The mission of the Celje Museum of Recent History is to ensure the permanent and uninterrupted performance of the public service of preserving, exploring, presenting, exhibiting and popularising the mobile cultural heritage from the fields of history and ethnology from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. The museum, in compliance with the rules and goals of the museum profession, houses the mobile cultural heritage of Celje and the Celje region and presents it to the widest circle of the public. The field of activity connects the recent national and regional history and ethnology with modernity and actuality. This is the basis both for the collecting policy and museum collections as well as for other versatile popularisation activities and the museum’s offer. Special attention is given to younger visitors to the museum, who can take part in pedagogic programmes and activities.
The Celje Museum of Recent History, which has adopted a strategic document regarding its activity, is at the same time a scientific research centre and an education institution. By reviving museum items and their stories, the museum sheds light on the past, helps to understand the present and co-create the future. It is a place for discovering, learning, socialising and contemplating.
In 1951 the Celje City Museum founded a department for the history of the National Liberation Struggle. After a decade of intensive progress the department developed into an independent cultural institution – The Celje Museum of Revolution – in 1963. Its premises were in the building of the former Celje city hall (the city hall was in this building between 1830 and 1963) and in the Old Pot prison (during WW II, 374 hostages were shot there), where it presented the history of Celje and its region from 1918 to 1945. Besides the permanent exhibition this period was marked by rich museological, publishing and publicising activities of professional museum workers.
With time the museum began to expand its collection and direct its attention also to collecting and researching life after 1945. It especially focused on school children, who were its most numerous visitors in the 1970s and in the beginning of the 1980s. The turning point in the museum’s development was the year 1979, when the museum acquired new premises, where the permanent exhibition on the development of Celje after World War II was prepared in 1987-1989. Due to the expansion of work the museum was formally renamed the Celje Museum of Recent History in 1991. This was the time when Slovenia became an independent country, and our museum accordingly adopted a new collecting policy and began to search for a new role in its environment.
Today the Celje Museum of Recent History is a regional historical museum which collects, preserves, records and exhibits the history of Celje and the Celje region in the 20th century. Various subject matters from real life make the museum recognizable and contribute to its complexity. Due to its numerous and versatile activities the museum is among the most lively museums in Slovenia. Beside rich culture programmes, visitors can also browse through the museum shop or relax in the confectionery shop and museum cafeteria.
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