September 13, 2020 – The Croatian media reported about the sculpture near the Sava river earlier this year, in January. Now it’s back in the news, as its author had to do more work on the favorite piece.
Robert Zdarilek (65) is a Croatian sculptor who spent years creating the sculpture right next to the Sava river, close to the iconic Hendrix Bridge in Zagreb (we’ve written about that bridge previously). During one of his regular walks along the Sava, he found one of the rocks from an old bridge protruding from the mud and decided to turn it into a sculpture. He used an ancient renaissance technique of sculpting and has created a head/face of a creature that appears to be living in the mud, sometimes submerged completely as the level of the river rises and falls throughout the year.
And now that the sculpture is living its riverside life, Croatian sculptor Zdarilek explains to 24sata how it’s the first thing he does while walking his dogs, visiting Vodan and making sure everything is OK with his art. Nobody has damaged it in the past months, and sometimes other walkers spend time cleaning the face of the sculpture from Sava’s mud. But, sometime during this last August things took a turn: in the morning, everything was all right, but in the evening, Vodan was covered with a lot of soil! Croatian Waters (Hrvatske vode) were performing some excavations, and just dumped the leftover soil right over Vodan!
Zdarilek explains that it took him two days to fully clean the sculpture, and he’s asked those in charge at Hrvatske vode to be a bit more careful when performing such maintenance, as Vodan is an important piece of ‘land art’, well-known and liked by the people of Zagreb!