Monuments honoring Dražen Petrović were erected in Lausanne (1995), Zagreb (2006) and Šibenik (2011).
- Author: Vasko Lipovac
- Material: Sivec* white marble and stainless steel
- Dimensions: 380 x 345 cm
(*a type of medium grained dolomite marble
from Prilep area in Macedonia)
Croatian Olympic Committee issued the competition for the sculpture in June 1994 and the assigned criteria were Dražen Petrović’s figure, stone as the material and the defined surrounding space. According to Branko Silađin, one of the jury members – „there were 17 sculptures and the goal was to choose one that would best present our great sportsman as well as Croatian art. Therefore, in the foreground, it was not only the readability of the work itself but, in short, the ability to put sports and art together.” An expert jury consisting of the President Tonko Maroević and members – Darko Glavan, Vesna Kusin, Ivan Lacković Croata and Branko Silađin shortlisted the works of four authors: Vasko Lipovac, Branko Ružić, Marija Ujević Galetović and Svano Vujičić- Riedl.
A monument desiged after conceptual solution by Vasko Lipovac was erected in the Olympic park in Lausanne. The monument is rectangular in shape, placed vertically and is made out of 16 parts each carrying a relief depiction of Dražen Petrović playing with a ball. On one side of the statue is a marble ball and a circle made on an earthen surface with Dražen’s outlines, i.e. a shadow. The sculpture weighs about eight tons and is 3.45 meters long and 3.8 meters high.
“We decided on Vasko Lipovac’s proposal and recommended it for the production precisely because it doesn’t conform to level of literalism and doesn’t accept the fact that Dražen Petrović is ordinary, everyday, mimethically catchy and achievable by imitation. The chosen sculptor accepts the allusions and suggestions of the requested template and decided on the two emblematic depictions of Dražen in action. The two sides shown, however, cannot definitely coincide so the action of receiving the ball and guiding it towards the opponent’s basket actually continues indefinitely into eternity. The bronze reflection with a golden glow (shadow on the floor) also speaks of the permanency of Dražen’s trace. Not to mention how the slits in the relief capture the local daylight and with a shadow play associate the dynamics of change, typical of sport activity and basketball creation, which takes place in a time crunch and takes into account the conditions and circumstances of the field… Lipovac’s monument will, at last, in a modern way confirm the continuity of the work in stone which is a regional and national specificity and a revived tradition.“
The monument was unveiled on 29 April 1995 by the first Croatian president, Franjo Tuđman. The event was attended by the representatives of the International Olympic Committee with its former president Juan Antonio Samaranch, members of the Croatian Olympic Committee with its former president Antun Vrdoljak, Dražen’s parents Biserka and Jole Petrović as well as many guests from the world of sport and representatives of political, economic and cultural life of the Republic of Croatia.
For that occasion an exhibition was set up in the Olympic museum which presented Dražen’s legacy.
- Author: Kuzma Kovačić
- Material: bronze
- Dimensions: 400 cm, 400 kg
In Zagreb, Dražen was portrayed as an ancient hero and a basketball player in the heat of the game. The monument is the work of the academic sculptor Kuzma Kovačić and the modeling and pouring in bronze was made by the foundry Ljevaonica Ujević. On the pedestal is a plaque dedicated to the “Croatian athlete of the twentieth century”, work of the academic sculptor Mladen Mikulin.
“Dražen’s monument will still differ from the conceptual solution but it will be in the shooting position. My wish for his figure is to be a symbol and for the portrait to be clear. Somehow, while modeling Dražen I transformed the sculpture into an ancient one so it would symbolize the joy of game.“
For the purpose of erecting the monument the entire square bearing Dražen’s name was arranged. Work on the square began in June 2006 and it included arrangement of the complete infrastructure and urban equipment, as well as renovation of the stairs and paving of the upper and lower plateau. At the foot of the stairs a fountain was set up and the trees were planted. The monument was erected on the same site where Cibona’s European Champions Cup from 1985 used to be.
The monument was unveiled on 22 December 2006 by Dražen’s mother Biserka and his friend and teammate Stojko Vranković. Along with Dražen’s family, his friends, teammates and numerous dignitaries from political and social life attended the unveiling of the monument, including the former Parliament Speaker Luka Bebić, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Croatia Jadranka Kosor, Minister of Finance Davor Šuker, Minister of Science, Education and Sports Dragan Primorac, Minister of Internal Affairs Ivica Kirin, Mayor of City of Zagreb Milan Bandić, President of Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša along with many citizens who came to pay tribute to the great basketball genious.
“I wanted to portray Dražen both as a person and a symbol. The ball here is a symbol of the game and gives the statute an emotional dimension of simplicity and the beauty of human joy.“
- Author: Kažimir Hraste
- Material: aluminium
- Dimensions: height 162 cm, length 700 cm
The tender for the conceptual design of the Dražen Petrović’s memorial in Šibenik was announced in July 2007 after the idea to erect a replica of Kuzma Kovačić’s monument in Dražen’s hometown was dismissed. Sculptors Peruško Bogdanić, Josip Diminić, Slavomir Drinković, Aleksandar Guberina and Kažimir Hraste were invited to the tender and a total of 21 works were received.
The first prize went to the academic sculptor Kažimir Hraste, while the work of Zoran Jurić took second place and third place went to Neven Bilić. The chosen solution represents Dražen Petrović sitting at the right end of the basketball bench in the moment of a break and rest or at the moment when Dražen’s about to enter the game. The monument was erected in Dražen’s neighborhood: next to the sports hall on Baldekin where he lived, went to school and made his first basketball steps. Today there is a basketball court next to the statue.
The selection of the monument was decided by a jury composed of former Mayor Nedjeljka Klarić, Biserka Petrović, prof. Ivan Šimat Banov art historian, prof. Kuzma Kovačić academic sculptor, academician Ante Vulin engineer of architecture, Perica Bukić and Antonija Modrušan academic painter. The jury decided on the sculpture by the academic sculptor Kažimir Hraste due to the simplicity of his approach to the given topic which isn’t lost in the detail.
“In the strong competition of academic artists, I won the first prize partly because my work conceptually differs from others. I didn’t focus so much on the statue but the overall concept of the memorial place which includes a playground with the statue. I represented Dražen sitting on a bench which is a logical move considering that the statue will be positioned off the field.“
A plastically simple and clean solution represents Dražen as a boy (as opposed to the “mature“ Dražen made by Kuzma Kovačić in Zagreb). By choosing the moment of childhood Kažimir Hraste gave an additional dimension of intimacy and also achieved a touching dedication to Petrović’s hometown as a city of children (International Children’s Festival) and to Dražen’s popularity which continues to this day.
Dražen’s mother and former Mayor of Šibenik Ante Županović unveiled the monument on Dražen’s 47th birthday. The unveiling was attended by his fans, fellow citizens and guests among whom were the former Mayor of the City of Zagreb, President and Sports Director of BC Cibona.