In Rijeka, the original Balthazartown, the first major exhibition dedicated to Professor Balthazar is opening.
Although Professor Balthazar has touched the hearts of millions of children, he has never had his own major exhibition. This is why Rijeka, as the city that was used as the inspiration for Balthazartown (Balthazargrad), is correcting this oversight in the year of its being a European Capital of Culture. The space at Exportdrvo becomes the home of numerous items which in an attractive, fun and interactive way tell the story about the creation of Professor Balthazar, about the many layers that are revealed when watching his adventures, as well as the importance of this animated series in the context of the time in which we currently live.
The exhibition is set up as an open space, a large, magical playground and invites visitors to participate actively. The artefacts come from numerous archives, not only from Croatia, but also from abroad, for example from Scandinavian countries where the cartoon was quite popular, whilst it was also noted that episodes of Professor Balthazar were even shown in prisons, serving as a method of rehabilitation. As a floor plan, the exhibition has been conceived like a city with all the features that also make up a city such as streets, buildings, traffic lights and squares, whilst the artefacts follow individual episodes of the animated series. The interaction is set up via a number of installations at the exhibition, whilst the solving of simple or somewhat more complicated tasks, such as puzzles, the launching of Balthazar’s inventions and machine leads visitors further through the exhibition.
In this way big and little friends of the good professor have the opportunity to peek under his hat, in other words, to find out about the many secrets that only residents of Balthazartown have known to now.
Professor Balthazar was a Croatian animated series produced from 1967 to 1978 by Zagreb Film. The series consists of 59 episodes lasting from five to ten minutes each, and to date, it has been the most successful project of the Zagreb School of Animated Film. The father of the character of Professor Balthazar is Zlatko Grgić (HR), and the sympathetic scientist who with the help of imagination and positive energy solves the problems of his fellow townsfolk in Balthazartown was named by Pavao Štalter (HR). The series became very popular and also achieved success abroad.
The curator of the exhibition is Željko Luketić (HR), and the design of the exhibition and visual identity is by the Brigada studio from Zagreb.