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Vukovar Bridge Named After French Volunteer Killed in War Opens

MostA pedestrian bridge named after a Frenchman who was killed whilst volunteering during the Croatian War of Independence has opened this weekend in the eastern town of Vukovar…

Jean-Michel Nicollier, who had no connection whatsoever to Croatia, arrived in the country in 1991 to help the Croatian army defend its land after watching the conflict unfold on television in his native France. Whilst defending the eastern city of Vukovar in November of 1991, the French volunteer was wounded and taken to Vukovar hospital. After spending just under 2 weeks in hospital, he was taken from the hospital by the Yugoslav People’s Army and paramilitary Serb forces and transported to Ovčara farm where he was killed.

Jean-Michel in Vukovar in 1991

Jean-Michel in Vukovar in 1991

On Saturday the Mayor of Vukovar, Nicollier’s mother Lyliane, the French Embassy’s Advisor for Culture and the Director of the Institute of France in Zagreb, Luc Levy, and a number of Vukovar locals turned out as a plaque was unveiled on the new 50-metre long bridge named in his honour after internet voting, which crosses the River Vuka in the centre of Vukovar. Lyliane Nicollier thanked those who turned out to pay their respects to her son.

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