The press conference and the official closing of the Summer School of Innovative Interpretation of Industrial Heritage program was held on Friday, September 28th, at the Delta Lab in Rijeka. The Summer school is a part of the “Touristic Valorisation of Representative Monuments of Rijeka’s Industrial Heritage” program, and on this subject, the program was presented by Prof. Snježana Prijić Samaržija, Rector of the University of Rijeka, Mr Ivan Šarar, Head of the Department of Culture and the project leader of “Touristic Valorisation of Representative Monuments of Rijeka’s Industrial Heritage”, Dr. Bert Ludwig, director of European Heritage Volunteers and Marina Batinić, co-founder of Culture Hub Croatia, alongside of Kristina Pandža, Project and Research Coordinator at the University of Rijeka – the education and research component and one of the partners in project implementation.
The University Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić Samaržija stated that it takes courage and motivation to come to a foreign city and to try to interpret its industrial and cultural heritage, and that the whole concept of the summer school is innovative in itself so that the product remaining as its legacy, the proposals of student’s interpretation of Rijeka’s (industrial) heritage is equally innovative as is the way it has come to being.
Mr Ivan Šarar pointed out that sometimes the current social climate and the “tones” of daily political polemics can go far from any congruous interpretations of the heritage that is the subject of this debate. It’s really about two allegoric and symbolically charged represents of the city. These two objects are and continue to remain open platforms for diverse interpretations, so these (student’s) inputs remain equally important in a reality that never ceases to interpret its history.
Dr Bert Ludwig presented the work and activities of European Heritage Volunteers organization with different participatory projects open to the public, such as European Heritage Volunteers Projects, European Heritage Training Projects, World Heritage UNESCO Projects, EHV Partner Projects.
Marina Batinić, co-founder of Culture Hub Croatia reflected on the importance of the experiences accumulated abroad with exchange being one of the most valuable resources of the volunteers which indeed reflects on the local context, but also manages to shape broader, international co-operations and projects. At the end, she concluded that history is valuable in itself – it cannot and doesn’t have to be forgotten but giving chance to the young experts to provide some possible future perspectives and a positive relationship with the heritage is really what is most important.
After a brief discussion on the Project goals and the relevance of heritage interpretation, the student – volunteers from Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Chile, Germany, Russia, Taiwan and China took the stage to present the innovative heritage interpretation proposals, focusing on the “Galeb” ship and the Sugar Refinery administrative building in Rijeka.
During the past two weeks of intense workshops and discussions in Rijeka, the final report „Between Past, Present and Future – Interpreting the Industrial Heritage of Rijeka” with more than thirty proposals was produced as a result and the legacy of the volunteers joint work and can be downloaded here, as well as on the Center for Industrial Heritage and Culture Hub Croatia websites.