European Aeronautical Museum to be built in Maribor


Slovenia will soon begin constructing what it calls a "European Aeronautical Museum" in the eastern city of Maribor. Radio Slovenia International spoke to the man behind the project - the president of the Slovenian National Party and aviation enthusiast, Zmago Jelincic.

"Quite a long time ago, I had an idea to make a European aeronautical museum in Slovenia because Slovenia was one of the first; we can say that we are also one of the pioneers in flying machines and men. Our Edvard Rusjan was among the first to fly. So I think it's the proper position and I do have a proper idea, so there was no other alternative than to put this museum in Slovenia."

What will the museum look like and what kind of things will it contain?

"It will contain all the knowledge of European flying history from the first day until today and tomorrow. Actually, it means that all the airplanes from the Otto Lilienthal glider up to the most modern fighters and also bombers. It should be a huge building. I think that the most proper size would be 300 square meters and the shape should be like a pyramid -- because of the light, because of the heating and everything else. You know, one must also think about the expenses."

And why was Maribor chosen?

"First, it's my birthplace and then there's an airfield there where nothing is going on. And it is close relations with the railways and the streets and so on, and it is, shall I say, quite in the middle of Europe. It's very well connected with all the parts of Europe."

Who will be financing this project and what will it mean for this area?

"The financing will partly come from Europe, partly from our government and also from local communities. In the first step, it will bring quite a lot of working places for the people who will actually make the building and later on, I think there will be about 450 people, who will be directly connected to the museum. Some 2,000-2,500 will be connected in a wider sense. It will bring quite a lot of new life and new blood into the tourist life of Stajerska (Styria)."

Do you have any similar ideas of projects that are brewing?

"I think that this project is quite big enough and I think that when the government will make the working group, I will be in that working group and we will have to work quite a lot."