Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Was Tesla Serb or Croat? The Ridiculous and Very Balkan Diplomatic Row

August 13, 2019 - A diplomatic row has erupted between Croatia and Serbia over the use of Nikola Tesla. What would the great man have made of it all?

I want to take you back in time to a hotel room in New York in 1943. Lying on his deathbed at the age of 86 was one of the greatest geniuses ever to walk this planet. Although he did not achieve as much as he himself had hoped for the betterment of humanity, Nikola Tesla changed the world immensely and made it a better place. 

After a lifetime of achievement, he perhaps reflected on his successes and arguably thought back to his family, homeland and childhood. He was  certainly proud of where he came from, as he wrote in 1936:

"Thank you very much for your much appreciated greetings and honors, I am equally proud of my Serb origin and my Croat homeland. Long live all Yugoslavs." 

Perhaps Tesla reflected how he might be remembered in the future. Some 75 years later, history has treated him kindly, and he is a global figure. A new revolutionary electric vehicle brand bears his name, and a local, new generation genius called Mate Rimac is becoming a global superstar with his electric vehicle and battery technology.

But how is he remembered and discussed in his homeland? 

nikola-tesla-ethnicity (1).jpg

Well...

I was told once that the best way to start an argument in Split is to drop into a bar and ask everything there who were the top 5 Hajduk players of all time and the leave. On a regional level, there is only one question - was Nikola Tesla a Serb or Croat?

As Tesla's sentence above suggests, he probably considered himself both - an ethnic Serb growing up in his Croatian homeland. His father was a Serb Orthodox priest, his mother the daughter of a Serb Orthodox priest. 

It seems quite clear-cut to me, but nothing is that simple in the Balkans. 

When Tesla was born in 1857, the village of Smiljan was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in what was known as the Croatian Military Frontier, a district of the Military Frontier. 

Today that village lies in modern Croatia. And although the country Tesla was born in was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is interesting to note that he was "equally proud of my Serb origin and my Croat homeland."

I don't think that anyone would disagree with the following statement. Nikola Tesla was an ethnic Serb who was born in the village of Smiljan, which is located today in Croatia. 

And if you can accept that statement, then the logical next step (if you can briefly put nationalism and dick posturing to one side) is to conclude that Tesla has a story to tell in both Serbia and Croatia. 

nikola-tesla-airport-belgrade.jpg

It is a fact that Serbia has done MUCH better promoting its Tesla heritage so far, naming Belgrade Airport after the world's most famous Serb, even dedicating a science day to his birthday. 

By contrast, Croatia has done little with the Nikola Tesla gift on its territory, and the exhibition in Smiljan is an embarrassment compared to what it could offer. 

nikola-tesla-mind-from-the-future.jpg

There are signs that this is changing, however, and Zagreb was chosen as the opening location for the Nikola Tesla Mind from the Future exhibition which will tour the places which had the biggest influence on Tesla during his life - Budapest, Prague, Paris, New York, as well as Dubai. 

But not Belgrade, for although Tesla was a proud Serb and lived, studied and worked in Gospic, Maribor, Graz, Budapest and Prague, he only actually spent 31 hours and one visit in Belgrade. 

And while Croatia might want to lay claim to the Tesla heritage, at such times it is conveniently forgotten that his house was twice destroyed in the 1940s and 1990s. 

A diplomatic row has broken out between Croatia and Serbia over the great inventor has announced its plans to celebrate Croatian innovation at Dubai Expo 2020, celebrating Croatian innovators, including Tesla. It is something I applaud, as I have long been saying that It is Time for Croatia to Claim Its Nikola Tesla Heritage.

Serbia is not amused.

"With his scientific contributions and inventions, Nikola Tesla belongs to the world but as regards his ethnic background, he belongs to the Serb people. No tragicomic attempts to falsify that simple truth can change that," the Serbian Culture and Information Ministry said in a statement. 

Nobody is trying to say anything but that Tesla was an ethnic Serb, but by the same token it is hard to deny that he was born in Smiljan, which lies not in Serbia but in Croatia. And Telsa himself spoke of being "equally proud of my Serb origin and my Croat homeland."

Or are we saying that Tesla himself was wrong to refer to his "Croatian homeland"?

Or that we cannot refer to anyone as American apart from the original indigenous tribes?

Tesla was known for having a mind for the future, and the future was where his focus always was. So why don't we honour the great man and do the same?

