A security guard is watching over the bridge to make sure nobody puts Hendrix’s name up there again.
Mayor Milan Bandić seems to have discovered the secret of getting his way without being obstructed: when about to do something your citizens might not agree with, best to do it in the middle of the night when noone is looking. Let’s do a quick recap of the last two weeks: first the residents of Savica woke up on April 19th to find the construction works in their park have begun without notice, then the cult graffiti on the so-called Hendrix bridge got painted over in the night of April 26th.
To ensure the Green bridge (Zeleni most) is staying exclusively green this time, the City has appointed a security guard who’s been parked under the bridge for days with the sole duty of guarding the structure from a potential spray can menace, reports zagreb.info on May 3rd 2017. Citizens are wondering why the City funds are being wasted on what seems to be a very weird priority.
The oldest vehicular bridge in Zagreb was known under the name of Railway bridge or Green bridge up until the 80s, when someone marked it with an inscription saying ‘Hendrix’, unwittingly coming up with a nickname that quickly became popular with the locals. For the last three decades, the bridge has been referred to as Hendrix bridge so often that an official proposal for name change was submitted to the Office for State Property Management in 2015.
While the proposal is pending, the City is not giving up on its crusade against Hendrix’s name being written on public property. This is the third time the word got painted over, every attempt ending up with a fresh inscription showing up on the bridge shortly thereafter.
I’m usually not a fan of people scribbling random words on the surface of public goods, but when a certain scribble is such an iconic urban symbol that its ‘canvas’ literally got renamed after it, it might be best to leave said scribble alone. Collective memory is not a thing to mess with, especially when it comes to a beloved sign that’s a long-standing part of Zagreb’s history. If the City wishes to fight a battle against vandalism, maybe they should start with appointing a couple of guards to watch over the 19th-century facades in the centre and ensure this growing tourist destination actually looks presentable. Getting rid of Hendrix for the umpteenth time is not going to do anyone any favours.