Minister of Culture congratulates the Sinjska alka Museum on the Europa Nostra Award
16 May 2018 – Minister of Culture Sc. D. Nina Obuljen Koržinek congratulated the Sinjska alka Museum on the European Union Cultural Heritage Award / the Europa Nostra Award for 2018.
"The European Union Cultural Heritage Award / the Europa Nostra Award your museum has received in the European Year of Cultural Heritage is an exceptional acknowledgment for both your museum and the Croatian professional as well as overall cultural public.
Therefore, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and my own, I wish to convey to you my sincere congratulations and express pleasure for precisely your Museum having been recognized as a place of excellence in the field of education, vocational training and awareness raising in the interpretation and preservation of our national cultural heritage.
The Sinjska alka Museum represents to the Croatian public an extremely important place in which, in a unique way, with the contribution of the local community and the holders of the Sinjska alka tradition, awareness is raised of the need for cultivating, preserving and presenting cultural heritage to the public through all the specificities of the museum profession.
This valuable international award for cultural heritage, along with the Sinjska alka being inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is yet another acknowledgment to all the holders of the project of construction and establishment of the Sinjska alka Museum and to you, its employees, who ensure the success of the Museum all-year programmes.
We are therefore extremely proud for the Sinjska alka Museum having been awarded in the category of education, vocational training and awareness raising, and once again convey to you our sincere congratulations, "said the Minister.
The European Commission and Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network, have proclaimed the winners of the EU Cultural Heritage Award / the Europa Nostra Award for 2018. 29 winners from 17 countries have been awarded for their exceptional achievements in conservation, research and committed work, as well as in education, vocational training and awareness raising, one of those being the Sinjska alka Museum.
As a special contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the added value of the selected achievements in the area of heritage is particularly emphasized. The winners will be awarded at the award ceremony on 22 June in Berlin, during the first European summit on cultural heritage.
The Sinjska alka Museum is dedicated to an annual chivalry knight tournament held every August in the city of Sinj in Croatia. In 2010, the Sinjska alka has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, while the Museum of Sinjska alka was opened on its 300th anniversary in 2015. With the Museum opened, visitors now have the opportunity to experience the Sinjska alka throughout the year, while those who already know it can get a new insight into the history and significance of the tradition. The Museum was launched and mostly financed by the Viteško alkarsko društvo Sinj / Chivalry alka society Sinj/ and co-financed by funds of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and of local and regional self-government.
During the competition, the alka knights ride horses in full gallop on a racetrack aiming with a spear for an iron ring hanging on a rope. The name of the ring is 'alka' - a word of Turkish origin, which also reflects the intersection of herein present cultures of the East and the West. Every year the competition marks a moment of participation and gathering of the entire community in the preparation of the many aspects contributing to the preservation of the tradition.
The Museum provides detailed information on the competition various elements, rules and history. Through an interactive and multimedia exhibition space, visitors have the opportunity to familiarize with the costumes, equipment and weapons used in the Alka. Visitors can also browse through a rich digital archive, including video records of the competition and processional in previous years. "This project extends a one-day event into a sustainable awareness-raising and education model for the whole year, which is significant for the local community, as exclusive holder of this tradition," said the jury.