The 150th Anniversary of Matica slovenska Foundation stamp from Slovakia

August 4th, 2013

Pofis post celebrates the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Matica slovenska by the issue of a new stamp.

In the year of celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of Byzantine missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius to Great Moravia (i.e. to the territory of today Slovakia), Matica slovenska was founded as the national culture organization at the General Assembly in Turciansky Svaty Martin on August 4, 1863. It joined ranks of similar organizations of Slavic nations that began to originate in the 19th century, beginning with Matica srbska in 1826. Their objective was to cultivate national culture, art and science under the circumstances of non-independence and thus replace the role of state in this area in certain way.

The first attempt to found such organization was made by Slovaks in the 1840s and they named it Tatrin. Despite its operation for several years, its articles of association were not approved and it vanished in the revolutionary chaos of 1848 – 1849. The idea resurfaced at national assembly of Slovaks at the beginning of June 1861. There was also the organizational committee created that drafted the articles of association of the new organization and obtained approval with its foundation from the Imperial Court in Vienna. The first Matica slovenska was operating in 1863 – 1875 mainly in the areas of science, culture, literature, as museum and publishing institution and it also had merit in publishing school books for Slovak schools. In the age of accession of the national oppression policy in the Kingdom of Hungary after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, Matica slovenska became subject to political persecution and the government in Budapest had it dissolved in 1875 in the end.
But the idea of Matica slovenska as a national cultural and scientific institution remained alive. However, attempts to restore it were not successful until 1918. Its operation was restored and expanded to include member base and organizing amateur theatre after national liberation at the end of World War I in 1919. Its publishing activity was expanded with founding printing house Neografia in 1943. In 1984 – 1989, during in the years of socialist regime, the role of Matica was reduced to more or less national library and library centre. The operation of Matica was fully restored including member base after changes of 1989. Matica slovenska of today is a wide-spectrum organization, cultivating science, culture, art, spare-time activities, attending to Slovaks in ethnically mixed areas and in the diaspora abroad.

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