A virtual museum of the history of emigration from Croatia’s Dalmatian region has opened with its launch at the Croatian Maritime Museum in Split.
Virtual Museum of Dalmatian Emigration was the online initiative of Croatian emigrants from South America, who in this way wanted to get to know the homeland of their ancestors better.
At the opening ceremony of the museum, Branka Bezić Filipović’s film about the story of one man’s emigration from the island of Brač titled ‘A lighthouse builder at the end of the world’ was presented.
At the end of the 19th century, Ivan – Huan Ursić Ostoić set off for Chile in search of a better life from the island of Brač and ended up building lighthouses on the black rocks of the Pacific, in the shipwreck zone.
The idea is that the curators of this museum will be the public with material for the museum, such as photos and stories, provided by emigrants as well as material from the Croatian Heritage Foundation in Split.
The Department of Dalmatian Emigration was recently set up at the Split Maritime Museum, providing an inseparable link between emigrants, the sea, and ships. Most of these emigrants were shipbuilders and fishermen.
Up until World War I, 14% of Croatia’s population had emigrated, mostly Dalmatian men. Most headed off to North and South America. Others went to Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa mainly.
Now their stories will be told in the virtual museum. There are plans to open a physical version one day.
Visit the virtual museum here.