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Petrova Gora Monument

Petrova Gora, Croatia
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Monument to the members of the uprising in Kordun and Banija, also known as the Petrova gora monument, is erected on Veliki Petrovac, the highest peak of Petrova gora in the mountainous region of central Croatia. Preserving the memory of the civilian victims and fighters killed in action against fascism, the concept proposed by sculptor Vojin Bakic was chosen in a competition in 1974. The construction was underway soon after as the opening was intended to be held on 4th July for the 40th anniversary of the inception of people's liberation movement. The building's exterior was not officially finished until 4th October 1981. The reinforced-concrete monument is covered by stainless steel panels. The interior houses a museum with a permanent exhibition on the People's Liberation Struggle in the region, while the surroundings were laid out as a recreation complex. A view towards Slovenia, Bosnia, and Zagreb opens from the roof terrace. The construction was very demanding due to the complex design and the remoteness of the site, which first had to be equipped with infrastructure (road, electricity, and water). The project was funded with public and private donations, as well as with a loan which Yugoslavia raised from the International Monetary Fund. The blueprints for Bakic's sculptural design were drafted by architect Berislav Serbetic. The building is a 37m tall concrete structure clad in panels made from stainless steel imported from Sweden and arranged in five layers undulating lengthwise. From the car park and the visitor centre, a long flight of steps leads to the building. The interior with a floor area of 3000sqm initially featured a 250-seat congress hall, a library, a reading room, a cafe, and a museum. In the 1990s, the monument was forgotten, and in subsequent decades, building parts as well as historical museum- and archive objects were completely destroyed by vandals. The destruction of the monument has not yet reached its maximum extent as the local population continues to remove the stainless steel panels.

The Monument is mostly architectural work, made of reinforced concrete and covered with slabs of stainless steel. The interior was laid out as a museum containing a permanent display related to the People's liberation struggle in the region, while its surroundings were designated as a recreational complex. By adding the museum, the monument actually received an educational exhibition function. At the top of the monument is a point from which one can view towards Slovenia, Bosnia and Zagreb. After 1991, antifascist monuments and memorial complexes were neglected, and the museum was devastated after 1995. Devastation of the monument continues to date as local people continue stripping the stainless steel plates off the monument. Despite protests by the Antifascist organizations, the local and state authorities both fail to take action against the perpetrators.

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bostjan, October 25th, 2019
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