An exhibition entitled “Alga Sušak – čuvar vašeg zdravlja” (Alga Sušak in Service of Health) has opened at the Rijeka City Museum in partnership with the JGL Pharmacy Museum. It tells the fascinating story of the Alga Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Laboratory, which the creators believe deserves to be told to younger generations as an important part of the national history of pharmacy.
“We are delighted that, together with the Rijeka City Museum, we have once again given the citizens of Rijeka an insight into the past and the legacy of prominent Rijeka citizens. The story of Alga is a story of entrepreneurial spirit, vision and innovative marketing ideas. We at the Rijeka City Museum and the JGL Pharmacy Museum believe that the public should know the story of Alga Laboratory and the vision and efforts of its founders. This is the third exhibition that the JGL Pharmacy Museum has organised in cooperation with the Rijeka City Museum. It is part of our mission of affirming the importance of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical profession for our health and cultural identity, which has been – and still is – an important factor in the spiritual and economic progress of the city and county throughout history,” said Eva Usmiani Capobianco, member of JGL’s Board of Directors, at the opening of the exhibition.
The Alga Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Laboratory was founded by Dinko Budak, MPharm and Vladimir Kezele, MPharm. It left an indelible mark on the history of Rijeka and is an integral part of the economic history of Sušak between the two world wars, which was its golden era. Alga flourished in the first half of the 20th century and was deeply rooted in Sušak, the site of its production plant. During that period, Sušak was an important Yugoslav town and economic hub, a major port and an intersection of transport routes. Its transformation from a small town into an important political, economic, cultural, commercial and transport hub began in 1924, and by World War II, its population had doubled. Alga and Sušak developed side by side, and Alga made sure to indicate the origin and production site of every one of its products on its packaging.
“Alga has once again proven that people in this area have always been characterised by growth and creativity and that they have successfully preserved our identity. This exhibition tells the story of the rich economic history and heritage of which we are proud and gives a perspective of the future of Rijeka as a safe space for implementing economic ideas and creating new jobs. Alga serves as proof that pharmacy in Rijeka was an essential branch of the economy during that period. Now, JGL, as a global player which has never forgotten its roots, continues to remind us of the culture and heritage of the region with its corporate social responsibility. I want to thank the Rijeka City Museum, the JGL Pharmacy Museum, and the State Archives in Rijeka, which holds many of the items used in the exhibition,” said Rijeka Mayor Marko Filipović.
The exhibition was created by Kristina Pandža and Rafaela Ban, curators of the Rijeka City Museum, and Marin Pintur, Director of the JGL Pharmacy Museum. The exhibition is being held in the “Kockica” building of the Rijeka City Museum and will be open to the public until 31 May 2023.