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20-Year Anniversary Since First Croatian Statue Erected Overseas to be Marked

dpTomorrow marks the 20th anniversary since a statue commemorating Croatian basketballer Dražen Petrović’s significance to the world of sports was erected in front of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland…

It was a big occasion back on April 29, 1995 for Croatian sport and culture, as it was the first time in Croatia’s history that a statue of a Croatian by a Croatian sculpture (Vasko Lipovac) had been erected overseas. At the time Petrović was only the second athlete to receive this honour.

President of the International Olympic Committee at the time, Juan Antonia Samaranch, said that Petrović was an exemplary athlete on a universal scale, and a man who in the Olympic spirit connected countries and people.

Dražen Petrović with the New Jersey Nets

An exhibition titled ‘Legend in White Marble’, which features 15 posters from the time when Petrović was to be commemorated by the IOC in Switzerland, has opened in the Croatian capital this week at the Dražen Petrović Memorial Center Museum.

Petrović, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, played for the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets in the NBA. He was considered the best European basketballer of his time before his life was tragically cut short after he died in a car accident at the age of 28.

A commemoration to mark the 20-year anniversary will take place in Lausanne tomorrow.

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