The local community museum dedicated to the batana, the little traditional boat of the fishermen of Rovinj, is a milestone not only in the work of Muses but also for museological activity in Croatia. For us it was the first project, for Istria and Croatia it was also the first ecomuseum, and for the european maritime heritage a roadmap, which over the years has been confirmed by many awards and acknowledgments. We managed the project from the beginning until 2012. Although a lot of time has passed since then, the Batana Ecomuseum will always have a special place for us.

The Batana Ecomuseum is the first ecomuseum not only in Istria, but also the first in Croatia which has completely come to life within its local community. In a special way of placing the management of heritage in the hands of the local community, this ecomuseum is dedicated to the same-named little fishing boat and the local community who has recognised it as the symbol of its heritage.

The batana is the most common traditional vessel in Rovinj and it reflects the continuity of the local tangible and intangible maritime and fishing heritage, as well as the continuity of the everyday life of the local population. By nurturing and preserving the indigenous maritime heritage of Rovinj, the ecomuseum with its programmes participates in the development of the authentic cultural offer for all the visitors to the town Rovinj.

In professionally managing the Batana Ecomuseum, we came up with an ecomuseum strategy of management and constructed its basic components and areas of activity.

The House of Batana / Kuća o batani / Casa della batana

An interpretation and documentation centre was opened to the public in 2004. It is the starting point in which the batana is a symbol around which the energies of identity meet and are directed to many sections of the life of the local community. In this sense the batana is the traditional vessel that fed Rovinj in the past. But with interpretation and careful expert guidance it became a metaphor of the revival of the maritime heritage of the town in which the fates of the Italian and Croatian ethnic groups met and embraced one another.

Spacio Matika

Rovinj’s version of a tavern, an authentic space of the living experience of the culinary, linguistic and musical intangible heritage of Rovinj, opened to the public in 2006.

Mali Škver

This is a place for the tending, preserving and transmission of the intangible heritage of the construction of the batana, added to the list of the Republic of Croatia’s intangible cultural heritage. It started its activities in 2005.

The Rovinj regatta of traditional barques and little boats with lug and lateen sails

This annual event celebrates and preserves the knowledge and skills of the traditional way of sailing with a lug and lateen sail. It was held for the first time in 2005.

A great honor and motivation to manage such a small heritage project followed in 2007 by being shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year award. During the same year, the Croatian National Tourist Board declared the Batana Ecomuseum the best tourist product on the Croatian coast. In 2013, the same organization awarded the Batana Ecomuseum the “Experience Croatia – a quality brand in cultural tourism” award for the “Batana Tastes and Sounds” program. The greatest recognition for many years of work comes in 2016, when the Batana Ecomuseum was inscribed on the UNESCO list of best practices for the preservation of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

Local community:
Marino Budicin (project leader)
Riccardo Bosazzi
Fabio Cherin
Valerio Drandić
Delia Quarantotto
Mladen Takač
Alvise Benussi

Professional manager:
Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir (2004 – 2012)

Co-authors of the exhibition:
Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir
Marino Budicin
Saša Paris
Damir Fabijanić
Mirna Petrešević
Ivan Marušić Klif

Damir Fabijanić


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