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January 12, 2021

Network Croatia Earthquake: situation report and 
ICOM actions to support the museum sector

Cover photo © Associated Press

On December 29, 2020 a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the Sisak-Moslavina County, Croatia, with an epicenter located in the village of Strašnik, about 50 km southeast of the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

The seism, the third and strongest to strike Croatia in 2020, devastated the towns of Petrinja, Sisak and Glina, as well as surrounding villages, causing enormous damages to the whole built fabric of these towns and to the cultural heritage of the area. Once again, we share the grief of all Croatians so deeply affected by the earthquake.

We are working in close contact with ICOM Croatia and the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media to offer all possible support in the disaster management efforts, but the safeguarding of all properties is rendered more difficult and dangerous by the ongoing ground movements and shaking.

You can find below the letter addressed by the Croatian Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen-Koržinek to ICOM President Alberto Garlandini

Read the letter

President Garlandini expressed ICOM’s solidarity to the Croatian colleagues. He will continue to be in contact with the President of ICOM Croatia regarding this situation to offer any assistance they may require at this time.

A detailed emergency assessment of the local cultural heritage is already underway: this comprises churches, historic buildings and movable cultural properties, including collections and inventories of local museums. Moreover, further damage has been observed on monuments in Zagreb, already badly affected by the first earthquake of March 22nd. These monuments will also be inspected for any possible further damage.

On that occasion, the work of ICOM Croatia was essential to complete a detailed survey of the damage suffered by the capital’s museums. The Croatian national committee worked closely with the ICOM Secretariat as well as the International Committee on Disaster Resilient Museums to support their Croatian colleagues.

Again today, we urge the museum community to come together to help the Croatian population and museum professionals, gathering human, financial and technical resources to support them in this difficult moment. If you can offer help, please get in touch with the Croatian committee, or contact the ICOM Secretariat at programs@icom.museum.