The Split branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation has for many years organised programmes to mark Croatian Statehood Day in neighbouring countries. This year’s tour featured the screening of documentary films, book promos, klapa singing and meetings with our fellow Croatians in Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

The Split branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation has for many years organised a programme to mark Croatian Statehood Day in neighbouring countries.
This year’s tour opened in Belgrade in collaboration with the Croatian Community in Belgrade, whose president Stipe Ercegović hails from Krilo Jesenice near Split and the Tin Ujević Library & Reading room.

The programme was staged June 20th at the Šumatovac restaurant in central Belgrade and featured an appearance by Nenad Labor on piano performing Mediterranean melodies. The programme also featured a screening of Goran Borčić’s film Split iza kantuna (Split Around the Corner). After the showing Borčić, an advisor at the City of Split Museum, spoke with the audience. The film focuses on the history of Split from 1860 to 1960 as seen through 350 photographs from the museum fund. The presentation closed with showing of Stipe Ercegović’s documentary film Sumpetar – Jesenice, ljubav kamena i duha (Sumpetar – Jesenice, The Love of Stone and the Spirit) about the Benedictine monastery in Sumpetar and the chartulary from the monastery dated to the year 1080 and preserved at the Cathedral in Split.
The Statehood Day tour continued in Bitola in collaboration with the honorary Croatian consul and Split native Branko Maretić. The occasion was particularly festive as it has been ten years since the first joint celebration of Statehood Day in Bitola, organised by the CHF Split and Branko Maretić. It was wonderful to evoke the memory of the numerous events we have worked together on in the past and the tribulations we overcame in those, now distant, early years. We celebrated this small jubilee June 22nd at the Bitola Institute & Museum with the presentation of Goran Borčić’s book on the Collection of Weapons of the Museum of the City of Split, followed by a screening of Split Around the Corner.
The many local Croatians on hand and representatives of the Consular Corps of Bitola were addressed by the museum’s director Ljiljana Hristova, Croatian honorary consul Branko Maretić, Croatian Ambassador to Macedonia Zlatko Kramarić, Branka Bezić Filipović on behalf of the CHF and the author.
With this event the honorary consulate also celebrated Croatian accession to full European Union membership. The event was graced by a performance by the Tamarin women’s klapa band, the recipient of many Croatian and international awards. They band travelled from Vranjica near Split for the occasion. The Tamarin band sang the Croatian, European and Macedonian anthems in the klapa style. Their concert wrapped up the event.
The tour closed with a presentation at the Maritime Museum in Kotor of the book and DVD on the Collection of Weapons of the Museum of the City of Split. There are many collections of historical weapons in museums in our lands and the theme is common to the region. The event was staged in collaboration with the Kotor-based Croatian Civic Society of Montenegro.
Director Mileva Pejaković Vujošević greeted the gathered on behalf of the Maritime Museum and spoke of the collection of weapons in the museum she leads. Branka Bezić Filipović spoke on behalf of the CHF, followed by the author. The presentation was met with great interest on the part of the gathered audience, in particular by experts in the field, and it was agreed that the Bokelj and Split museums should undertake cooperation. The museum in Split has proven to be a trusted CHF partner in presenting quality programmes.

Text by: Branka Bezić Filipović