Rather than indulge the keyboard warriors, why not do what Tesla would have done and look to the future. There will be 21 million electric vehicles on Europe's roads by 2030, and more than 75% of Croatia's tourists arrive by road. As I outlined in my recent blueprint for resetting tourism here in Branding Croatia: 5 Gifts and Trends to Focus On, Smiljan has a big role to play, 

Instead of fighting, why not work with EU funding cross-border funding programmes to celebrate Nikola Tesla and the innovation of this region. Build a Theatre of Dreams at Smiljan to stimulate the next generation, as well as similar projects in Serbia. South-East Europe, a hub of innovation and invention, symbolised by the great Nikola Tesla, whose presence was felt throughout the region. 

Do you think that idea would have made that dying old man in a New York hotel room 86 years ago a little prouder than the ridiculous situation we have at present?

Monday, 12 August 2019

Foreign Minister Continues Debate on Nikola Tesla Heritage

ZAGREB, August 12, 2019 - Following criticism from Serbia that Croatia is laying claim to the world-famous scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Monday that both Croats and Serbs could be proud of Tesla.

The Serbian Culture and Information Ministry last week issued a statement condemning in the strongest terms what it described as an unacceptable attempt by Croatia to lay claim to Tesla.

At the Expo 2020 exhibition in Dubai Croatia will present itself as a country of innovative projects, inventions and world-famous scientists, including Nikola Tesla, Faust Vrančić and Mate Rimac.

In an interview with N1, Grlić Radman said that he considered the reaction from Serbia "unnecessary" and that there were examples of famous people with dual identities everywhere in the world.

"Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia, he is of Serb ethnic background, but he always said that he was proud of his Croatian homeland and his Serb origin," the minister told the N1 broadcaster.

Grlić Radman cited the example of Nikola Šubić Zrinski, saying he was celebrated by both Croats and Hungarians, as well as Lavoslav Ružička, a chemist born in Vukovar, honoured with a Nobel prize for his work in Switzerland.

"In any case... both Croats and Serbs can be proud of having had a man of such renown. He is a universal man who has contributed to humanity," said the minister.

Grlić Radman also commented on the Croatian-Slovenian dispute regarding the border in Piran Bay, saying that he wanted Slovenia and Croatia to set an example in the EU in dealing with outstanding issues.

"Why wouldn't we see together how to solve that problem," he said, adding that other EU members, too, encouraged a bilateral solution to the dispute.

Slovenia insists that the ruling of an international arbitral tribunal on the two countries' border dispute should be applied.

In 2015 Croatia walked out of the border arbitration proceedings following the release of recordings of covert contacts between Simona Drenik, then a representative of Slovenia's Foreign Ministry, and Jernej Sekolec, Slovenia's member of the arbitral tribunal.

Since then, Croatian governments have maintained that the arbitration was irreversibly compromised and have refused to implement the subsequent ruling of the arbitral tribunal.

Slovenia has refused Croatia's proposal to resume bilateral talks on the border issue, claiming that talks are possible only on the implementation of the arbitration award and that by rejecting the award, Croatia is breaching European and international law.

Grlić Radman said that he met with former Slovenian prime minister and incumbent Foreign Minister Miro Cerar when the latter was on holiday in Croatia.

He said that he had told his Slovenian counterpart that the two countries "have been neighbours for centuries and there were never any conflicts between them" and that they should therefore solve their disputes through dialogue.

Grlić Radman also said that he had talked with Serbian counterpart Ivica Dačić and that they had agreed to work on outstanding bilateral issues, with the war missing being the most important issue for Croatia.

More news about Nikola Tesla can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

“Croatia Remembers Tesla with Respect, Not Denying His Ethnic Background”

ZAGREB, August 11, 2019 - Croatian Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek on Saturday commented on her Serbian counterpart Vladan Vukosavljević's claim that Croatia is laying claim to Nikola Tesla, saying that Croatia remembers Tesla with respect, without trying to deny his ethnic background.

"The Croatian encyclopaedia describes Nikola Tesla as a US and Croatian inventor of Serb descent. Tesla was born in Croatia, he was educated in Croatia and left Croatia for Austria and later the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and the United States. One of the greatest inventors, he changed the world and connects the countries and cultures in which he lived. Speaking of himself, Nikola Tesla said that he was proud of his Serb origin and his Croatian homeland," the minister said in a statement to Hina.

She added that unlike Serbia, which has not stopped falsifying history and laying claim to other countries' great people, Croatia "remembers one of the biggest inventors with respect, without trying to deny his ethnic background."

