Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tudjman Square: Consensus (Or Not)

Jutarnji list is now reporting that the Zagreb City Council's committee on such matters has decided the public space to be renamed in honour of Franjo Tudjman will be - 'the currently unnamed space' between Trg Francuske Republike, Ilica and Ulica Republike Austrije. (So much for Rooseveltov trg and all the other proposals.)

So nobody/nowhere needs to be displaced from public memory after all (except Rudolf von Habsburg, that is: the space is sometimes called Rudolfove vojarne or Rudolf's barracks) and the naming will usefully commemorate 'the space [where] the first president Tudjman held his legendary speech and mass rallies during Croatia's independence.'

Needless to say, not everyone's happy with it. Deputy prime minister Jadranka Kosor has attacked the decision as 'completely unacceptable to [her party] HDZ' and a politicised message from the city's social-democrat mayor Milan Bandić over 'who decides everything in Zagreb'.

Meanwhile, Tudjman's wife Ankica (who's been lobbying for Rooseveltov trg) has complained that Tudjman only held one election rally on the square at a time when he was president of HDZ rather than president of the Croatian state, and moreover that 'it isn't a square at all, but a "named space".'

It's not all bad news for the državotvorni lobby, though: check out the chequerboard-heavy mockups for the square's redesign.

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