Monday, December 27, 2004

Tito's Monument Blown Up

In 1990s one of the most popular forms of proving Croatian patriotism was destroying any monument that reminded new generations of Croatia being on the side of winners in WW2. It is estimated that some 3000 monuments were blown up. It was usually done by night and in the morning police would give a lip service to investigation while local authorities would invent all kinds of reasons not to restore the monuments.

However, even in those times there were some lines not to be crossed. One of them was the life-sized statue of former Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito in his home town of Kumrovec. The statue was built by a famous sculptor August Augustinčić (August Augustincic), one of Croatia's greatest artists whose work is, among other things, permanently displayed in the halls of UN Building in New York. The statue was placed near the small house where Tito had been born in 1892. The house now serves both as a museum and gathering place for Yugonostalgic pilgrims that appear there every year for Tito's birthday.

Existence of that statue apparently annoyed many right-wingers in Croatia. There were some threats against the statue and there was an attempt to bomb it before. However, last night unknown perpetrator has put enough explosives to blow it up. Police is investigating but, if previous cases are any indicator, the perpetrator probably would never be found.

The motive for the bombing is not only the hatred Croatian right-wingers feel towards the man who is repeatedly voted as the greatest Croatian who ever lived. It is also a message to Sanader and expression of displeasure with "gentler and kinder" HDZ that had abandoned Tudjman's hard-line nationalism for the sake of Croatian entry into EU.


Sanader's government understood the message and answered in the most sensible way possible. They condemned the incident and announced that they would send Ministry of Culture crews to repair the damage.

The amount of explosives was apparently substantial. Apart from the monument itself, Tito's old house and many nearby houses were damaged in the blast. Such damage suggests that the perpetrator had access to military explosive.

. There were some threats against the statue and there


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sir forgot to mention that the magazine that had a poll and said Tito was the greatest croatian that ever lived was done by a communist. The poll was rigged,the majority of the 20 000 people asked were serbs. This is well known and was a huge embarrasment to the magazine when made public. Sales of the magazine have dropped dramatically. Also u forgot to mention that more Croatians died under Titos rule then in ANY other time of the history of Croatia. Tito was the biggest killer of Croatians,he killed more than Milosevic. Thank god someone blew the statue of him up. If Jure Francetic and Mile Budak(who fought for Croatian people and freedom) statues are not allowed up than neither should communists who massacred the Croatian people.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Eric Gordy said...

How interesting that the previous post was made anonymously.

11:38 PM  

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