49 nominees from 24 countries were announced this week for the European Museum of the Year Award 2016.
Founded in 1948 by a donation of Roman money, furniture, weapons, and paintings given to his city by Dr. Antun Bauer, the museum started in the Coach Post Building in the old baroque centre, but was moved to Castle Eltz in 1966. Up until 1991 the Museum had about 50 thousand exhibits in four separate divisions.
During the Homeland War, Castle Eltz suffered significant damage and the collections which were kept there were also damaged: some of the exhibits were completely destroyed, some have disappeared and cannot be recovered, and some of them were taken to Serbia. After years of effort and diplomatic activity by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia that part of the collection was returned to Vukovar in 2001. In the period from 1991 to 1997 the Vukovar City Museum was operating in the Mimara Museum in Zagreb.
Near the end of 1992 a collection was founded with the name Vukovar Museum in Exile which began the creation of a collection of donations by Croatian, and soon after also European, artists for the City of Vukovar. To this day that collection has gathered over 1400 pieces of modern Croatian and European art. This collection represented the beginning of the cultural restoration of Vukovar and it is displayed at the restored Castle Eltz today, along with other museum collections which are part of the permanent collection of the Museum.
Now that it is renovated, the Castle Eltz complex represents a unique museum and gallery, science, and multimedia centre, which preserves and presents cultural heritage as an element of national identity and the continuity of life in this area.
You can see the list of all nominated museums here.
(Tourist Board Vukovar)