The project of listing, estimating and evaluating war damage to museums and museum holdings during the Homeland War 1991-1995-1997 in Croatia is the result of long-term work that was carried out by professionals from the MDC together with numerous associates.
MDC began to collect information and documentation about everyday damage suffered by museums, museum buildings and holdings.
In the first half of 1996 the Ministry of Culture appointed MDC's professionals to the expert commission for listing and estimating war damage to museum holdings in Croatia (within the Special Central Commission for Listing and Estimating War Damage to Cultural Monuments appointed by the Ministry of Culture, in line with the Act on Determining War Damage, 1991).
The Commission began to systematically list war damage to museum holdings on the basis of existing documentation entered into the database known as the Register of war damage to museums and galleries in Croatia, which was updated daily with information and documentation gathered through field visits to all affected institutions and sites.
The collected data were published at the end of 1997 in the book War Damage to Museums and Galleries in Croatia. An amended electronic issue of the book was published at the end of 1999 on the MDC website with detailed information about 70 damaged and destroyed museums, galleries, collections and sites, 44 of which suffered damage to their holdings.
The project of listing and estimating war damage to museum holdings in Croatia was financed entirely by the Ministry of Culture.
UNESCO's funds for the project War Damage to Museum Holdings in Croatia were used for: evaluating collected data, developing software and web publication; at the end of 2001 dedicated information about damage to museum holdings was presented on the web with photographic documentation of museum objects in individual museums.
A total of 8,225 museum objects were affected, 5,038 of them disappeared or were looted, while 2,374 objects were destroyed and 843 of them suffered damage.
In 2005 the project was finalized with the presentation of information about damage to the holdings of the Vukovar City Museum and its three satellite museums/departments – the Bauer Collection and Gallery of Art, the Lavoslav Ružička Memorial Museum and the Memorial Museum of the Second Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, as well as information about the return of holdings to four museum institutions.
This enabled us to finally determine the war damage to museum holdings in Croatia: a total of 51,652 objects were affected, 46,191 of them disappeared or were looted, 3,178 were destroyed, and 2,283 suffered damage.
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