Losinj Gets First Sculpture Dedicated to Wives of Croatian Seamen

Lauren Simmonds

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TZ Losinj/Losinj Tourist Board
TZ Losinj/Losinj Tourist Board

As Morski writes, when every vessel set sail from the Port of Losinj for a long journey, it would dock in one of the most beautiful coves there – Cikat bay near the church, where the crew would disembark and pray with their families in the church before parting.

The “ADDIO” sculpture dedicated to the wives of Croatian seamen was created as a symbol of tradition, but also of love and loyalty. The bronze sculpture, which stands at a height of 178 cm, found its place exactly in the same place where Losinj’s local wives used to wave goodbye to their sailor husbands many, many years ago. It is dedicated to Marija Stuparic, the wife of Captain Aldebrand Petrina, who waved to him as he sailed off into the distance. “Goodbye, my beloved!” she said into the wind while waving a white handkerchief to the sailing ship that was disappearing over the horizon.

After that, she would return to the small church of the Annunciation of Mary (Annunziata) to pray once more for her husband’s eventual safe return. The Initials M.S. on the facolic (handkerchief) belong to her, and she was considered to be a dear woman, the wife of Captain Aldebrand Petrina. During their 32 years of married life, they spent only 13 months together in their home in Losinj. Sailors’ wives had to be strong-minded, persistent, patient and ready for anything to occur.

”Our desire was to pay tribute to all the sailors’ wives who saw Croatian seamen off on their journeys and waited for their return home in an attractive, modern and somewhat abstract way. The form of a classical sculpture has been retained but with a silhouette, and it is somewhat more airy and unique. The sculpture is life-size, on the back is a motif that used to be found on the headbands of women from Losinj, and which can be seen in our permanent exhibition,” explained the director of the Losinj Museum, Zrinka Ettinger Starcic.

Academic sculptor and the creator of this new Losinj sculpture, Zvonimira Obad, explained the artistic interpretation of the sculpture.

”This is the shape of a woman and it is layered and lost in space, showing how she is being “carried away by the wind”. The idea comes from the symbol of a tradition that is falling into oblivion, all for the purpose of “retaining” the time that has passed and renewing the feeling of belonging. The “Addio” sculpture is a symbol of both love and fidelity,” according to author Obad.

”In this way, we’re helping to preserve another valuable memory of our rich maritime past,” said the director of the Tourist Board of the Town of Mali Losinj, Dalibor Cvitkovic.

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