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news 29 Jun 12

Kusturica and Dodik Unveil Andric Sculpture in Bosnia

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and controversial film director Emir Kusturica unveiled a sculpture of the prize-winning Bosnian writer Ivo Andric in Andricgrad, the mini-town being built within Visegrad.

Elvira Jukic
BIRN, news agencies
Sarajevo

The monument to the Nobel prize winning writer was unveiled on Thursday, St Vitus Day, a Serbian religious holiday, by Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity, and film director Kusturica.

The sculpure by Milanko Mandic is set in the main square of Andricgrad, a mini-town being built within Visegrad, based on the ideas from Andric's books, under Kusturica's direction.

“Andricgrad is being built as a town of creativity, art and reconciliation,” Kusturica said on Thursday. “It will be an international stage where the missed lessons from the period of the Renaissance will be renewed.”

Kusturica said the Andricgrad project had received solid support from Bosnian Serb leader Dodik who had “proved himself a true fighter for the truth that the Serbian people are not an illegal organization but a small but significant European ethnic group.”

Dodik said that Andricgrad's importance lay in the fact that it represented a sign of how Serbs take care of their culture and their writers.

“This stone town should change the image of the whole municipality [of Visegrad] but also send a clear message that Serbian people do not want to give up on their great men,” Dodik said, referring to Andric, who was born in the Bosnian town of Travnik and died in the then Yugoslav capital, Belgrade.

Andricgrad is to be built as part of a public-private partnership with Kusturica as the largest contributor to the project and Republika Srpska government as a funding partner while the town of Visegrad is providing the location and infrastructure.

The mini-town will include some 50 mainly stone buildings located at the mouth of the Drina River, the setting for Andric's prize-winning book, The Bridge On the Drina.

Construction started on June 28 last year and is due to take three years to complete. It will cost, according to current estimates, some 15 million euro.

Andricgrad will feature stone streets, gates and towers and include a cinema, a theatre, a marina, a gymnasium, craft workshops, hotels, sports facilities, a new building for the Visegrad municipality, galleries, churches and a han.

Kusturica is expected to use the new mini-town in his planned movies Pancho Villa and The Bridge on the Drina. The filmmaker previously built an idealised traditional Serbian village in Serbia near Mokra Gora, called Drvengrad.

Among local politicians and other guests at Thursday's event were Ivica Dacic, soon to be confirmed as Serbia's new Prime Minister, Oliver Antic, a representative of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.

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