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Monday, November 28, 2022

Chaos At The Ministry Of Culture: Dr Dežman Accuses The Minister Of Lack Of Debate And Recommends That She Further Educates Herself

By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv

“If former Minister of Culture Dr Vasko Simoniti and the previous Government were being scrutinised for not holding a discussion about this, then now is the perfect opportunity to finally make this discussion a reality,” emphasised Dr Jože Dežman, Director of the National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, who also said he knows absolutely nothing about the merger with the Museum of Slovenian Independence – Minister of Culture Dr Asta Crečko apparently did not deem it necessary to inform anyone about her plans, or even let anyone know who is actually responsible for the project of merging the two museums. Is the Minister’s taciturnity becoming part of her signature style?

Yesterday, in a statement about the Museum of Slovenian Independence, Minister of Culture Asta Vrečko said that the museum is not being abolished but is merging with the National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia. The merger is expected to create a new museum, but its name is not yet known. Even the council, of which I am the chairwoman, has never been informed about this,” Alenka Puhar said at a recent press conference. “I would suggest to the Minister to tell us who is responsible for the project of merging the two museums,” commented Dr Jože

Dežman, Director of the National Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia, while Dr Željko Oset, Director of the Museum of Slovenian Independence, was unable to get any answers from the Minister. Dežman pointed out, among other things, that it is highly unusual that the Minister does not even know the name of the new institution yet.

According to the Minister, there are professional reasons that speak in favour of merging the two museums. Namely, she said that the Museum of Slovenian Independence was established as an independent institution despite calls from the professional community that there are already institutions and museums in Slovenia that cover the field of Slovenian independence in the 1990s very well. The Ministry of Culture therefore believes that it would be irrational to have an independent Museum of Slovenian Independence and has thus decided to merge the two aforementioned museums. Dežman expressed interest in learning more about the discussion and the concept of the new museum if the merger is already underway. “If former Minister of Culture Dr Vasko Simoniti and the previous Government were being scrutinised for not holding a discussion about this, then now is the perfect opportunity to finally make this discussion a reality,” he stressed, explaining that he would like whoever takes over the merger of the museums to be informed about whether the Museum of Slovenian Independence will be a separate organisational unit in the new institution, where the museum will get new premises and new exhibition areas for this special chapter of Slovenian history, and what financial resources will be allocated for this. “These are, of course, questions that I believe every responsible planner of the merger has already asked themselves and knows the answers to,” the museum Director added.

Dežman also pointed out that, for all this secrecy, the Minister is now explaining that the division between modern and contemporary history will now be over – the historian believes that whoever advised the Minister to make such a statement should be fired immediately or at least sent back to school. If this is her own idea, she should probably consider furthering her education herself. In order to make sure that the whole thing is not such a big secret and that it does not go down in the annals of Slovenian history, Dežman pointed out that the Minister’s taciturnity is practically becoming part of her signature style – even when she is asked a substantive question, she has, in his belief, severe problems answering it. In his belief, perhaps the merger of the two museums could be a good excuse to improve the culture of communication. However, as has been said many times before in public, one could rightly expect to learn more about the content of the project, not just the intentions. “Because if a politician acts only with intentions and does not know why, if she is obviously already complicating things with the Natural History and Technical Museum, and if will continue ahead at this pace, I am afraid she will be remembered as the Asta who caused chaos or as the chaotic girl in the ministerial position,” Dežman said, recalling the Minister’s attitude towards Dr Dimitrij Rupel and her handling of expert committees. In the end, it is all about what we think about Slovenian independence – is it the greatest achievement of the Slovenian nation or not?

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