Controversial statue of Gavrilo Princip unveiled in East Sarajevo

Posted on on 27 June 2014
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The Editor of Centenary News, Nigel Dacre, is in Sarajevo for the start of the First World War Centenary – and has just sent this update.

Politicians from the predominantly Serb-populated Republika Srpska, one of the two administrative entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina, today unveiled a statue of Gavrilo Princip in East Sarajevo – just 24 hours before the Centenary of Princip‘s assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The statue was unveiled at a ceremony in the newly opened Princip Park in East Sarajevo, under a strong midday sun. The Park is at the centre of an area of new residential buildings and shops.

The ceremony was attended by a large crowd of politicians and local people.

                             There was a large media presence at the unveiling of the statue

It was clearly designed to be an alternative event to the Centenary events being held in central Sarajevo and elsewhere in Europe over the coming weekend.

In a speech at the ceremony, a government spokesman said that Princip would be remembered for “sacrificing himself” for the cause of Serb unification.

Another official said that they regarded Princip as a “national hero, not a terrorist”.

The event shows the tensions and differences that still exist in the Balkans 100 years on.

Images courtesy of Nigel Dacre

Posted by: Nigel Dacre, Centenary News