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It was the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the town of Novo Mesto in 1865 that sparked the first notions of founding a Dolenjska Museum, which would serve to collect a variety of testimony on the history of the town and its region of Dolenjska. The actual founding came exactly 85 years later, on the initiative of the Museum Society, which was itself founded in 1941. In a decision from 1 June 1950 the People’s Committee of Ljubljana Authority handed over the museum into the competence of the District People’s Committee of Novo Mesto. This also marked the birth date of the Dolenjska Museum, which is celebrated publicly with open days and a whole-day programme of various events, and since 1996 with the now traditional exhibition From the Dolenjska Museum Repositories.
The first permanent exhibitions at the Dolenjska Musuem were opened to the public in 1953 in the Križatije building, which has also served as the administrative center since 1951. Since then the Museum enjoyed continuous expansion and enhancement as a general regional museum up until the mid-1980s, when the acquisition of Jakčev Dom (Jakac House) and of the Kočevski Rog outstation in the mid-1990s gave the Museum its present-day image. The Musuem complex expanded from one building to five, with five permanent exhibitions, five curatorships, a teaching department and a conservation and restoration department for the archaeological heritage. The Museum’s gallery, which is the central exhibition space, hosts temporary major museum exhibitions.
Through its rich and diverse exhibition programme, research and publishing activities and its extensive and methodical teaching work, the Museum has become a true centre of high-quality cultural endeavour and activity in Novo Mesto.
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