ZAGREB, 15 June (Hina) – Matica Hrvatska, Croatia’s oldest cultural and publishing institution, celebrated 180 years of its existence at a ceremony at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb on Monday, with the country’s prominent political and cultural figures attending.
Addressing those gathered, the President of Matica Hrvatska, Miro Gavran, said that although Matica had lived in five states, it had always maintained its primary purpose of fostering culture, science, arts and education, as well as love for the homeland.
He said that the new governing board, elected seven months ago, was trying to maintain the existing values, adding that it had adopted a large number of decisions and increased the membership several times over compared to the situation of a year ago.
Gavran highlighted the importance of the Croatian language in all periods of Matica Hrvatska, notably the adoption of the 1967 Declaration on the Name and Status of the Croatian Literary Language. He said that Matica was involved in the preparation of a bill on the Croatian language that would apply to the public use of the mother tongue.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković congratulated Matica Hrvatska on its anniversary, saying that its current leadership was distinguished by great professional diversity.
At a time of tectonic change in international politics and the loss of human rights and other values, it is important to put emphasis on harmony and unity, the prime minister said.