"I would appreciate if my colleague, Mr Vukosavljević, turned to facts instead of myths. If he did so, it would have certainly never occurred to him to propose that Serb cultural centres abroad be named after Ivo Andrić, yet another exceptional person whose identity and origin connect a number of cultures and peoples, and there is no need to lay claim to him the way Serbia did by naming Serb cultural centres after him," said Obuljen Koržinek.

The Serbian Culture and Information Ministry on Friday issued a statement condemning what it described as an unacceptable attempt by Croatia to lay claim to Tesla, whom it said the entire world recognised and remembered as a Serb who spent a large part of his life in the United States.

At the Expo 2020 in Dubai, Croatia will present itself as a country of innovative projects, inventions and world-famous scientists, including Nikola Tesla.

More Nikola Tesla news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Serbia Protests over Croatia's Alleged Laying Claim to Nikola Tesla

ZAGREB, August 10, 2019 - The Serbian Culture and Information Ministry on Friday issued a statement condemning what it described as an unacceptable attempt by Croatia to lay claim to scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla, whom it said the entire world recognised and remembered as a Serb who spent a large part of his life in the United States.

Repeated attempts to lay claim to the Serb scientist and falsify the truth will not bring any benefit to Croatia which, according to official announcements, plans to present the great man as a Croatian scientist and inventor at the Expo 2020 in Dubai, the Serbian ministry said in the statement.

At the world exhibition in Dubai, Croatia will present itself as a country of innovative projects, inventions and world-famous scientists, including Nikola Tesla.

The Serbian ministry claims that the only historically correct fact on Tesla's background in encyclopedias, scientific works and popular texts is one that puts Tesla among the most important Serb scientists.

"With his scientific contributions and inventions, Nikola Tesla belongs to the world but as regards his ethnic background, he belongs to the Serb people. No tragicomic attempts to falsify that simple truth can change that," the Serbian ministry said.

Croatia considers Tesla, a Serb born in Smiljan in the central Croatian region of Lika in 1856, to be a Croatian and US scientist and inventor who spent most of his life in the United States, where he created all of his inventions and where he died in 1943.

More info about Nikola Tesla can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Procedure of Certification of Nikola Tesla Network Launched

ZAGREB, July 10, 2019 - Three ministries, local tourism boards, associations, three counties and dozens of towns on Tuesday signed a cooperation charter with the Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre in the village of Smiljan near Gospić, where Tesla was born 163 years ago, thus launching the procedure of certification of the Nikola Tesla Network project at the Council of Europe Institute for Cultural Routes.

The certification will make it possible for destinations in Croatia that are connected with Tesla to become part of the European network of cultural routes.

Tourism Ministry State Secretary Frano Matušić said today that a task force would be set up in the town of Skradin on Thursday to be in charge of the further process of the certification.

Matušić told Hina that the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst had pledged support in this project.

He also hopes that the certificate to this effect would be issued next May, underscoring that this would accentuate the fact that Nikola Tesla is a Croatian brand.

On July 10, Tesla's birthday, representatives of the Nikola Tesla – Genius for the Future association, the Ruđer Bošković Institute and the City of Zagreb will lay flowers at the monument to Tesla, and the annual Nikola Tesla – Genius for the Future awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Hotel Esplanade.

On Thursday, July 11, a conference called "Tesla in Zagreb" will be held at the Zagreb Chamber of Commerce, presenting successful cultural, scientific, educational and tourism-related projects in the country and the region that were inspired by Nikola Tesla.

Tesla was born in Smiljan, a village in the mountainous region of Lika in Croatia, on 10 July 1856 and died in New York on 7 January 1943. Tesla was one of the most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity, and is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

More Nikola Tesla news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Tesla&friends Event to Be Held in Zagreb to Celebrate Nikola Tesla Birthday

ZAGREB, July 8, 2019 - The 10th edition of the Tesla&friends event will be held in Zagreb on July 9-11 to mark the 163rd anniversary of the birth of the world-famous Croatian-born scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla.

The three-day event will also mark the national Day of Nikola Tesla – Day of Science, Technology and Innovation in honour of the great scientist.

The programme will start on Tuesday, July 9 with a demonstration of Tesla's experiments at the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, a concert by students at the Music Academy, and a concert at the Komedija Theatre.

The fountains on the lawn outside the National and University Library will be illuminated to project the image of Tesla.

On July 10, Tesla's birthday, representatives of the Nikola Tesla – Genius for the Future association, the Ruđer Boskovic Institute and the City of Zagreb will lay flowers at the monument to Tesla, and the annual Nikola Tesla – Genius for the Future awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Hotel Esplanade.

