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Zoran Milanović, President of the Republic of Croatia, visited the Sugar Palace on 26th March. He did this after the opening of the Children’s House, a new cultural facility in the immediate vicinity of the City Museum, which was naturally followed by a visit to the renovated Palace and a tour of its permanent exhibition in Rijeka’s art district. This was his first visit to the Palace and he did not hide his pleasant impressions as much from the building as from the museum display. Museum director Ervin Dubrović took him through both floors with displays dedicated to the city’s history. Taking a keen interest in the numerous situations and circumstances from Rijeka’s past that the exhibition talks about, Milanović emphasized his satisfaction with the fact that Rijeka has solid foundations of its own multiculturalism, which it continues to live in everyday practice. In this light, Dubrović recalled the historical statement that “Rijeka is a Hungarian city where Croats who speak Italian live”, which, of course, is no longer valid today, but which refers to the city’s specific and now traditional atmosphere of openness and European ties. Not strictly adhering to protocol rules, the president spent almost an hour and a half in the Palace. Of course, the Palace and the setting deserve much more, as Milanović himself noted, with the hope that his commitments will someday allow him to set aside more time to familiarize himself with certain chapters of Rijeka’s history. They deserve it, in large part because they are the source of today’s precious experiences.

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