The earliest cultural institutions in Bosnia – Herzegovina were organized by the Croats, including the most important one: the Archeological Museum (Zemaljski Muzej) in Sarajevo (opened in 1888; bombed during the Serbian aggression in 1992-95). Especially important contributions to our knowledge of the early history of Bosnia had Ciro Truhelka (1865-1942), since 1906 a director of the Archeological Museum. He was collaborator of Croatian Encyclopaedia.
Ciro Truhelka (portrait by Gabriel Jurkic)
The first literary periodical “Bosanski prijatelj” (Bosnian Friend) in Bosnia and Herzegovina appeared in the middle of the 19th century. It was edited by Ivan Franjo Jukic in Zagreb.
Two Bosnian missionaries are among the most important representatives of Croatian Africanistics:
Among important persons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, let us mention also
- Kristian Krekovic (1901-1995), outstanding Croatian born Peruvian artist, known as Poeta de la pintura, with his famous Museum in Palma del Mallorca (Museu Krekovic) opened by the Spanish Queen Sophia in 1982. Krekovic portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in 1931. Here is his Exodus of the 20th century, with his authoprtrait with his wife Sina (a French Jew) on the far right (both in Croatian national costume from Lika), and with all races represented:
- Borislav Arapovic, honorary director of the Biblical Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He discovered A Remarkable Address of a Croatian Minister, published among others in the Hague (Gravenhage) in 1778.
- Ekrem Spahic, founder of the Croatian Philatelic Society in the USA
Saving the famous Sarajevo Haggadah (Jewish Bible) in 1941. The Sarajevo Haggadah surpasses all the known Haggadas in the world, and is considered to be the most valuable Hebrew illuminated manuscript in the world.
This Croatian national costume from Ivanjska, BiH, has been proclaimed the most beautiful at the international competition in China, 2004, where 60 countries have participated (photo by Josip Puretic, Svjetlo Rijeci; published in [Maric, Orlovic])
About 50,000 books have been stolen from the library of the Sarajevo Theological Faculty during the Greater Serbain aggression on BiH. About a half of the books of lesser importance have been returned to the Faculty by the Serbs. For example, the important Bosniensia Collection is still not returned. Stolen books from various Croatian and BiH libraries can be seen in various second hand bookshops in Belgrade. Many of these plundered books have been sold to individuals from western European countries.