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WAR DAMAGES TO MUSEUMS AND MUSEUM HOLDINGS IN CROATIA
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OTAVICE
Ivan Mestrovic Museums - The Most Holy Redeemer Church


THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY REDEEMER
22320 Drnis / Otavice
Telephone: 021/358 450
Parent institution: FUNDACIJA IVANA MESTROVICA / THE IVAN MESTROVIC FOUNDATION
Museum profile: fine arts
Founded: 1952


Category of the museum collection: A
Category of the museum building: A
Number of inventoried museum items: 26
Number of non-inventoried museum items: 0
The Church of the Holy Redeemer is the Mestrovic family mausoleum, built in 1931 to the plans by Ivan Mestrovic (1883 - 1962), one of the foremost Croatian sculptors of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
The church is a central building with a cupola, built of stone. The bronze entrance doors, divided into ten relief parts, present portraits of members of the family. The interior holds sculptures and reliefs dealing with religious subjects, together with a display of the Forever Crucified in the sanctuary.
As a museum, the church was incorporated in the Ivan Mestrovic Foundation in 1991.
From September 1991 to August 1995 the church was in the occupied territory of the Republic of Croatia, exposed to war destruction and intentional devastation, inaccessible to museum workers and the Service for the Protection of Monuments.

Protection:

The church was not protected.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE MUSEUM DURING THE OCCUPATION:
* In April 1992 the church was damaged and set on fire.
* According to a report by Dr C. Kaiser and the Monitoring Mission of the EU, from June 1994, a part of museum holdings from the Drnis Museum was stored in the church. The church was not damaged but the area around it was heavily mined.

Building damage:


The natural environment of the church that is situated on a plateau, as well as the entrance stairs and doors of corrugated iron are devastated, trees have cut down and the stone fence partially destroyed.
The interior with reliefs and tombs in the crypt was intentionally devastated. Windowpanes made of alabaster and calcite onyx are partially broken. The stone altar table is damaged, and tabernacle devastated. The stone mosaic floor is scratched and soiled. The entrance to the crypt and tombs in the crypt are broken, and coffins overturned and broken. All the electric installations have been either destroyed or stolen.

Structure damage:


The evangelists Luke, Matthew, John as well as Christ in the sanctuary had toenails and thumbs partially hammered off. Figures from the relief representing the Nativity had suffered lighter damage and the reliefs of Lamentation and the Nativity are soiled from bird droppings and rain, which had poured over them through the broken windows.
The church doors and ten bronze reliefs, showing portraits of Ivan Mestrovic and his family, have disappeared. A rounded brass chandelier, the church bell that was under the entrance porch, the brass doors of the tabernacle and a copy of Vienna Academy diploma in a wooden frame have also disappeared.
Also missing are four items (belonging to the Museum of the Drnis Region) that Mestrovic himself had made for the mausoleum (monstrance, chalice and two candlesticks).

Damaged collection details►

Devastated fence, door and steps leading to the church
(Photo: Siniša Sunara, 8/95.)

Devastated surroundings of the church
(Photo: Siniša Sunara, 8/95.)

Otavice, The Church of the Holy Redeemer
Destroyed surroundings of the church, 8/95
(Photo: Sinisa Sunara)

Otavice, The Church of the Holy Redeemer
Ruined reliefs by Ivan Mestrovic, 8/95
(Photo: Sinisa Sunara)

Otavice, The Church of the Holy Redeemer
Ruined reliefs by Ivan Mestrovic, 8/95
(Photo: Sinisa Sunara)

Otavice, The Church of the Holy Redeemer
Ruined reliefs by Ivan Mestrovic, 8/95
(Photo: Sinisa Sunara)

Otavice, The Church of the Holy Redeemer
Ruined reliefs by Ivan Mestrovic, 8/95
(Photo: Sinisa Sunara)

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