Silenced Voices: Recovering Forgotten Narratives of European Peoples

The City of Rijeka in the Golden Years of Giovanni Ciotta, and Other Cases

Events / Tue 23 Nov 2021 11:00

A (political) collectivity is unimaginable without a collective memory that keeps the shared past alive and constantly translates it to the present.  Heritage, collective memory, values and ideas are what define a collectivity and ensure its continued existence. Memory is rooted in heritage, and therefore becomes part of our individual and/or collective memory. Heritage comes in all kinds of forms: in books, through visual arts and architecture, as landscapes and townscapes, via immaterial heritage practices, oral traditions, archives etc.

The heritage of Europe’s nations is the basis from which they can continue building their diverse identities, and joint future within Europe. It is these elements learnt and experienced in the past that help Europeans from across the continent understand where they are and how their nations, and Europe, have come together.

Events such as this one are important, as they allow us to look back on history, celebrate, and remember.

The period (1868-1914) and the mayoral mandate of Giovanni Ciotta (1872-1896) are key in the transformation of a small coastal town into a Central European, cosmopolitan city. During Ciotta’s term in the office, the industry in the city is developing rapidly, the traffic in the port is growing strongly, all economic entities have a very successful business. The city is becoming attractive for capital from all over Europe, and with capital, its investors come to the city. It is a period of universal prosperity for Rijeka, especially the period from 1875 to 1890, which are considered the ‘golden years’ of Ciotta’s term, later known as the ‘Idyll’. The importance of Rijeka at that time is evidenced by the fact that there were over 20 consulates in the city, more than 20 hotels, much more than the neighboring, then fashionable, Opatija. One of the most recognizable symbols of the city becomes a torpedo product that had been perfected over the years and exported to all countries that aspired to a powerful navy.

The participants of the scientific conference will cover this key period for the development of the city from several aspects, political, demographic, cultural and economic, and will pay special attention to the circumstances that have made the city a powerful imperial port.

The scientific conference will be held on November 23 this year at the City Hall, starting at 11.00am.


November 23, 2021

Opening of the conference - Welcome speeches
  • Sandra Krpan, Vice-Mayor of the city of Rijeka
  • Laura Marchig, Secretary of the Free state of Rijeka association
  • Antonello Nasone, Bureau Member of the Coppieters Foundation and University Lecturer
  • Melita Sciucca, President of the Comunità degli Italiani di Fiume association
  • Marino Micich, Director of the Societa di studi Fiumani association
  • Awaiting for confirmation, Hungary cultural institute in Croatia,
  • Awaiting for confirmation, Hungarian ambassador
  • Danko Svorinic, Editor
12:00 - 13:30
First Panel
  • Luc Boeva, Previous Director of the Archives of National Movements (ADVN) and Coordinator for the international association National movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe (NISE).
  • Antonello Nasone, Bureau Member of the Coppieters Foundation and University Lecturer
  • Gábor Zsigmond, Deputy Director of the Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport and University Lecturer
  • Róbert Török, Senior Museologist, Historian Director of the Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism
  • Igor Žic, Cultural Historian, Annalist of the city of Rijeka and writer
13:30 - 14:30
Lunch Break
14:30 - 18:30
Second Panel
  • Ljubinka Toševa Karpowicz, Researcher and Author, Award Recipient the city of Rijeka in 2016.
  • Damir Grubiša, Associate professor at the American University in Rome and correspondent for the newspaper La Voce del Popolo in Rome
  • Ervin Dubrović, Author as well as Museum Advisor and Director of the Museum of the City of Rijeka,
  • Imre Juhász, Docent for the Department of Procedural law at Eötvös Loránd University
  • Marko Medved, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Rijeka
  • Márton Pelles, Assistant Research Fellow at The University of Pécs and Assistant Museologist at the Hungarian Museum of Science and Transportation
  • Ivan Jeličić, postdoctoral fellow at the Department of History of the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka and at the Institute of Political History in Budapest
  • Giovanni Stelli, President of the Society for Rijeka Research at the Museum of the City of Rijeka in Rome and Director of the magazine “Fiume. Rivista di Studi Adriatici”
Discussion and Concluding remarks
Dinner for participants and organizers


When: Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:00
Where: Rijeka, City Hall

Interpretation provided: Croatian-English-Italian


Registration required, do you whsh to attend?

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This conference is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the conference or the opinions of the speakers.


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This conference is joint initiative of Coppieters Foundation, Free State of Rijeka Association and Muzej grada Rijeke.

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