SLOVENIAN GIFT BRINGS RARE TREASURE TO STATE LIBRARY
Minister of the Arts, Peter Batchelor
From the Minister for the Arts
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
The State Library of Victoria added another treasure to their collection last night with the presentation of a limited edition Iconotheca Valvasoriana, a gift from the people of Slovenia to the people of Victoria.
Accepting the gift, Minister for the Arts Peter Batchelor said the Iconotheca Valvasoriana, a 17 volume collection dating back to the 17th century, was a cultural icon in Slovenia.
“The Iconotheca Valvasoriana is a collection of 7,752 prints, etchings, drawings and engravings by renowned European artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Lucas Cranach and German, French, Dutch, Flemish, Italian and English masters of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries,” he said.
“Melbourne is known as one of the most vibrant multicultural cities in the world, with people of over 90 nationalities proudly calling our city home. We also have the largest population of Slovenian inhabitants in Australia.
“So this gift not only represents an important cultural contribution to this country, but honours the relationship between Slovenia and Australia and further enhances Melbourne’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature.”
Mr Batchelor said the Iconotheca Valvasoriana is the personal collection of Slovenian scholar, scientist, soldier, historian, cartographer and publisher Johann Weichard von Valvasor, who amassed a magnificent collection of works during 14 years of travel around Europe between 1659 and 1672.
“Only 100 facsimile editions of the work exist across the world and copies have been given to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Society of London and the National Library of China,” he said.
“The collection is a printing masterpiece and it is an honour to receive this wonderful gift on behalf of the people of Victoria.”
Mr Batchelor said the State Library of Victoria was the perfect home for this collection.
“The State Library of Victoria is Australia’s oldest public library and cultural institution and since opening its doors in 1856, the Library has offered an important service to the public, providing free access to the world’s information,’ he said.
“Today, its collections are accessed daily – online and onsite – by people from Victoria, Australia and all over the world. The Iconotheca Valvasoriana joins many other great works of historical significance that have been given to us by heads of state around the world.
“The Iconotheca Valvasoriana will join these important cultural gifts and significantly complement the material already in our collections. It is be a great honour and privilege to have these volumes and make them available to as many Australians as possible.”
Source: The Premier of Victoria at Newsroom http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/newsroom/12048.html