Cultural institutions in Croatia are mostly public – they are founded mainly by the state and towns, and more rarely by counties or wealthier municipalities. The status and number of state-owned institutions has remained almost unchanged throughout the years. The legislation in force prescribes that every decision to close an institution must be approved by the Ministry of Culture and Media; a provision to preserve the existing level of cultural infrastructure.
The number of private cultural institutions is very low, whether they are of non-profit or commercial nature. An interesting example of a hybrid cultural institution is POGON – Centre for Independent Culture and Youth, Zagreb, which is based on a new model of public-civil partnership. Pogon’s founders are the Alliance Operation City and the City of Zagreb which is the main funder of the institution. In collaboration with the network of NGOs and the Kultura Nova Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Media has applied to the European Social Fund with the project for the development of socio-cultural centres in several Croatian cities inspired partly by the successful example of POGON (see chapter 2.7).
Several private commercial initiatives in the cultural infrastructure can be mentioned. The first private museum, Museum Marton, was opened in 2003 in Samobor and the collection was moved to Zagreb in 2011. Unfortunately, due to the recession the Museum in Zagreb had to be closed in 2013 and the owner returned the collection to the original location in Samobor. The Marton Museum was hosted in the same building as another private initiative – “Museum of Broken Relationships”, a permanent exhibition that opened in October 2010 in Zagreb and received a number of international awards. The latter still functions at the same location. Two other private initiatives are Lauba – the House of Contemporary Art and Culture in Zagreb and the Batana Eco Museum in Rovinj. An interesting local community initiative was the opening of a museum of local shipbuilding heritage in the municipality of Tisno, in Betina.