NSK exhibition “Book Art in Croatia” (“L’arte del libro in Croazia”) on view at Biblioteca Europea in Rome until 3 Oct 2022

Objavljeno 21.9.2022.

On 19 September 2022, The European Library in Rome (Biblioteca Europea Roma) hosted the opening of Book Art in Croatia (L’arte del libro in Croazia), an exhibition which the National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) organised in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the Holy See. Prepared with the support of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to mark the 30th anniversary of Croatia’s international recognition, the exhibition presents the greatest achievements in the history of book design in Croatia.

Book Art in Croatia provides a historical overview of techniques and styles employed in the production and decoration of books in Croatia since the middle ages to contemporary times, featuring the most rich array of manuscript and printed books, ranging from medieval evangelaries and missals to modern attractively illustrated publications and print portfolios bringing together visual arts and literature.

The exhibition’s opening programme included addresses by the Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dr Ivanka Stričević, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the Holy See Tea Zupičić, Director of The European Library in Rome Fiorella Virgili and the exhibition’s author Dr Milan Pelc.

The putting on of the ‘Book Art in Croatia’ exhibition at The European Library in Rome is a continuation of a successful, years-long cooperation and the latest step in the strengthening and promotion of centuries-long bond between two treasure troves of culture and art, Italy and Croatia. This cooperation was previously reinforced in 2017, when The European Library in Rome established its Croatian Literature Section, where the exhibition is displayed, of which circumstance I am extremely glad, said NSK Director General Dr Stričević.

‘I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.’, as the great Borges put it in one of his most famous and popular quotes. So this exhibitions takes us to the imaginary spaces of a library shaped on Croatia’s historical territory during a period spanning some 1,500 years. Such a library does not exist as a physical entity. Its resources are scattered over numerous public and private book collections across Croatia and all around the world. However, one day – which owing to digital technologies is probably not that far off – there certainly will be virtual libraries in which all books of a nation will be available. Still, even then we will be able to make good use of exhibitions like this one, navigating us through intricate labyrinths of centuries-old book collections, said the exhibition’s author Dr Milan Pelc.

The exhibition, which was already put on in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Sofia, Bulgaria, will remain on view until 3 October 2022 and will afterwards be displayed in several other cities in Italy.