Mostar Bruce Lee statue
A statue of Bruce Lee was unveiled on Saturday, November 26, 2005, in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Croatian sculptor Ivan Fijolić. Located in the City Park of "Zrinjski," the life-sized statue stands 1.68 meters tall and is a symbol of solidarity in the ethnically divided city.
The statue was the first public monument to Bruce Lee unveiled in the world, with a statue in Hong Kong being revealed one day later marking what would have been the Chinese star's 65th birthday.
The project of the statue was spearheaded by the youth group Mostar Urban Movement, who saw the statue as "an attempt to question symbols, old and new, by mixing up high grandeur with mass culture and kung fu." Bruce Lee was chosen by organisers as a symbol of the fight against ethnic divisions. Lee, who was an American of Chinese descent and famous martial arts actor, represented to the residents of Mostar a bridging of cultures. "One thing we all have in common is Bruce Lee."
In a city with a reputation for violence, the dynamic movie star was a symbol of "loyalty, skill, friendship and justice."
The unveiling ceremony of the statue saw the attendance of local Bruce Lee fans, representatives of the German government, which had bankrolled the project, as well as Chinese officials. Martial arts is popular among the youth population in Herzegovina, especially competitive Mixed Martial Arts where Croatian Mirko Filipović is an international star.
Shortly afterward the sculpture was vandalized, removed for repairs and brought back at the end of May of 2013. Bosnians and Croats had complained that the statue was a provocation because it was oriented towards their area in a fighting stance.
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