The Ministry of Culture prepared a consultation on the fate of the statues that were moved from Brdo Park to Pivka. According to the Ministry’s assessment, this happened without professional justification and valid formal procedures.
The goal of the meeting was to open a discussion about the works of sculptors after the Second World War as heritage, which is in poor condition, and the appropriate location of their installation.
State Secretary Matevž Čelik Vidmar described the issue of moving the statues from Brdo pri Kranju park as an important topic with which the ministry wants to establish a dialogue with experts and the general public, and their possible return from Pivka seems just as problematic as their relocation. At the same time, according to him, the question also arises of the significance of protocol buildings such as Brdo Castle, with everything they contain, and how to think about their future.
The discussion showed a desire to find a solution to return the statues to Brda.
Movements harm worn-out works of artActing Director General of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage Spela Spanžel explained that these are works of art that bear witness to the history of the castle, which was declared a monument of national importance. They are important as heritage, which is in a bad state, so this kind of movement is not in its favor.
Most of the sculptures were moved to Pivka. These were created after 1940, and among the authors of the statues that were previously placed in the castle park are names such as Tine Kos, Zdenko Kalin, Boris Kalin and Karel Putrih. Among the sculptures on this site were, for example, the statue of Marshal Josip Broz – Tito by the Croatian sculptor Antun Augustinčić and the statue of a shepherd boy with a whistle by Zdenko Kalin.
Created as decorations for museums and protocol villas, but not as public monumentsAt the consultation, the issue of statues and their placement in the space was illuminated from different angles. Art historian Gojko Zupan explained that there are different interpretations of the sculptures in question. According to his information, the statues from the Brdo Castle collection were mainly placed outdoors, some also inside the building, but they were not created as public monuments, but as decorations for museum halls, protocol villas and gardens or public space.
The idea of a shared residence failedAfter the Second World War, there was an idea to place a collection of statues from the war and post-war period at the Ljubljana Castle, but it did not materialize, and the sculptures “flew” to different ends, including to Villa Bled.
Was the restoration really the main reason for the move?After the relocation of some statues to the Pivka Military History Park, among which were the statues from Villa Bled and Poljč, part of the professional public raised the question of whether the Museum of Recent History of Slovenia was even authorized to do so. At the initiative of the civil public, the relocation was also subject to inspection. Among the reasons mentioned was the need for their restoration, as the consequences of various influences, including environmental ones, were noticed on them.
According to the restoration center of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Martine Kikelj in 2021 he inspected the bronze sculptures that were placed on Brdo, a year later he also inspected the sculptures in Pivka.
So far, they have not received adequate conservation-restoration treatment, and they have been placed in the open all the time. As she estimated, they should be restored gradually and with consideration.
Landscape architect Ana Kučan she felt that the statues, which were last placed along the hedge at the edge of the Brdo property, deserved to be returned, but with a preliminary consideration of how to place them on the site. The architect made a similar assessment Miloš Kosecwho wants the property to be viewed as a publicly accessible space.