Thanks to the collaboration of the Museum of Lika in the town of Gospić and the CHF of Zagreb, the museum’s director Vesna Bunčić on the 10th of February signed an agreement with Darko Ivić, the representative of the Croatian Conservation Institute, on the permanent holding of thirty-three paintings by Croatian emigrant painter Kristijan Kreković.

Thanks to the collaboration of the Museum of Lika in the town of Gospić and the Croatian Heritage Foundation of Zagreb, the museum’s director Vesna Bunčić on the 10th of February signed an agreement with Darko Ivić, the representative of the Croatian Conservation Institute, on the permanent holding of thirty-three paintings (oil on canvas) by Croatian emigrant painter Kristijan Kreković.
It all started four years ago during the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the painter’s passing. His father Roko was a native of the town of Perušić. Ljerka Galic, the head of the CHF department of emigrant heritage organised an exhibition of Kreković’s work in Zagreb and Gospić.
“At the opening of the exhibition in Gospić,” notes Galic, “every other person attending bore the Kreković surname,” adding that the paintings were donated by his wife to the independent Croatia Kristijan had so much hoped for.
It was decided that some of the paintings should be kept in the Lika region, and the local government in the Municipality of Perušić, headed by municipal mayor Ivan Turić, offered their support of the idea, and the paintings will soon be installed as the permanent Kristijan Kreković exhibition in the town hall. As it happens this took place just ahead of the painter’s birthday. Kristijan, namely, was born on the 28th of February 1901 and was exiled from the former Yugoslavia after 1945, resettling in faraway Peru, where he went on to become a celebrated portrait artist. We know today how great his longing for Croatia was – in painting portraits commissioned by the Peruvian government of the leading figures of their history he incorporated the Croatian chequerboard symbol into their clothing.

See the video shot by Lika TV in Gospić

Text by: Marko Čuljat