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BUILDING HISTORY



On the west side of Hektorovic's summer residence Tvrdalj, on the beginning of a part of Stari Grad called Njive, where intensive rebuilding begun in the second half of the 19th century, brothers Biankini built a large palace, a neorenaissance house with a court and a garden in which the Museum of Stari Grad is situated today.



 



The industrious and united family of four sons of Jurja Biankina, a shipbuilder and a captain, with this project left a powerful mark on the redevelopment of Stari Grad in the end of the 19 th century.

The palace was built mainly for representation.At the time of its construction it was only captain Dinko who had a permanent residence in Stari Grad, while the youngest son Ante lived in his home-town only for short periods of time during his preparations for going to the United States of America to pursue a career as a doctor.

 


 

 

Although they were a united and a rather well-off family, for the completion of the building of the new palace they were forced to sell their old house in the center street of Stari Grad and their father's deep-sea ship.

There are two places in the palace where they left a visible mark of their unity in building the palace: first is on the lintel of the entrance door of the ground floor, where the big vaults were situated. There is the year of the construction 1896. and letters BB (“Brothers Biankini”) chiseled in stone, and we find the same monogram on the wrought lattice of the entrance door of the first and second floor.

 


 



The name of the architect and the names of the builders of the palace are unknown. The only known artist is the painter-decorator who painted the monumental staircase and the panels above all the inside doors of the floors of the palace. The artist was Ivan Zamala from Zadar, who was at the time also working on the decoration of the dominican church that had just been finished. The church is dedicated to St. Peter who was a martyr in Stari Grad. Another name we know is the name of Petar Biankini who designed the garden of the palace in classicist style, and who planted the himalayan cedar which is, today, more than a 100 years old.






 



The palace underwent considerable changes and was extremely damaged during and immediately after the Second World War. First it served as the headquarters of the Italian and afterwards German army. After that it became a partisan hospital and immediately after the war District Communist Party Committee and a national sewing school for girls. It was at that time that all the furniture and the family archive was destroyed. The plaster bust of Juraj Biankini, a work of Ivan Meštrovic, which stood in the hallway was also damaged. Later on, in the 50ies of the 20 th century the palace became a day-care and its basements served as a storage for the construction material from the national shop. In the year 1963. the art collection Juraj Plancic was opened for visitors on the second floor of the palace and from that moment on efforts have been made to turn the palace into the city museum. The naval collection was put up in 1967., followed by the archeological collection in 1995. and music school on the first floor of the palace. In the year 2003. the basement was turned into archeological storerooms and in its central part hydro archeological exhibition was put up. In 2008. a room on the first floor was used to exhibit the furniture that belonged to the Gelineo Bervaldi family, originate from Stari Grad.

 


 




The interior decoration and the arrangement of rooms of the palace remained unchanged from the time when it was built. Today, the palace is the Museum of the city as was the wish of Biankini family who gave the palave to Stari Grad to use it for cultural purposes.



FROM ART COLLECTION TILL MUSEUM

In the year 1959. academic painter Bartol Petric launched the action of founding the Art Collection Juraj Plancic in the memory of his colleague and peer painter Juraj Plancic (Stari Grad, 1899. – Paris , 1930.). The action of collecting works of art was supported by numerous Croatian painters (today their works are a part of the Art Collection of the 20 th century), and in 1963. the Art Collection of Juraj Plancic(now Juraj Plancic Gallery) was opened on the second floor of the Palace Biankini). That moment marked the beginning of organized museum activity in Stari Grad.

In 1967., a group of cultural heritage enthusiasts (Ivo Politeo, Vinko Ruževic and Antonio Botteri), with the encouragement and involvement of dr. Niko Dubokovic Nadalini who was then the head manager of the Centre for the Protection of ultural heritage of island Hvar, founded two more exhibitions- Naval exhibition ( also situated on the second floor of the palace Biankini) and Ethnographic ( in Petar Hektorovic's Tvrdalj). The founders from Stari Grad looked after the collections but they were formally under the Centre for the protection of cultural heritage of island Hvar.

The Center for Culture of the Stari Grad district was founded in 1995., and among its other culturl activities (librarian activities, organization of cultural events, publishing) the main one was museum activity. In that same year the Archeological collection was founded ( as a result of several years of protective archeological research in the protected city nucleus and the systematical excavations of the complex around the early Christian church of Saint John/Saint Mary, which were lead by experts from the State Administration for the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Split, under the guidance of archeologist dr. Jasna Jelicic Radonic), and a part of the collection was exhibited in the adapted space on the first floor of Biankini Palace under the name “Permanent Collection Faros- ancient Stari Grad”.

In 1996. Hydro archeological collection was founded, whose management was transferred from the Department for Protection of archeological heritage under the Administration for Protection of Cultural Heritage within the Ministry of Culture to the Center for Culture. A team of hydro archeologists of that Department lead by Mario Juri šic, explored the remains of the ancient shipwreck in the cove Duboka, near Basina on the islad Hvar, for three years. The abundant archeological remains were, after desalinization given to the Centre for storage. In 2003. a room in the basements of Palace Biankini was adapted for the setting up of the Permanent exhibition Ancient Shipwreck.

In that same year, 2003., the Center for culture of Stari Grad took over the ownership and managing of the Naval and Ethnographic collection from the remade Museum of Hvar heritage.

In 2006. the process of the conversion of the Center for culture of Stari Grad into the Museum of the city had begun.

On the 22 nd of February, 2007., the City Council of Stari Grad on its 21 st session issued a decree about the conversion of the Center for culture of Stari Grad into the Museum of Stari Grad and with that act the endeavors of the people of Stari Grad that lasted several decades resulted in this final, legal form.

In that same year, a collection of furniture and paintings belonging to the heirs of the Gelineo Bervaldi family was donated to the newly founded Museum. The collection was put up as a permanent exhibition Salon Gelineo Bervaldi in the restored room on the first floor of Biankini palace.

This year the Museum has taken up the managing of the Archaeological Park in the so-called Remeta's Garden, where there are visible arcaeological remains of the ancient Faros.

In the year 2008., after twenty years of having just one expert employee- current head of the Museum, a conservator and an archeologist were hired and with that the Museum of Stari Grad became a small museum establishment run by a skilled team .