Perhaps not internationally known for its penchant for reggae music, the Serbian village of Banatski Sokolac has, in a bid to promote “peace and tolerance” in the region, unveiled a monument to Bob Marley that is ostensibly “Europe’s first statue to the late Jamaican reggae star”.
While this might initially seem like an odd move on Serbia’s part, it is not without precedent. Not only is there a Rocky Balboa statue in northern Serbia, Bosnians have also ereceted a monument to Bruce Lee.
A reggae singer, a kung fu master, and a fictional boxing champ. How’s that for national heroes?
A Serbian village unveiled what it said was Europe’s first statue to the late Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley on Saturday, to promote tolerance in a region still recovering from war.
Two Balkan musicians, one from Croatia and one from Serbia, unveiled the monument in the village of Banatski Sokolac at midnight during a gathering of rock bands from the Balkans.
“Bob Marley promoted peace and tolerance in his music,” said Mirko Miljus, an organizer.
The event continued a trend of raising monuments to popular Western icons instead of local historical figures. Bosnians have erected a monument to Bruce Lee in the town of Mostar and Serbs have put up a statue to Rocky Balboa in northern Serbia.
Following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and the bloodshed of the 1990s, people can rarely agree on their role models and prefer figures not linked to the region.
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