Motivated by the awards ceremony of the Croatian national award for sports, “Franjo Bučar”, the Croatian Sports Museum organized the exhibition “Franjo Bučar (25. 11. 1866. – 26. 12. 1946.)” in the Croatian Parliament building between November 27th 2018 until December 15th 2018. The exhibition’s opening, coinciding with the awards ceremony, witnessed the arrival of many athletes, as well as various notable guests led by the President of the Croatian Parliament, the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Minister of Defense and representative of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, the Advisor for health and sports and representative of the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Deputy State Secretary of the Central State Office for Sports, and the Deputy Mayor of the City of Zagreb.
The Croatian Sports Museum was established in Zagreb during the session of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on October 23rd 2003 as a national institution under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture. The initial items in the Museum’s collections – the writings of Franjo Bučar contained in 96 boxes, were acquired around 1947. Until its establishment as an independent institution, the Museum functioned as part of the then-Faculty of Physical Culture of the University of Zagreb.
Franjo Bučar’s influence on the development of Croatian sports cannot be understated. He worked in the final years of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. A doctor of history and teacher by profession, he spent his life tied to sports, establishing the foundations of many sports disciplines in Croatia. He advocated for, taught at and helped found many sports clubs and organizations, actively participated in numerous international sports organizations and was an active reporter and writer.
- From 1991, the national award for sports of the Republic of Croatia bears his name.
- He was born on November 25th 1866 in Zagreb. After finishing the gymnasium, he studied history and geography in Vienna and Zagreb.
- He took courses in Swedish gymnastics between 1892 and 1894 at the Central Gymnastics Institute of Stockholm.
- After returning from Sweden, at the behest of Izidor Kršnjavi, Franjo Bučar was appointed leader for the Course of Gymnastics Teachers.
- The Zagreb-based physical exercise society Croatian Hawk was established in 1874, echoing similar societies in other nations at the time.
- Bučar was a member of the Croatian Hawk since his youth. He trained there, eventually rising to be one of the society’s notables and officials. He was the editor of numerous Hawk publications and the organizer of many of their events.
- Franjo Bučar’s influence on the development of various sports is immeasurable.
- He was one of the founders of the First Croatian Fencing Club in 1902 and a long-time president of the First Croatian Ice-Skating Society founded in 1877.
- He regularly wrote columns for daily newspapers and magazines on cycling competitions in Europe and the world.
- Starting in 1893 he organized tennis courses and participated in the construction of several tennis courts in Zagreb, Samobor and Krapina.
- He wins a medal in a 1986 ski competition that took place in Czechia.
- He was the expedition leader for the football representation that participated in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics.
- He was the initiator of the establishment of the Croatian Sports Federation in 1909 and later became its president.
- Over his 60 years of activity, he wrote daily and he has published more than 1.500 articles, most of them related to the field of physical exercise and education.
- He held the position of editor of Croatian Hawk and Croatian Hawk Federation magazines for many years.
- He was familiar with the activities of the International Olympic Committee from its founding in 1894. With the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Franjo Bučar helped establish the Yugoslav Olympic Committee, over which he presided between 1919 and 1927.
- In 1920 he became a member of the International Olympic Committee and an active participant in its work.
- Franjo Bučar died on December 26th 1946 in Zagreb. He was buried in his family’s grave at Mirogoj.
The exhibition presented 50 catalogued items from the Franjo Bučar fund.
A flyer covering the exhibition’s subject matter was published by the Croatian Sports Museum, signed by the Director, Danira Bilić.
Preparing for the exhibition
Authors of the exhibition: Đurđica Bojanić, Museum advisor, and Martina Vargek, Curator