STAJuly 1, 2022 – Mateja Kos Zabel took over the position of acting director of the National Museum in Ljubljana on Friday, after the previous director Pavel Car resigned last month due to an affair with counterfeiting works of art.
Zabel, appointed by the Ministry of Culture, previously worked as a curator in the museum’s history and applied arts department and headed the organizational unit to lead the program.
The acting director will perform for up to one year or until the appointment of a new full-fledged director to a public tender.
Zabel, PhD in art history and museology, has been employed at the National Museum since 1985. She specializes in applied art, and in recent years has devoted herself to museology and the role of national museums in the context of contemporary museums. . Since 2009 she has been lecturing art history at the Faculty of Arts in Maribor.
Her in-depth knowledge of the field and managerial experience have brought results in her long career at the National Museum, in which she has collaborated with many Slovenian and foreign museums, the Ministry of Culture said in a press release.
She has led two European project groups, a number of museum projects and a research program. She is also the co-author of the exhibition Past under the Microscope, for which she received the Valvasor Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Museum Society of Slovenia.
Her predecessor, Pavel Car, resigned after the Travels exhibition, which is set to feature works from the Boljkovac family’s collection, including those of Picasso, Matisse and Kandinsky, was canceled at the last minute after public outrage over serious counterfeiting concerns.
The Emperor said he resigned to protect the reputation of the museum and its experts, adding that he was naive when he trusted the wrong person to organize the exhibition.