“Marko Marulić – A European Humanist” NSK exhibition opens at the National Library of Lithuania
On 15 January 2020, the day of the celebration of the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia, the National and University Library in Zagreb put on a special exhibition at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Organised in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the Republic of Lithuania as part of the NSK programme presenting rich and varied Croatian cultural heritage during Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, Marko Marulić – A European Humanist (Markas Maruličius – Europos humanistas) will remain on view until 14 February 2020.
Bringing together many dignitaries from Lithuania’s public life and cultural circles, the exhibition, presenting “the father of Croatian literature”, “the Croatian Dante”, and one of the most important figures in Croatia’s history, was opened by Director General of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania Dr Renaldas Gudauskas, Acting Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Tatijana Petrić, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia in the Republic of Lithuania Krešimir Kedmenec and the Lithuanian Minister of Culture Mindaugas Kvietkauskas.
The exhibition was organised with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Culture, while the exhibition partners are Književni krug Split, a cultural and publishing association of the intellectuals of Split, and Dr Bratislav Lučin, Head of MARVLIANVM, a Split-based research centre focusing on Marko Marulić’s heritage, whose research findings and texts make the backbone of the exhibition.
The exhibition’s 12 display boards, with texts in Lithuanian and English, feature a representative selection of Marulić’s works preserved at the National and University Library in Zagreb, mostly as part of its Manuscripts and Old Books Collection. It offers insight into his most widely read works, which went through many editions and got translated in several languages within several decades after their publication. The exhibition’s dynamic content also gives an overview of the examples of Marulić’s influence on distinguished European figures of his time and presents varied content on Marulić included in world encyclopaedias, lexicons, catalogues, bibliographies and reference works in the field of literature and history, as additional evidence of Marulić’s international significance. Marulić’s oeuvre is also presented in relation to the work of his prominent contemporaries, among which Martynas Mažvydas, the author and editor of the first book printed in the Lithuanian language, particularly stands out. Also, the exhibition features two Marulić’s works preserved in the collections of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania – a Lithuanian translation of Judita (1521), the first Croatian epic and Marulić’s most famous work, and De institutione bene vivendi per exempla sanctorum, published in Cologne, Germany, in 1530.
The Marko Marulić – A European Humanist exhibition spotlights one among numerous connections between Croatia and Lithuania in terms of their respective histories and cultural legacies which provide a strong foundation for cooperation between the two countries in the European Union and beyond. Upon its closing in Vilnius, it will be put on in several other Lithuanian cities as part of the presentation of Croatia’s cultural heritage during its presidency of the Council of the European Union.