cankarjev dom - cd
Photo credit: Branko Cvetkovič, Cankarjev dom

Congresses and conventions of political parties, together with the protocol, security in accordance with the highest requirements and standards, and live TV broadcasts, have been held in Cankarjev dom – CD Cultural and Congress Centre Ljubljana since its foundation. Even more, Cankarjev dom, due to the exclusivity of its premisses and its understanding of protocol, is able to host political events of the most exclusive character.

It is not a rare occasion that the venue, located in the heart of Slovenia’s capital, has been chosen for important political meetings even in the times of the crisis. Cankarjev dom is conveniently and significantly set near to all the major institutions of the Slovenian state (the Parliament, the Government Building, and the Presidential Palace), as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ljubljana’s main Police Station, and several embassies.

Additionally, what Cankarjev dom particularly prides on, are its staff that are already well-trained in the highest-level protocol. In other congress centres they usually hire an additional protocol service but in Cankarjev dom the protocol is automatically included in the service. Thus, Cankarjev dom is a popular venue for important or even historical political gatherings. In fact, even now, in the time of the unprecedented world-crisis when the quarantine kept many venues closed for the time being, Cankarjev dom has been chosen as the venue of some of the crisis meetings of the Slovenian government.

It is not for the first time, though. Cankarjev dom has played an important role already 29 years ago, in 1991, when Slovenia was in the front lines fighting for its independence from former Yugoslavia in the Ten-Day War. Cankarjev dom was at the time serving as the main headquarters of newly formed Slovenia’s command of the Slovenian Territorial Defence. This meant that members of the Presidency of the newly formed Republic of Slovenia were holding meetings there, including defense minister Janez Janša, and minister of the interior Igor Bavčar. Also, in the time of the 1991 war, press conferences for domestic and foreign journalists were held in Cankarjev dom and were lead by information minister Jelko Kacin.

This was an uforgettable historical role that Cankarjev dom held at the time of the crisis in 1991. Today, though, in the time of the Corona crisis, Cankarjev dom again is filling its role as an important player in the time of crisis. Namely, some of the governmental crisis meetings are being held inside Cankarjev dom. Interestingly enough, some of the names from the time of the 1991 war are again taking the podium. This time, the former defense minister, Janez Janša, is today’s prime minister. And the today’s spokesperson for the crisis is Jelko Kacin, who was in 1991 the information minister.

There is one significant difference, though, and certainly not one to skip … and one that shows us what the times we are now in really mean: in 1991, despite the ongoing war and the top of the country helding its crisis meeting in Cankarjev dom, some of the scheduled performances in Cankarjev dom were still on, they were not cancelled. Today, though, they all are.

In the current crisis, all of the scheduled cultural, scientific, and corporate events in Cankarjev dom were cancelled for the time being of Corona crisis. This is an unprecedented event not just for this important Slovenian building, which yet again is writing history with hosting some of the most crucial political meetings in Slovenian history, but also for Slovenian nation. When even Cankarjev dom is closed for public, … well, that makes one wonder, right?