Croatia, Osijek Archaeological Museum
The Osijek Archaeological Museum was founded in 1877 and was called the Museum of the Free Royal City of Osijek. The museum was founded on the initiative and on donations (numismatic collection, collection of ancient weapons and literature) of the merchant Franjo Sedlakovich. In 1878, Andrei Kodrik was appointed the first museum curator. In the first decades of its existence, the museum’s funds were filled exclusively by donations from the rich and famous citizens of the city of Osijek, among whom were Franio Sedlakovich, Karl Nuber, Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Emeric Hildi and Dr. Karl Kollic. This collection was and remains the largest donation in the history of the museum.
One of the famous museum workers was Vekoslav Celestin – curator of the museum since 1893. He worked in the museum for almost 43 years, was a diligent worker and professional in his field. This confirms the fact that he is known in museums in Croatia and beyond. He did almost all the work: worried about the replenishment and design of museum collections, carried out a systematic check of documentation, starting with archaeological excavations and ending with ethnographic materials.
For his work, Celestine is rightly considered one of the founders of the museum. By the end of his tenure as curator in 1933, he founded the Club of the Archaeological Society “Mursa” (in 1937 it was renamed the Society of Friends of Antiquities “Mursa”), which was an important contribution to the work of the museum.
The museum throughout its history, very often changed its location. And from 1946 to this day it is located in the Osijek citadel – the building of the former city duma.
During the war, the museum was heavily damaged, but fortunately, the entire collection remained almost untouched. The worst damage to the collection was caused by rains and improper storage. The permanent exhibition was taken to a safe place. But during the constant shelling, the work of the museum was suspended. In 1994, the museum was granted the status of a national institution.