Eternal Flame (Belgrade)

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Eternal Flame
Вечна ватра/Večna vatra
Flag of Serbia.svg Serbia
Eternal Flame, Park of Friendship in New Belgrade.jpg
The Eternal Flame on the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 2019
For the military and civilian victims of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
UnveiledJune 12, 2000 (2000-06-12)
Location44°49′13″N 20°26′06″E / 44.8203346°N 20.4349978°E / 44.8203346; 20.4349978
Designed bySculptors Svetomir and Svetozar Radović and architects Marko Stevanović and Miodrag Cvijić
May this flame burn eternally as a memorial to the war that the 19 countries of the NATO pact – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Norway, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – led against Serbia from 24 March to 10 June 1999.

May it burn eternally as a memorial to the heroic defense of Serbia in which the entire people took part.

May it burn eternally for the whole world. To be free, the world must find in itself the courage and strength with which we fought and defended ourselves in the spring and summer of 1999.

The people of Serbia

The Eternal Flame (Serbian: Вечна ватра or Večna vatra) is a memorial in the Park of Friendship in Belgrade, Serbia dedicated to the military and civilian victims of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

The memorial was unveiled on June 12, 2000, to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of the bombing. It was vandalized following the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević and was in a state of ruin for several years.[1]

History[edit]

The monument was largely conceived by Mirjana Marković, the leader of the Yugoslav Left and wife of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević. It was originally planned to have a height of 78 meters, to symbolize the 78 days of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

It was completed in only 10 days and was unveiled by Serbian president Milan Milutinović on June 12, 2000. The ceremony was attended by Federal Defence Minister Dragoljub Ojdanić, chairman of the Directorate for the Reconstruction of the Country Milutin Mrkonjić and many other high-ranking officials.[2]

During the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević in October 2000, the monument was vandalized and the gas flow was stopped. Notably, an early intervention was the replacement of the word "vatra" with "vutra" – the word for marijuana in the šatrovački street slang.[3] In the following years, the obelisk was defaced with graffiti and the letters of the inscription were progressively stolen until only two commas were left in 2006. This has been studied by the Russian-Swedish artist Alexander Vaindorf as an example of the mechanisms of the reconstruction of history.[4]

Thanks to an initiative by the Generals and Admirals Club of Serbia, the monument was cleaned in 2009. The Street and Square Names Commission stated that the monument was never restored because it was erected contrary to usual procedure, and was not protected by the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments.[1] The plateau surrounding the monument was renovated in 2019.[5]

In March 2019, the Party of Modern Serbia started an initiative to redesign the monument as a Monument to the Victims of the 1987-2000 Regime.[6]

Location[edit]

The memorial is located in the Park of Friendship, in the Ušće neighborhood of Belgrade, Serbia. The place was formerly occupied by a statue of Thutmose III, a gift from the government of Egypt.[7]

Design[edit]

The monument consists of a 27-meter tall concrete obelisk, topped with a 5-meter tall bronze fire sculpture from which an eternal flame protrudes. The gas for the eternal flame is supplied by the company Energogas.[2] As of March 2019, it has been inoperative since the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević during which the piping was damaged.

It was originally decorated with 4 searchlights mounted on the base of the obelisk, which were later stolen and have not been replaced as of March 2019.

Inscription[edit]

The 5.5-meter wide eastern wall of the obelisk's base was originally decorated with a short text by Mirjana Marković. The letters of the text have all been stolen, and haven't been replaced as of March 2019.[8]

Serbian Cyrillic English
Вечна ватра

Ова ватра нека вечно гори као успомена на рат који је 19 земаља НАТО пакта –
Сједињене Америчке Државе, Канада, Велика Британија, Француска, Немачка,
Холандија, Италија, Грчка, Турска, Данска, Белгија, Шпанија, Португалија, Исланд,
Норвешка, Луксембург, Пољска, Мађарска и Чешка –
водило против Србије од 24. марта до 10. јуна 1999. године.

Нека вечно гори и као успомена на херојску одбрану Србије у којој је учествовао цео народ.

Нека вечно гори и за цео свет. Да би био слободан, свет мора да нађе у себи
храброст и снагу са којим смо се ми борили и одбранили у пролеће и лето
1999. године.

Народ Србије

The Eternal Flame

May this flame burn eternally as a memorial to the war that the 19 countries of the NATO pact –
the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany,
the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Iceland,
Norway, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic –
led against Serbia from 24 March to 10 June 1999.

May it burn eternally as a memorial to the heroic defence of Serbia in which the entire people took part.

May it burn eternally for the whole world. To be free, the world must find in itself
the courage and strength with which we fought and defended ourselves in the spring and summer
of 1999.

The people of Serbia

The northern and southern walls are decorated with marble blocks containing quotes from the poems Jugoslavija (Yugoslavia) and Domovini (To the Homeland) by Branko Miljković.[1]

Serbian Cyrillic English
Југославија
Све што нема ватре у себи сагори
Што сагори постаје ноћ
Што не изгори рађа дан
Бранко Миљковић
Yugoslavia
Everything that doesn't have fire in itself burns out
What burns out becomes night
What doesn't burn out, creates the day
Branko Miljković
Serbian Cyrillic English
Домовини
И када би ме убили
Волим те
Бранко Миљковић
To the Homeland
Even if they were to kill me
I love you
Branko Miljković

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mučibabić, Daliborka (13 July 2010). "„Večna vatra" – paljenje ili rušenje" (in Serbian). Politika. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b Vasić, Biljana (17 June 2000). "Noći i dani Mirjane Marković" (in Serbian). Vreme. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  3. ^ Mihaljinac, Nina (September 2016). "Svedočenje i reprezentacija traume u vizuelnim umetnostima: NATO bombardovanje SR Jugoslavije" (PDF) (in Serbian). Belgrade: Univerzitet umetnosti u Beogradu: 189. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  4. ^ Vaindorf, Alexander. "Fallrise" (PDF). Uqbar, 4th Ars Baltica Triennial Don’t Worry –Be Curious!. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Uređenje platoa oko spomenika „Večna vatra" na Ušću" (in Serbian). 1 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Inicijativa Stranke moderne Srbije (SMS) za preimenovanje i prenamenu spomenika "Večna vatra" na Ušću, Novi Beograd, u "Spomenik žrtava režima 1987-2000"" (in Serbian). Stranka Moderne Srbije. 23 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  7. ^ Vuković, Z. (22 July 2010). "Gde je nestao faraon" (in Serbian). Danas. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  8. ^ Kostić, Slobodan (12 December 2002). "Skrušeno dostojanstvo" (in Serbian). Vreme. Retrieved 25 March 2019.