"Despite the epidemic, we have completed this exceptionally demanding activity within the project Palace of Life - City of Changes, in accordance with the previously announced deadlines. There are still some small details left, but the facility is being prepared for a technical inspection that will take place tomorrow. ”- said Radojka Tomašević, Head of the Office for International and EU Projects of the City of Split. This is a comprehensive renovation and assessment of the Old Town Hall, in which 9.2 million kunas were invested from the strategic EU project of the City of Split "Palace of Life - City of Changes". Namely, in March 2020, in parallel with the epidemic of Covid 19, and after the completion of archaeological research, the adaptation and setting up of this valuable city's cultural heritage began.
The Old City Hall is an object of great importance as a monument, protected as part of the old town, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as being an individually protected property. By adapting and fitting out the City Hall, Split gets a modern multifunctional space for exhibitions, lectures, small concerts, receptions, and other purposes, and a small part is dedicated to the permanent exhibition that presents the City Hall through the ages.
Numerous passers-by in recent months have followed the conservation-restoration works and works on the facade of the Town Hall, which was preceded by a complete replacement of the wooden roof structure, along with all layers of the roof, by new mezzanine structures. The joinery was changed in line with the previous one, and in parallel with the facade, works were carried out on the renovation and fitting out of the interior. The Old Town Hall will soon be accessible to visitors, and, for the first time, participation in events and visits to exhibitions will also be possible for people with disabilities. With the help of a ramp that can be dismantled, they will be able to enter via an auxiliary entrance from the north side and take a new built-in elevator to the first and second floors.
On the ground floor of the newly renovated Old Town Hall, there will be a reception area with a souvenir shop and 50 square meters of exhibition space. Via a semi-circular staircase or lift one reaches the first floor where there is a large multifunctional exhibition space, with a store room, and a smaller permanent exhibition, which is also a reading room. Visitors will be able to sit there and read books from the shelves, but they will not be able to take them out, as they are protected from theft by special technology. According to some sources, a book by Robert Adam about Diocletian's Palace was exhibited in the 19th century Town Hall. A facsimile of that same book will be displayed under glass, and, via a touch screen, it will be possible to view it and read it.
With the removal of modern interventions in the interior, stone fragments came to light, of which the Gothic arch stands out, which extends through two floors, and is additionally highlighted in the room.
On the second floor, there is a large multifunctional space with a projector for lectures or exhibitions, and in the attic, there is a storage room, installation systems for ventilation, and regulation of the microclimatic conditions.
The exhibition space has been cleared out and cleaned, and the first and second floors have controlled microclimatic conditions, which enable the display of the most sensitive and valuable exhibits in the world. There is also a modern flexible LED lighting system without UV radiation with the possibility of regulating lighting intensity. It will range from 200 lux for paintings to 50 lux for other exhibits made of paper, textiles, metal, glass, etc.
Adaptation and decoration of the Old City Hall were carried out in accordance with the project of the Office of the Certified Architect Josip Ružić, and the designer Nikolina Jelavić Mitrović created the interior project. She also realized the permanent exhibition based on the concept of Dr. Josip Belamarić.
Neir Ltd. took care of the overall construction work which was done under the constant supervision of the Split Conservation Department and the expert supervision of Atesti i zaštita Ltd. and Linir Ltd. The value of the works on the reconstruction of the Old City Hall is HRK 9.2 million, provided within the strategic EU project of the City of Split "Palace of Life - City of Changes" implemented by the Sector for International and EU Projects, with funds provided through the ITU mechanism of Urban agglomeration Split. The total value of the project "Palace of Life - City of Changes" is HRK 25.4 million, of which HRK 18.2 million are European Union grants from the European Regional Development Fund. The lead project partner is the City of Split and the partners are the Tourist Board of Split and the Split City Museum. Development Agency Split - RaST coordinated the successful preparation of the project application. The project includes the renovation of sites, most of which have not been presented to the public previously - the Southeast Tower with part of the building at Lukačićeva 5 and access to the medieval east wall of Diocletian's Palace and the renovation of the ground floor of the Museum of Split, which, among other places, will soon be accessible to people with disabilities.