The most famous inhabitant of Lošinj, the famous bronze statue of a young athlete, Apoxyomenos, and its permanent home and a unique museum on the Mediterranean - the Apoxyomenos Museum - have been presented to the members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the media and numerous audience. An emphasis has been placed on linking natural and cultural wealth with a tourism offer and the local community. As a result, a destination offer was created inspired by Apoxyomenos, which introduces visitors to a complete cultural and destination experience (Apoxyomenos' products, natural cosmetics and treatments, cultural routes, ancient waterways, the Apoxyomenos' Antique Cuisine gastronomy festival and other creative and sporting events).
The introductory speeches were held by Marijana Petir, the Croatian MEP, Ana Kučić, the Mayor of the Town of Mali Lošinj, Dalibor Cvitković, Director of the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, Sneška Quadvlieg-Mihajlović, Europa Nostra's Secretary General, Georg Plattner, Director of the Greek and Roman Antiquities collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and Hrvoje Potrebica, member of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)
Zrinka Ettinger Starčić, Director of the Lošinj Museum and the Apoxyomenos Museum, spoke about underwater cultural heritage and museums in the service of the local community and tourism. Zrinka Masalin, Marketing Manager of the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, presented Lošinj - Island of Vitality and its destination offer. The manager of the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, Andrea Borić, also gave a speech and the offer of Lošinj Hotels & Villas was presented by Iva Gagro, Sales Manager at Lošinj Hotels & Villas.
Our island is one of the first European islands to go through the energy transition process in cooperation with the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat. Also, this year we are candidates for the title of the European island of sports. Lošinj is not just the sun and the sea, we have an excellent offer, 4 star and 5 star accommodation facilities, rich history, heritage, exceptional archaeological finds, Apoxyomenos, good traffic connections, mild climate and a 130-year long tradition of health tourism. We strive to preserve all that through sustainable management and environmental protection but also to make improvements in an innovative way, said Ana Kučić, the Mayor of Mali Lošinj.
The Croatian MEP, Marijana Petir, spoke about the importance of promoting Lošinj and Apoxyomenos in Belgium. It is significant that today in Belgium we have the promotion of Lošinj and Apoxyomenos, which is one of only eight in the world. Since it was a Belgian tourist who discovered it 20 years ago in the Adriatic, we can consider it a kind of jubilee. Mali Lošinj is an island with a diverse offer and sustainable tourism, and Apoxyomenos is an added value for the tourism and cultural offer of the island. Croatia is a beautiful country with an enchanting tourism offer that I have been trying to present in Brussels during my entire mandate.
A part of the presentation was held later in the Croatian Mediterranean restaurant, Maison d'Istrie, under the organization of the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, the Town of Mali Lošinj, the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, the Lošinj Museum and the Apoxyomenos Museum, and Lošinj Hotels & Villas, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian National Tourist Board, the Croatian MEP, Marijana Petir, the Europa Nostra association, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA).