Jakob Soklič, a priest, cultural worker and collector, was born on 7 May 1893 in Ribno near Bled. He studied theology in Gorizia and Ljubljana, where he was ordained in 1917. Before his arrival to Slovenj Gradec in 1933, he was a pastor in Sv. Vid near Ptuj, where he started to collect antiquities. Already in 1937, he opened his collection to the public on the premises of the city parish in Slovenj Gradec, which he called Soklič’s Museum. In nearly 40 years of his activities, he performed the immensely important task of a guardian of movable cultural heritage.
Today, the memorial to Jakob Soklič is situated in front of the parish building – along with a memorial to another priest, the writer Franc Ksaver Meško, which was made by Rade Nikolič. In contrast to the latter, the Soklič memorial made by the hands of Naca Rojnik is shaped much more formally; it seems as if the tiny head with an accentuated nose and deep-set eyes is crawling out of the uniform mass of the body.
Text: Jernej Kožar