Mato Batorović was born in Cernik by Nova Gradiška in 1947, there completing elementary school. He attended Franciscan classics high school in Zagreb. Because of poor sight he abandoned a course in history that he had enrolled in while working. For a short time he worked as a clerk in Jugobanka and at the end of 1969 arrived in Ilok, got a job as a warehouseman in Odescalchi Castle, in which Ilok Municipal Museum is located. Since he had always been interested in history and the cultural heritage, he worked occasionally as a guide to the permanent display. From 1972 on he was employed full time by the Ilok Municipal Museum, which worked within the context of local adult education. For the next ten years he did practically everything in the museum, collecting material in the field, preparing and setting up exhibitions to being acting director. In 1976 he took part in the revival of the Art Colony in Ilok, which was the first such colony in the Yugoslavia of the time, having been held as far back as 1950. When in 1991 Ilok was occupied during the Homeland War, Mato Matorovic got employment in Zagreb’s MDC. As director of Ilok Municipal Museum, with the help of members of the public of Ilok and fellow museum workers, he organised the work of Ilok Municipal Museum in exile. As early as 1992 he launched two important cultural projects: the art colony In signo terrae and the round table Ilok-to Croatian culture. After the war, in 1997, he was one of the first to go back to Ilok and start the museum working again. In collaboration with the Croatian language chair of the Faculty of Philosophy of Zagreb University and the Educational Faculty in Osijek he organised the conference called Julije Benešic Days. He regularly wrote for the Ilocki list and also published articles in Glas Slavonija, Vukovarske novine and specialised museum journals. He also wrote for religious papers and journals. He published six books, was an organiser or producer of a number of projects, putting enormous effort into arranging and putting into order the museum holdings. For his particular services to culture, along with many other recognitions, in 1998 he was decorated with the Order of the Croatian Daystar with Figure of Marko Marulić, and retired in 2006.
NB. Data taken from the questionnaire, material taken from the Personnel Archives of the MDC, and from an interview recorded on April 20, 2007.
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