According to customs documents, seen by the N1 television, the monument that is being erected in honour of the 12th-century Serbian prince Stefan Nemanja will cost at least 9 million euro of taxpayers’ money.
However, experts warn that this is only a part of the price and that the final bill will be higher. Deputy Belgrade Mayor Goran Vesić has not revealed as yet what is the total cost of the monument but also hasn’t denied the figures that are being reported in the press.
The Serbian authorities have decided to keep this information secret until 2023.
Deputy Mayor Goran Vesić says that all costs related to the monument, regardless of how high they might be, will be borne by the Serbian government. That the monument is not of the usual size and is currently the tallest in the region standing at 23 metres.
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Art historian Nenad Makuljevic says that it is not a good sign that the government has decided to exercise patriotism through megalomaniac monuments, because, as he says, this is wasted money in a country as poor as Serbia.
“I don’t know if there is any artwork that is financed, paid for and purchased at this price. These are huge figures for such a monument,” Makuljević points out.
Russian sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov is in charge of designing the monument to Stefan Nemanja while Russian workers will construct it.
Former Belgrade city architect Djordje Bobic says that it is unacceptable that Serbian artists have not been commissioned to design the monument which would be a lesser burden to the state budget.
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