By: Bojana Jankovic
Uzice, Nov.14, 2009 (Serbia Today) - In a bid to turn back the hands of time, the citizens of Uzice persist in their their four years battle to return their massive bronze statue of Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) the president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY).
The movement to return the monument to the city square formally began in 2005, when the municipal organization Uzice’s Association in Belgrade, launched an initiative to return the monument of Tito return on the Square, because it was once a symbol of the city Uzice. This initiative and other after it were not succesful in convincing the sity administration to return the monument. The most initiative was addressed to the city fathers on August 21st, this year, and according to words by Lucic Uros, Secretary od Veterans Association of Uzice, made specific political threats in an attempt to convinve city political leaders.
“Since the filing of the first initiative were the last 4 years ago, we have submitted two request, but the response from city authorities are not received. Preservation Institute has given us support, while our the government of Serbia responded that such a decision must be made of the city assembly, with note that they have nothing against the idea. Last August 21st we make a request, we will organize the protest on the November 29th and seek dismissal of the mayor and the president of the city assebmly,“ Lucic.
He added that the decision of the Executive Council of the Municipal Assembly to remove the moment from the town square on August 28th, 1991 was illegal.
The bronze monument of Tito, by Zagreb’s sculptor Frano Krsinic, is 5 meters high and weighs over two tons. It stood for 30 years in Partizan Square in Uzice. To those that are not familiar with the region, Uzice was formerly known as ’Titovo Uzice’ – or ’Tito’s Uzice’.
With all necessary construction machinery, watered curses and curses new ideologues, Tito’s monument was removed in 1991 from Partizan Squre in Uzice and placed in the National Museum.
Josip Broz Tito’s image and role in the history of the region is undergoing a slow rehabilitation. He benefits from being associated with the halcionic ’Yugo-nastalgia’ with a simpler and more propserous time for the residents of the region. Although his grand expirement to unite much of the people of the Balkan Peninsula may have eventually failed, the people of Uzice are showing that they need not forget to forgive.