Safeguarding maritime intangible cultural heritage

Ecomuseum Batana, Croatia

Authored by: Dragana Lucija Ratkovi? Aydemir

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860551
eBook ISBN: 9781315716404
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506898


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This chapter presents a case study of the process of safeguarding living maritime culture in the town of Rovinj, Croatia. The local community has recognized the distinctive wooden boat – the batana – as a main symbol of the town, and in 2003 decided to create a small museum about it. Personal ‘first voice’ stories, testimonies and artifacts are presented in the permanent exhibition in the House of Batana interpretation and documentation center, which was created with the help of the strong participation and support of local people. The need to safeguard the living aspects of the batana heritage directed the next phases of the project using an ecomuseological approach that encouraged a more holistic understanding of the boat’s heritage, in addition to grassroots activism, community-based heritage management experimentation and networking beyond the local context. This is how the first ecomuseum in Croatia originated. Today, the Ecomuseum Batana presents a crucial reference point for ‘bottom-up’ heritage/museum project development in Croatia, sustaining both tangible and intangible maritime heritage.

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