Vid Morpurgo and his lifetime
14 June - 5 September 2016, opening on 14 June at 6 p. m.
On 18 March 1496, Emperor Maximillian I issued a decree on the expulsion of the Jews from Styria, Wiener Neustadt and Neunkirchen. The Maribor Jews, who at that time represented one of the most prosperous and important Jewish communities in all the Inner Austrian lands, thus had to leave the city by the Drava river and move to other places. In the new places, individual exiled Maribor Jews took the Marpurgo or Morpurgo surnames and thus carried the name of their former home city abroad.
In 2016, marks 520 years since the medieval exile of the Jews from Styria thus the city of Maribor. To commemorate this sad milestone and warn against similar ones, the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor designed a two-year project Tracing the paths of Maribor Jews. Its aim is to present to the public the medieval history of the Maribor Jews, as well as – in the example of the Morpurgo family – their life paths and fates in the last five centuries. In the framework of the project, we will prepare different programmes, from lectures and presentations, an international scientific meeting to pedagogical and andragogic activities. The beginning and the closure of the project will be marked by two exhibitions. The first one is the present exhibition Vid Morpurgo and his lifetime that was prepared by the Split City Museum.
Vid, also known as Vito, Morpurgo was born in a renowned Jewish family. As a book shop owner and publisher, a founder of the famous Morpurgo Bookstore which is still operating, a merchant, politician, industrialist and entrepreneur who dealt with the production of liqueurs and wine and who contributed to the development of wine growing and wine making in Split, an initiator of the First steam brickworks factory in Split, the president of the Split Chamber of commerce and trade, a representative in the Dalmatian Parliament, the community chairman and the president of the First People’s Bank of Dalmatia, he was one of Split’s most committed eminent people who were politically and culturally active just in the time of national revival in Dalmatia. Despite his extremely important role, which he played in the political, economic and cultural development of Split and Dalmatia, he always rather stayed in the shadows. Perhaps just because of this, political circumstances and destruction of the Archives of the Split Jewish Community during the Second World War, for several decades, his role in social and political life of Split was not sufficiently appreciated in public, and his work and activity not researched thoroughly enough up until 2010, when the Split City Museum presented the life and work of this grand and ambitious Split and Dalmatian personality with the exhibition.
The honorary sponsor of the visiting of the Vid Morpurgo and his lifetime exhibition is Her Excellency Vesna Terzić, Croatian Ambassador to Slovenia.
The programmes of the Maribor Synagogue are financed by the Municipality of Maribor. The exhibition project was supported also by Krka, d. d., Novo mesto.