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Oliver Dragojević memorial museum to open in Vela Luka

Oliver Dragojević memorial museum to open in Vela Luka

Vela Luka

The Croatian Minister of Culture and Media, Dr. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the Mayor of Vela Luka, Katarina Gugić, and members of the Working Group have presented the project of the Memorial Museum Collection “Oliver Dragojević”

This collection will serve as a central place of remembrance for Oliver’s musical legacy, as well as a space to explore the time and cultural-historical context in which this unique artist operated.

Since its initiation in 2019, significant progress has been made in the museum’s preparation, architectural design, and construction work, the Ministry of Culture and Media said in a statement.

Alongside Oliver’s rich music career, the collection will offer insights into renowned festivals of the past, discography awards, and the contributions of famous music composers like Zdenko Runjić.

During her address, Minister Obuljen Koržinek emphasized the importance of preserving the memory of Oliver Dragojević as a unique individual and artist. Achieving this goal required extensive collaboration among representatives of the Dragojević family, museum experts, the Ministry of Culture and Media, and musicians who worked with Oliver.

“We witness that over time, Oliver’s presence in Croatian culture remains strong, which is truly exceptional and irreplaceable,” said the Minister. She expressed her satisfaction that the Memorial Museum Collection in Vela Luka, his hometown, will preserve memories of his exceptional and timeless performances for future generations to come.

Late Croatian music great Oliver Dragojević remembered on birthday

Oliver Dragojević (Photo credit: Frka/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Minister reminded the audience that on July 26, 2023, the Croatian Museum Council approved the proposed conceptual museum plan for the Vela Luka Culture Center, dedicated to the Memorial Museum Collection “Oliver Dragojević.” This approval laid the groundwork for designing and creating the exhibits.

Minister Obuljen Koržinek extended her gratitude to Mayor Katarina Gugić, the team diligently working on realizing the Memorial Collection – Dinko Radić, Eli Jurdana, Marko Padovan, Ante Gelo, special advisor for museum activities Hrvoje Manenica, and designer Nikolina Jelavić Mitrović. She also acknowledged the support and cooperation from the Dragojević family.

In addition to numerous musicians and friends of Oliver Dragojević, the presentation was attended by Vice Prime Minister Branko Bačić and Vice President of the Croatian Parliament Sabina Glasovac.

The Memorial Museum Collection “Oliver Dragojević” promises to be a cherished place for both locals and visitors to honor the musical legacy of this extraordinary artist and to learn about the cultural richness of his time. The efforts put into creating this museum highlight the significant impact Oliver Dragojević had on Croatian culture and ensure that his legacy will continue to inspire future generations.

Oliver being buried in Vela Luka

Oliver enjoyed a career spanning four decades and was considered one of the most iconic musical stars in Croatia and in the Croatian diaspora around the world. He was one of the few to perform at Carnegie Hall (New York), Royal Albert Hall (London), Olympia (Paris) and the Sydney Opera House.

His solo career really began in 1974 at the Split Festival, where he won with the song “Ča će mi Copacabana”. A year later, composer Zdenko Runjić and Dragojević, released the song “Galeb i Ja” which became a huge hit and made him a household name.

He followed it up with a number of other huge hits over the years such as “Cesarica”, “Oprosti Mi, Pape”, “Skalinada”, “Zuto Lisce Ljubavi”, “Nadalina”, and”Piva klapa ispod volta”. His iconic songs are still enjoyed decades later.

He passed away in 2018 at the age of 70. 

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