news 23 Jan 13

Bring Nikola Tesla Monument Back, Urges Croatia PM

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said the Croatian town of Gospic should reinstall a renovated statue of the celebrated ethnic Serb scientist that was destroyed by a blast in 1992.

Boris Pavelic
Zagreb

"I appeal to the Gospic authorities to find a decent place for that monument, which I consider to be the heart of Gospic, but it's up to them to decide," Milanovic said in the Croatian parliament on Wednesday.

He said that there were "touristic and economic" reasons for restoring the Tesla monument that was destroyed in a night-time explosion staged by unknown attackers in February 1992 during the Balkan conflict.

Inventor Tesla, one of the 20th Century’s scientific greats, was born near Gospic, but in the 1990s, Croatian nationalists tried to play down the fact that his ethnic origins were Serb.

The attack on his statue took place during a period when monuments were destroyed across Croatia for political reasons, including more than 3,000 memorials to the World War II Partisan movement.

The Gospic monument was a replica of a statue by Croatian artist Frano Krsinic, and identical works stand in Belgrade and at Niagara falls, where Tesla performed some of his experiments.

The statue was restored at the Zagreb visual arts academy’s foundry in 2006, when the 150th anniversary of Tesla's birthday was celebrated, in a collaboration between the Croatian and Serbian culture ministries.

"The monument is completely finished," Nikola Cerjanc, the deputy director of the foundry, told media recently, describing the artwork as a "masterpiece".

Several years ago, Gospic mayor Nikola Kolic rejected the possibility of bringing the statue back. "We will put [wartime Croatian President] Franjo Tudjman's monument in that place," Kolic said, although he did not fulfill his promise.

Tesla was born in 1856 in Smiljan, near Gospic. Despite his innovations in the field of electrical engineering, he died in poverty in New York in 1943.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

News 28 Nov 17

Tempers Rise in Macedonian Resort Over Tall Minaret

Comment 21 Nov 17

Bosnia Marks Dayton Anniversary Amid Growing Crisis

News 18 Nov 17

Croatia Commemorates 26 Years Since Vukovar’s Fall

Interview 30 Oct 17

World Jewish Congress Urges Croatia to Debate Holocaust

news 25 Oct 17

Kosovo Acts to Preserve War Victims’ Possessions

News 23 Oct 17

Monument to Murdered Serbian PM Djindjic Sparks Row

Feature 11 Oct 17

Why Croatia’s President Tudjman Imitated General Franco

feature 03 Oct 17

Bosnia Activists Install Signs at Unmarked War Sites