On Thursday, July 11, a conference called "Tesla in Zagreb" will be held at the Zagreb Chamber of Commerce, presenting successful cultural, scientific, educational and tourism-related projects in the country and the region that were inspired by Tesla.

On July 9, several government ministries, tourism boards, associations, counties and towns will sign a cooperation charter with the Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre in the village of Smiljan near Gospić, where Tesla was born, to launch the procedure of certification of the Tesla Network project at the Council of Europe Institute for Cultural Routes.

The certification will make it possible for destinations in Croatia that are connected with Tesla to become part of the European network of cultural routes.

More Tesla info can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Gospić to Celebrate Tesla's Birthday with "Tesla Power of Lights" Event

ZAGREB, June 30, 2019 - The tourism board in the central town of Gospić is organising an event called "Tesla Power of Lights" to celebrate the 163rd anniversary of the birth of the world famous scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla.

The event will take place in Gospić's main square on the evening of July 9, the day before Tesla's birthday. Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, near Gospić.

The event will show not only all of Tesla's contributions to humanity but will also enable visitors to imagine the night when Tesla was born. It will include a spectacular light show and a sightseeing train that will drive around the town free of charge taking visitors to the locations connected with Tesla's life and work. All the buildings in which Tesla lived or worked will be specially illuminated, and visitors will also be able to sit on lit-up furniture specifically designed for this occasion.

The local tourism board expects that the event will attract tourists and help further promote Gospić, the Lika region and Croatia.

More news on Nikola Tesla can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

New Project Honouring Nikola Tesla Presented in Karlovac

Something new for Karlovac County as the House of Nikola Tesla project is presented.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of October, 2018, Karlovac County is preparing to create something that will highlight the fact that Nikola Tesla himself completed his high school education in Karlovac, and thus the county will finally embrace him proudly as a former citizen.

The location for the project's detailed presentation was therefore far from chosen by chance, since Nikola Tesla completed his formal education at the Karlovac Gymnasium, and on the occasion of the presentation, Karlovac Mayor Damir Mandić stated: "Here, Nikola became Tesla".

The content of the future House of Nikola Tesla will be closely linked with Karlovac Gymnasium, its contents will be varied, both in an architectural and conceptual sense, and these features have been conceived to become part of the educational facility itself.

The House of Nikola Tesla project was initially submitted by Karlovac County back on the 27th of October, 2017, at the MRRFEU "Program for the preparation of local development projects eligible for funding from ESI funds" tender. The project was of course approved, and a co-financing agreement was signed on May the 21st, 2018, amounting to 430,000 kuna.

The contract for concept interpretation has been signed with REAL Group d.o.o., and the services consist of the creation of an initial project program, a preliminary design project, a design project for the design of the future House of Nikola Tesla, the design of the exhibition and its functional space(s), the design of its contents, a business plan, and promotion. The contract value amounts to 236.250 kuna.

The contract for the service of design documentation (for both the main and executive project) for the environmental reconstruction and extension of the Rakovac 6 residential building was signed with the company POP-AP from Karlovac.

The contract documentation consists of: a preliminary project for obtaining location permits, a project for the demolition of the constructive elements of the building, the main project for obtaining special conditions and confirmation of the main project, the building permit and the execution project with the cost of the works. The contract's value stands at a handsome 246,204.90 kuna.

The funds for the realisation of these contracts were provided by Karlovac County itself.

The very successful public presentation of the project was held by representatives of the REAL Group and a team of young local architects from Karlovac's own POP-AP company, and the vision of the project was met with nothing less than delight from all of the participants who attended.

The initiator and main advocate of this project, Deputy Prefect Martina Furdek Hajdin, made no effort to hide her joy with what she saw, and emphasised that Karlovac is now set to get yet more valuable multifunctional content owing to this praiseworthy project, and with it appropriately and proudly embrace the one and only Nikola Tesla as a former fellow citizen of Karlovac.

Works on the project are expected to begin in 2019.

You can follow more news about the main who gave the world so much heremainYou can follow more news about the main who gave the world so much here.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Nikola Tesla Experience Centre to Open in Karlovac

Tesla spent his high school years in Karlovac.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Zagreb First European City to Have Public Presentation of New Tesla Model 3

The citizens of Zagreb will be able to check out the new Tesla Model 3 next week, as the in-demand electric vehicle will be presented in public on September 21,2018.

Page 2 of 5

Search