Friday, December 15, 2006

Čija Je Ona Livada, Čija Ona Trava

In the words of the Herzegovinan folk song Moj Ivane (My Ivan), re-arranged by Marko Perković Thompson in 2000: 'Whose is that lawn, whose is that grass?'

If it's been talked about in the last couple of days, it's probably been Franjo Tudjman's.

Jutarnji list goes into much more detail today about architect Nenad Fabijanić's planned redevelopment of the square into 'a big park with paths, a long pool, a glass pavilion and underground parking.'

The new Tudjmanov trg could eventually host the type of cultural events currently held on Zrinjevac, Jelačićev trg and Cvjetni trg, and even replace the Manduševac fountain as school-leavers' preferred location of watery chaos during their end of year Norijada celebrations.

In fact, the plan seems to have been kicking around Zagreb Town Hall for several years, but according to Fabijanić 'has the greatest urban and social potential in the area of the broader centre of Zagreb', whatever its name:

'When I was working on the project, just like today, I thought that that space could become a city park which could contain various urban functions, from the utilitarian to the symbolic, and become an important social area in the western part of the city where there isn't a single square between Britanski trg and Črnomerec. [...] Whatever name it has received, I see that space as a starting point for the reurbanisation process of the western part of central Zagreb and a place where its urban identity in the 21st century can be confirmed, in which I expect participation by the artistic elite of Zagreb and Croatia.'

All very social and, well, democratic. In fact, art historian Krešimir Galović even recommends that 'monumental monuments' (such as those already erected to Tudjman in towns such as Slavonski Brod) won't suit the space at all, although 'a giant screen' might do the job nicely.

The Gazette doesn't like to be one for predictions, but it's safe to say Ankica Tudjman, Ivo Sanader, Jadranka Kosor and the rest aren't likely to be satisfied with a big screen. Or even the 'single square between Britanski trg and Črnomerec.'

There's not much chance of landing Zagreb with two Tudjman Squares, but it's worth wondering whether the pressure will continue until another prime zagrebački location is named after the late president.

Somewhere like... Zagreb airport, perhaps?

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