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The Slovenian Museum And Archives To Exhibit: A River’s Gifts Archaeological Excavation Of The Ljubljanica River In Photographs

August 6 - November 20

The resounding documentary photographs of Arne Hodalič will be displayed August 6 – November 20, at the Slovenian Museum and Archives, 6407 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH.  There will be an opening reception that is free and open to the public Thursday, August 6th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. The exhibit will be free and open to the public.

Arne Hodalič began his photographic career in his teens. Since then he has garnered international respect as a photographer and film maker, winning awards and exhibiting his captivating work around the world.  He is widely known as photographer, reporter, world traveler, diver, and cave explorer. He is also a photography editor at the Slovenian edition of National Geographic Magazine.  In 2007, A River’s Gifts was published in National Geographic Magazine, adding to Hodalič’s numerous documentary works published internationally. 

A River’s Gifts is a visual record and narrative of the mysterious river Ljubljanica, in Slovenia.  Also known as The River of Seven Names, the Ljubljanica River repeatedly disappeared underground and reappeared in different places over its many years of existence, thus acquiring new names.  Locally, the Ljubljanica has long been thought of as sacred ground.  This is made evident by examining some of the known 10 to 13 thousand artifacts found in the river to date.  These rare treasures, offered over the past 9,000 years, date from the Stone-Age up through the Renaissance and include Celtic coins and Roman luxuries.  The massive diversity of items and gamut of time mapped by their origins is a mystery and a spectacle.  

Historians speculate the artifacts may have been given as rites of passage, thanksgiving for battles won, or mourning for those lost in battle.  Unfortunately, treasure hunters and divers have pillaged the Ljubljanica, looting its 12 miles of shallow, silt lined, floor.  The river wasn’t protected by law until 2003, when Slovenia’s National Parliament "declared the river a site of cultural importance and banned diving in it without a permit".  Some of the extracted artifacts were sold to museums and some to the highest bidder.  Most are owned by private collectors, making it difficult for professional archaeologists to gather a comprehensive collection.  Hodalič follows Archaeologist Andrej Gaspari as he hunts down Slovenia’s lost treasures.  A River’s Gift’s also presents a myriad of photographed artifacts including a Roman belt decoration dating from 27 B.C., a Late Bronze Age spearhead (12th-13th century BC), and an ornate clay furnace tile dating from the 16th century A.D.

The Slovenian Museum and Archives recognizes the Embassy of Slovenia to the United States and the Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland for helping to make A River’s Gifts available to the Cleveland audience.   

Slovenian Museum & Archives