Sisak, September 14, 2015 at 3 p.m.

Hotel Panonija (I. Kukuljevića Sakcinskog 21)


Croatia has a large number of sculpture parks and outdoor sculpture collections: Dubrova Sculpture Park in Istria, Forma Prima in Krapina (Zagorje), the Alley of Sculptures on the Sava Embankment (Zagreb), the Gorski Kotar Sculpture Workshop Collection, Lokve. In the framework of the international interdisciplinary conference SPark: Conservation of Sculpture Parks a roundtable will be held on the topic of sculpture parks as a resource from which a local community can have manifold benefits, from the quality use of spare time to economic development through cultural tourism. We shall hear about the initiative for the preservation of the Jakovlje Sculpture Park near Zagreb, discuss what the artists find important in the presentation of their sculptures outdoors, find out how sculpture parks can be made more accessible to disabled persons, learn about cultural heritage management and how to integrate sculpture parks into thematic cultural routes.


The Jakovlje Sculpture Park, about 30 kilometres from Zagreb, is greatly neglected. The Park has about 60 sculptures made by contemporary sculptors, from Croatia and elsewhere, created in the framework of the sculpture colonies that were held there between 1993 and 2009. Dr Sonja Jurković, for many years a professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb, will present an outline plan for the preservation and presentation of the Park. The project was initiated by the Association of Artists of the Applied Arts of Croatia and the Croatian Association of Artists – the owners of the palace and the garden with sculptures. The voluntary work of some of the members of these societies has been aimed at drawing attention to the neglect of this valuable cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia provided part of the money for the restoration of the palace, while funding still needs to be found to restore and enhance the gardens with the sculpture park.

One of the sculptures in Jakovlje Sculpture Park is Ante Rašić’s Oval Rain of 2009. Rašić also took part in the Fine Artists Colony at Sisak Steelworks; in 1984 he produced the sculpture The Orator. In an interview that the conservators carried out with him in 2012, Rašić expressed his dissatisfaction with the way The Orator was placed, as well as with the installation of some other sculptures in Sisak Sculpture Park. This prominent sculptor, award-winning designer and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb will reveal to us what is important to him in the presentation of his outdoor sculptures and what, in his opinion, constitutes a proper relation between sculpture and the outdoors.

Landscape architect Ivanka Milnarić, MSc, was a member of the team of experts that elaborated the proposal for restoration and presentation of the Jakovlje Sculpture Park. At the roundtable, however, she will present another project: the Multisensory Park at the Zagreb bathing area at Jarun. In this park, which is adapted for the blind and the visually impaired, there are several educational sculptures that visitors can touch and use. All of the elements of the park, even the plants, are labelled in Braille. We shall talk with Ivanka Mlinarić about how the Multisensory Park was designed, and how contents in public space such as sculptures can be made easier of access to persons with disabilities.

Can the Sculpture Park in Sisak be turned into a cultural tourism product? How is such an artistic collection to be presented and interpreted? What other contents (services) might be provided as accompaniments to the Park? We shall talk about the basic elements of managing cultural properties, from the creation of a product, its presentation and interpretation, marketing and financing and the management of human resources with Dr Daniela Angelina Jelinčić, expert in cultural tourism, cultural management and the economy of culture.

Dr Renata Tomljenović of the Institute of Tourism in Zagreb will explain to us how to make outdoor sculpture collections interesting to the local and the international public, how they can be networked and promoted, and the part that Sisak Sculpture Park might have to play in this story. We shall endeavour to find an answer to the question of who should have the overall responsibility for the project of integrating sculpture parks into thematic cultural routes.

The roundtable will be moderated by Sagita Mirjam Sunara (Arts Academy in Split, Conservation-Restoration Department), leader of the conservation-restoration workshops in Sisak Sculpture Park.


The roundtable will be open to the public, reflecting the ambition to encourage participation on the part of people who live in the city of Sisak and, particularly, local-level decision makers. The organiser will provide consecutive translation of the addresses of the panellists from Croatian into English, the official language of the conference.

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