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Kosta Strajnić and the Modelling of the Memorial Cross on Mount Srđ

Patricija Veramenta ; Ministarstvo kulture, Konzervatorski odjel u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 2.876 Kb

str. 363-375

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In 1933 Josip Marija Carević, bishop of Dubrovnik, initiated the mounting of a memorial cross above Dubrovnik, on the top of Mount Srđ, to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The modelling of this monument, whose location was to accentuate the city of Dubrovnik and its environs, proved a true challenge for Kosta Strajnić, art historian and conservator. Considering this a welcome landmark in the city’s general perspective, at the beginning of 1934 Strajnić contacted the famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik to design the memorial cross. In March 1934 Plečnik submitted three models with variations drawn by his student and current assistant Vinko Glanz, architect, whose roots were in Boka, Montenegro. In the letter attached, Plečnik elaborates on the motif of cross as a symbol of suffering, agony and death, suggesting that the cross be modelled out of oak or larch, hard and durable wood, adding to a fairly reasonable cost. From Glanz’s letter of 1 August 1934 to Kosta Strajnić we learn that Bishop Josip Carević and the chapter were reconsidering Plečnik’s idea of the wooden cross flanked by two stone pillars as a possible solution. However, as the commission was rumoured of planning to make certain alterations in this model, upon the prompting of Glanz, Strajnić intervened with the bishop in order to prevent such an ‘unprofessional interference’. In sum, the bishop of Dubrovnik and the chapter rejected Plečnik’s idea and model, and on the Day of Holy Saviour in 1935 a cross made of white marble from Hvar was erected on the site, modelled according to the gratis design by engineer Silvio Sponza. The slope on which the cross was perched was donated by Antun Paskojević from Bosanka and his sister Nike, the whole project being supported by the citizens of Dubrovnik.

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