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Monument to Freedom Jasikovac

Berane, Montenegro
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The Monument to Freedom in Berane is located on the top of the Jasikovac hill (Jasikovac forest park), on the right bank of the Lim River. It symbolizes all the struggles for freedom of the inhabitants of Berane and the region of Polimlje (liberation struggles against the Turks during the 19th century, Montenegrin independence from the Ottoman Empire and the annexation of the Polimlje area to the Kingdom of Montenegro in 1912, World War I, World War II and the liberation of Berane on July 21, 1944). The monument is not far away from the place at the foot of the hill where the Italian occupiers shot nine local patriots on July 17, 1941.The first sketches for the Monument to Freedom were made by the architect Bogdanovic in 1972. The construction, however, took place from 1975 to 1977, when the monument officially opened to the public on September 15. This is described in detail in the "Essay on the construction of monuments in Ivangrad".

The Monument to Freedom is a compositional unit consisting of two basic elements: a large stone cone, or a "pillar" 18 meters high, and a group of 40 granite blocks - "sarcophagi", each measuring 278/133/72 cm. The large stone cone does not occupy the central position; it is placed spontaneously, without a geometric matrix. Still, it represents the center of the entire spatial composition, which generates the lines of movement of visitors and the way of reading the monument. The ambulatory with 40 sarcophagi, made of the well-known Jablanica granite, is a vivid metaphor - an open book ("on the wind"), in which drawings-pictures become words, and words become drawings-pictures. Each even stone is engraved with words, and each odd stone, on the other hand, has a drawing on it. A total of 10,000 words-drawings are used, and they represent specific and unique ornamentation created by transposing the forms of old weapons (saber swords, rifles, revolvers), as well as characteristic motifs of the regional folk costumes from Polimlje.

The conceptual form of the monument on Jasikovac remains present after its completion as it is also materialized in the Memorial Park "Dudik" near Vukovar (1978-80). Based on a similar sculptural-compositional principle - the shape of the cone with small stone pieces - the memorial is a multiplied version of the Jasikovac monument. This confirms Bogdanovic's statement "I have never completed any of my monuments, [...] I have built them all at once".

Source: Slavica Stamatovic Vuckovic, "Spomenici Drugog svjetskog rata u Crnoj Gori" (NVO Expeditio, 2020).

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bostjan, November 20th, 2021
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