ZAGREB – Removing busts of former political leaders becomes a political issue

Almost like in London’s “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”, President Zoran Milanović’s decision to remove all busts from the vestibule of his office has become a contentious political issue.

The vestibule was until recently decorated by the busts of prominent Croatian politicians and leaders including the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, as well as renowned leaders and dignitaries from the past like Josip Juraj Strossmayer, King Tomislav and Alojzije  Stepinac.

The president’s office explained that by removing the busts, President Milanović would deliver on his pre-election promise that these should be put on display in a museum, rather than in the presidential office.

The right-wing is attacking him for removing the bust of Tudjman in a “communist” manner. Back in 2015, Milanović’s predecessor, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, had only removed the bust of Yugoslav Communist leader Josip Broz Tito at the start of her term, which was criticised by the left.

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