Digital Museum Night – 29 January 2021

In the circumstances of the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Croatia and the devastating earthquake in Zagreb, and recently in Petrinja, Sisak and Glina, most museum and similar cultural events have moved to digital channels of communication and content transfer, according to epidemiological measures and after severe suffering of the museum in the earthquake. The Croatian Museum Association organizes the Digital Night of Museums and expresses great interest of many participants and the gene ral public for the contents that museums and other institutions created and offered to the public through digital media last year. In this way, fans of museum and other programs will be able to search for attractive content in the Digital Night of Museums from 18.00 to 23.00 via the digital platform, as well as through social networks, digital applications and websites of individual institutions. Also, the attractiveness of the event will be contributed by HRT, which is preparing a special program on HTV in which it will present the most attractive virtual programs and content in Croatian and some foreign museums. For the past 15 years, Museum Night has been marked by a massive number of visits to museums, which exceeded the number of 300,000 visits during one night. As the Museum Night event has fully taken on the characteristics of an unavoidable cultural event in recent years, the organizers of the sixteenth Museum Night point out the importance of the museum’s survival in the global crisis, and together with the Croatian museum community will enable loyal audiences to participate and enjoy virtual editions.

The Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts is also participating in the Digital Night of Museums with its program.

PROGRAM TITLE: Digitized film recording of 1954 middle ear surgery

AUTHORS OF THE CONCEPT: prof. dr. sc. Stella Fatović-Ferenčić and Silvija Brkić Midžić

EXPERT ASSOCIATE: Prof. dr. sc. Ranko Mladina

PROGRAM CONTENT: Premiere presentation of a digitized film from the holdings of the Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy – a film recording of middle ear surgery performed by Ivo Padovan and shot by Mihovil Pansini in 1954 at the Otolaryngology Department of the General Hospital “Dr. Mladen Stojanović ”in Zagreb (today the Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery of the Clinical Hospital Center Sestre milosrdnice)

PRESENTATION FORM: video projection with accompanying text

SUMMARY OF THE PROGRAM: Although the film entered the medical sphere very early in our area, especially after the founding of the photo-film laboratory at the School of Public Health opened in 1927, the first films were primarily dedicated to public health and health education campaigns and related to preventive actions. as part of the activities of this institution. Films that deal with surgical procedures in some clinics in Croatia are much rarer. Among the early representatives of this type is certainly the film recording of middle ear surgery made during this procedure by Mihovil Pansini in 1954. A digital copy of this film together with the original film tape is kept today in the Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts as part of the legacy of academician Ivo Padovan. It was originally a black-and-white silent film on 8-millimeter film tape lasting 5 minutes and 7 seconds. The film shows middle ear surgery under local anesthesia at the ENT clinic in Zagreb. The cinematographer was the Croatian film director and otorhinolaryngologist Mihovil Pansini (1926-2015), who made his debut with the amateur film Mr. Doctor a year earlier and was active in the Zagreb Cinema Club. The operation was performed by a young otorhinolaryngologist and employee of the Clinic, Ivo Padovan (1922-2010). The film was shot in the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases of the Sestre milosrdnice Clinical Hospital in Zagreb, which was then run by the prominent Croatian representative of otorhinolaryngology Ante Šercer (1896 – 1968), internationally recognized according to his plastic and reconstructive procedures of the nose and ears. This is a presentation of a routine operation that takes place in the area of ​​the middle ear, ie. in the area the size of a pea, so the visibility of the area itself is limited, and the cameraman’s technical capabilities also contribute to this. Although the image is entitled Transmeatal Approach to the Middle Ear Cavity, it is clear that the approach is combined with both retroauricular notches and separation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue from the mastoid process and temporal bone. Unfortunately, no documentation was left on the indications of this procedure (diagnosis of the patient on the recording) or information on the purpose for which (documentation, education, archives, amateur recording) the recording was made. We can assume that the production of this film is part of the early activities of the photo-cinema laboratory established within the Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology under the leadership of Mihovil Pansini, and engaged in professional and scientific film and photography and documentary, animated, educational and other films. On the other part, a testimony to the routine work of the employee of the famous Šercer clinic Ivo Padovan, who will become internationally known for their work results and innovations in the field of surgical procedures, and Mihovil Pansini, who in addition to audiology and vestibulology later deals with verbotonal rehabilitation, speech, sensory and communication and continuous film amateurism, is a real gem of our medical and cultural heritage. The digitization of this film was made by the efforts of members of Ivo Padovan’s family, thanks to which a good part of the film recordings of Padovan’s operations reached the Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Link: Noć muzeja 2021 | Zadaće muzeja u uvjetima krize (

In the picture:  Ivo Padovan during the operation (part of the film)

More informations about Ivo Padovan: Ivo Padovan (1922 – 2010) – Hrvatski muzej medicine i farmacije (

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