As soon as the controversy surrounding the gigantic monument to Stefan Nemanja, which cost at least 9 million euro, has died down, another monument, the one to Stefan Lazarevic, has been unveiled. Although much less expensive than Stefan Nemanja’s, at around 150,000 euro it will be the most expensive of the four that the Belgrade government intends to erect in the coming months.
Only a few months after the monument to Stefan Nemanja was unveiled, the city authorities erected a statue to Despot Stefan Lazarević on the corner of Palmotićeva Street and Despot Stefan Avenue. Unlike the monument unveiled in January, there are no secrets about this one, at least in terms of price – it cost some 150,000 euro which was paid from the city budget.
For this project, the city government concluded two contracts, by mutual agreement: one with the sculptor Svetomir Arsić Basar, and the other with the Primus BMJ Company, which cast the statue.
The contract, published on the public procurement portal, states that Arsić’s job was to make a model of the monument to despot Stefan Lazarević, which cost 2.5 million dinars or about 21,000 euro. However, deputy mayor Goran Vesić later stated that the sculptor was paid around 3.2 million dinar, or 700,000 dinars more than the agreed price.
Arsić officially received this commission on 30 December last year, although the statue previously made by Arsić had already been exhibited in the Museum of History.
The company Primus BMJ also began to work on the monument without participating in a public tender. The company got the contract thanks to the agreement on the exclusive right to cast artistic sculptures concluded with Svetomir Arsić Basar in October last year.
According to this contract, Basar ceded the exclusive right to cast his sculptures to the company Primus BMJ, because, as it states, this company is “technologically, organisationally and functionally better equipped for the work of casting artistic sculptures”.
Primus BMJ received 15 million dinars for the construction of the monument. This means that the casting of the monument cost about 128,000 euro. As previously reported by various media outlets that contacted other foundries, casting a two-metre monument costs between 7,000 and 10,000 euro. However, as they explained, the price does not increase linearly with the height, so a statue of about 8 metres can cost more than 200,000 euro to cat. The monument to despot Stefan Lazarevic is about 4 metres high.
Three more monuments are currently being built Belgrade – one in honour of the architect Aleksandar Derok, one to the poet Vasko Popa and one in honour of the sculptor Olga Jevrić. As previously revealed by the Nova.rs portal, the statue to Despot Stefan is several times more expensive than the others.
The monument to Aleksandar Derok will cost around 32,000 euro to make, Vasko Popa’s around 50,000 euro and Olga Jevrić’s close to 66,000 euro, so it’s not clear why the one erected in honour of Stefan Lazarević is five times more expensive.
This post is also available in: Italiano