.

The minister said that the government, in cooperation with associations, had responded promptly and drawn up a set of measures to help the creative industry in coping with the consequences of the COVID1-19 pandemic.

Of the HRK  900 million, HRK 300 million was earmarked for the development of the cultural and creative sectors.

"A portion will go towards the media sector, for setting up a fact-checking system and registers for transparent information on the ownership and financing of media outlets, while HRK 250 million has been set aside for the transformation of and boosting the competitiveness of the cultural and creative industry," Obuljen Koržinek said.

She expressed hope that the grants would help the sector recover from this crisis.

The two-day conference opened today in Zagreb.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Croatian Book Month Kicks Off in City Library in Požega

ZAGREB, 16 Oct, 2021 - Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek formally opened this year's Croatian Book Month in the renovated and updated city library in the town of Požega on Friday.

In 2021, the Croatian Book Month, which takes place across Croatia from 15 October to 15 November, includes 218 participants and over 1,600 programmes. Most of the participants are school libraries and libraries in the local communities as well as museums, publishing companies and associations.

The main programme is the online national quiz to encourage reading, which is being held under the slogan "Six Authors Seek a Reader".

During the ceremony in Požega, Minister Obuljen Koržinek recalled that this year, 100 million kuna (€13.3 million) was allocated for book and reading promotion. The outlays for this purpose are being distributed to all those who participate in the chain of making a book and for reading encouragement.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Page 1 of 3