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Coral Center opened on Zlarin: “This project completes the fascinating story of the island and its people”

  5. June 2023.

The story of coral harvesting, the most significant cultural heritage and the greatest uniqueness of the island of Zlarin, is now told in one place – the Croatian Coral Center, which was officially opened today in the presence of the Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds, Šime Erlić, representatives of the City of Šibenik, the institution of the Fortress of Culture, which took over the management of the center, and numerous distinguished guests.

The Croatian Coral Center on Zlarin creatively and interestingly tells the story of the centuries-old tradition of coral harvesting on this island in the Šibenik archipelago. The center’s primary function is the preservation and interpretation of cultural, historical, traditional, and natural heritage.

– Today, the Fortress of Culture is opening the fifth chapter on sustainable cultural management, which is simultaneously an honor, a pleasure, and awe-inspiring. I congratulate everyone who participated in the project and worked intensively to realize everything that was envisioned. To all who contributed with their work, emotions, ideas, objects, and experiences to create an exhibition that can be called a true museum exhibition, which completes the fascinating story of the island and its people, the relationship between humans and nature. This is a natural continuation of Šibenik’s story about EU projects, and the main goal is sustainable and local development. We will strive to make the most of everything this space offers us, all for the benefit of future generations, who I am sure will gladly come and eagerly absorb this story – said Gorana Barišić Bačelić, director of the Fortress of Culture.

Mayor Željko Burić emphasized that the fact that the project was realized on an island shows that the City of Šibenik takes care of all its parts.

– The project will be managed by the Public Institution Šibenik Cultural Fortress, with whom success is guaranteed, and we believe that, together with local forces, it will contribute to the further development of Zlarin. I would like to thank everyone who helped successfully complete the project, from the Ministry and other state bodies to my operational staff and, of course, the islanders to whom I sincerely congratulate. We want this to be a place of revitalization for Zlarin and for every tourist staying in Šibenik to extend their visit to Zlarin – said mayor Željko Burić at the opening.

The project for establishing the Croatian Coral Center on Zlarin is worth 3.2 million euros, led by the City of Šibenik, with project partners being the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Areas and Other Protected Natural Parts of the Šibenik-Knin County – Nature, the Zlarin Tourist Board, and the Association for Nature and Environmental Protection and Promotion of Sustainable Development Argonauta. The project is co-financed by the European Union within the Operational Program “Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020”.

– One project will not change the city or the island, but a series of projects will. They complete the successful image of the city of Šibenik. Documents are essential in the story of EU projects, but people are still the most important. That is why I thank all the people who participated in this project, from those from the Public Institution Nature, the Argonauta association, the Zlarin Tourist Board, the local population, and I must not forget to mention the late Vladimir Buneta, who was the initiator of this project. A road was built, a boat was procured, bicycles were obtained, two houses were renovated, we found a fresco, and made a museum exhibition, and I think there is no better institution to take over this project than the Fortress of culture – said Petar Mišura, Head of the Administrative Department for Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Development of the City of Šibenik.

Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Šime Erlić stated that no other city uses EU projects like Šibenik does.

– EU projects have brought so many positive changes to Šibenik and Šibenik-Knin County. I am very pleased to open an exceptional and excellent EU project today, just a few days after the opening of the Interpretation Center in the St. Ante Channel. Congratulations on the exceptionally successful project implementation, which means you have capable people and a vision that you know how to realize. This project is an indicator of how our islands can develop, promote, and preserve their heritage, and at the same time, we have gained additional tourist value – the minister said on Zlarin.

The Croatian Coral Center represents a unique opportunity to connect the centuries-old tradition of coral harvesting through its comprehensive analysis with today’s perspective and current ecological issues, which will ensure future generations’ involvement in preserving and contemplating new ways of coexistence. The basic goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable local development through the establishment of the Croatian Coral Center, and the center itself aims to increase the attractiveness of the destination based on the valorization of natural heritage and strengthening the educational capacities of the local population and visitors on the importance of nature conservation.

On the occasion of the Center’s opening on Zlarin, a rich and diverse program is organized during the first two weekends in June so that as many citizens as possible could enjoy the summer days on the island, visit the newly opened Coral Center, enjoy music, and participate in other activities. Free boat transportation from Šibenik is also organized.

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