Sunday, 6 January 2019

Zagreb's New Franjo Tuđman Statue Desecrated with Hammer and Sickle

Graffiti of a hammer and sickle, a proletarian solidarity symbol which primarily symbolised the unity of the peasants and the workers during the 1917 revolution and eventually became closely associated with Communism, has appeared on the newly placed Zagreb statue of independent Croatia's first president, Dr. Franjo Tuđman.

As Vecernji list (view photos here) writes on the 6th of January, 2019, the controversial hammer and sickle graffiti was sprayed by as yet unknown vandals on the new Zagreb statue to the Independent Republic of Croatia's very first president some time during Saturday night.

To briefly recall, Zagreb's new monument dedicated to Dr. Franjo Tuđman was officially unveiled on the 19th anniversary of the death of the first Croatian president. Croatian politicians, Homeland War defenders from all corners of the country, and people from across Croatia came to the capital and laid wreaths in memory of Dr. Franjo Tuđman.

Dr. Franjo Tuđman remains a controversial character and for many is a dividing character depending on which side of the political spectrum one stands on. While many consider him to be the heroic first present of the then newly independent Republic of Croatia, freed from the former shackles of an increasingly oppressive Yugoslavia, others see him in a rather different light, with many speculating on his placement as being one coordinated at the hands of those with underhand motives working against the newly independent state.

In any case, statues of the first Croatian president can be found all over Croatia, with the newest in the Croatian capital attracting a particular amount of attention, in both a positive and a negative sense.

The monument stands at a height of almost seven metres, making it the largest in the whole of the Republic of Croatia currently.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated politics page for much more on the Croatian political scene.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Monument to Franjo Tuđman Unveiled in Zagreb

ZAGREB, December 11, 2018 - A four-metre-high monument to Franjo Tuđman, Croatia's first president, was unveiled in the centre of Zagreb on Monday, on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of Tuđman's death.

Addressing the unveiling ceremony, incumbent President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović praised the first head of state for understanding the signs of the times and for leading the nation when it created its state.

Noting that the anniversary of Tuđman's death coincides with Human Rights' Day, 10 December, Grabar-Kitarović underscored that Tuđman was aware that the ideal of fundamental human rights could not be fully exercised if a nation was not free.

Guided by that ideal, Tuđman joined the anti-Fascist movement during the Second World War, but soon after the end of WWII, he realised that the new state (Socialist Yugoslavia) failed to ensure the exercise of human, social and national ideals of the Croatian people, she added.

Many Croats could not accept that but only the few had a clear vision of the promotion of the Croatian cause, and Tuđman was a leader who could shape and implement that plan, said Grabar-Kitarović.

The key to his success was his belief that nations that are small, such as the Croat people, are also entitled to great ideas and the ability to implement them, she said.

Tuđman was also aware that the crucial historical opportunity should not be missed as it would lead to the "extinction of the Croat people," she added.

She went on to say that that the first Croatian president was sure that a people that waged a just defensive war could not lose. After Operation Storm which completed efforts to bring freedom and independence to Croatia, Tuđman came to Vukovar with an extended hand of reconciliation and peace, said Grabar-Kitarović.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković recalled that under Tuđman's leadership, the Croatians' centuries-long dream of a free, democratic, independent and internationally recognised country became true.

The achievements of the Croatian state with Tudjman at its helm have enabled a free expression of the Croatian national and state identity, Plenković said.

It is therefore important to preserve those values, and Tuđman's positive political legacy is a pillar of the present-day Croatia which we have to promote and develop in significantly different social and political circumstances, he added.

Today we have the responsibility to recognise new strategic priorities and implement them through dialogue, seek joint solutions, reinforce Croatian institutions and build the country's international image, the prime minister said, recalling that during Tudjman's presidency Croatia defined its commitment to integrating with European and trans-Atlantic organisations and the family of the most developed European countries.

The monument to Franjo Tuđman, erected at the intersection of Vukovarska and Hrvatske Bratske Zajednice streets, was formally unveiled by Grabar-Kitarović, sculptor Kuzma Kovačić, who is the monument's author, members of the Tuđman family, and Zagreb Deputy Mayor Jelena Pavičić Vukičević.

More info about Croatian history can be found in our Politics section.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

HDZ Marks Anniversary of Tuđman’s Birth

ZAGREB, May 13, 2018 - The first president of Croatia and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Franjo Tuđman achieved the fundamental objectives he had been dreaming of for years. He created a free, independent and modern Croatian state at times of "tectonic changes" in Europe, and Croatia's challenges today are similar to some of the challenges Tuđman was faced with – this was said at a ceremony marking the 96th anniversary of Tuđman's birth on Sunday.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Dubrovnik's Franjo Tudjman Bridge - Unusual Vantage Point for Photography

An unusual photography stop off just outside the city.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Franjo Tuđman to Get a Monument in Zagreb

First president of Croatia will get a larger than life monument.

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