Posted by: viewfromtheriva | July 31, 2014

After 85 years, Grgur gets the full spa treatment!


In 1929, Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most famous artist and world-renowned for his powerful religious and secular sculptures, unveiled “Grgur of Nin”, who many feel is Croatia’s most iconic piece of art.  Commemorating the 10th century bishop who argued to the Pope that religious services should be in the Croatian language instead of Latin (not only was the answer NO, but his Bishopric was abolished and Grgur was sent packing to Skradin for even daring to ask!), the statues is dear to all Splitcani.  Not only because Grgur is the embodiment of courage, but for his magical toe, which when rubbed is said to bring good luck to all who believe.

Earlier this month, a major restoration was initiated by the city of Split and the Conservation office to do a thorough cleaning and repair of this masterpiece.

Surrounded by scaffolding, workers are busy making Grgur good as new

Surrounded by scaffolding, workers are busy making Grgur good as new

The project is using some very high tech tools and technology to make sure the restoration is done to the highest standards–after all, Grgur has been watching over Split for 85 years now without a single complaint about rust, dirt, grime, deteriorating welds and of course, trying to look serious with hundreds of people rubbing his big toe every day must be excruciating!

Visitors can read all about the restoration and see archival photos from the day the statue was unveiled to the present

Visitors can read all about the restoration and see archival photos from the day the statue was unveiled to the present

The restoration even included a complete thermographic scan of the statue

The restoration even included a complete thermographic scan of the statue

Until the beginning of the Second World War, the statue was located in the Perystile.  But locals, fearing the occupying Italian forces would blow it up because it represented such an independent, nationalist spirit, cut it into pieces in the middle of the night and hid it.  After the war, it was decided to put it on the top of the staircase leading away from the North (Golden Gate) of the Palace, where it has remained ever since.

What's this?  A photo of the inside of the statue!

What’s this? A photo of the inside of the statue!

A photo taken after the war when the statue was re-welded.  You can easily see where he was "pieced" together.  Today, these welds are much less visible, but still reminds us of the daring patriots who surely saved the Bishop of Nin from certain demolition!

A photo taken after the war when the statue was re-welded. You can easily see where he was “pieced” together. Today, these welds are much less visible, but still reminds us of the daring patriots who surely saved the Bishop of Nin from certain demolition!

An archival photo from 1929 when the city celebrated the statue being erected in the Perisil.

An archival photo from September 29, 1929 when the city celebrated the statue being erected in the Perystile

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Our Adventure In Croatia.

  2. Very cool.!! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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