Rudjer Boskovic Monument Unveiled in Milan

Lauren Simmonds

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More recognition for the Dubrovnik genius Rudjer Boskovic as his monument is unveiled in the Italian city of Milan.

Rudjer Boskovic was a mind to challenge all minds and is considered to be one of Dubrovnik’s most important historical figures. Born to a local merchant and the daughter of a local noble in 1711, Boskovic earned the titles of mathematician, physicist, poet, diplomat, astronomer, philosopher, priest and polymath. He is credited with with developing the very first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature. He was also the first to discover that the Moon has no atmosphere, back in 1753. An extraordinarily intelligent man, he was charismatic, spoke several languages fluently and was given the nickname ”Croatian Leibniz” by the famed German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg.

Despite his countless acheivements, and, like with other great minds, special attention should be given to the highly unadvanced time period in which he lived, the life, times and even the name Rudjer Boskovic is widely unheard of.

On Monday the 13th of February 2017, a monument to Boskovic was raised in front of the Milan observatory at the ”Indro Montanelli” city park. The monument is the fruit of labour from joint efforts of the City of Zagreb, the Croatian Ministry of Culture and the Croatian community in Milan following the original initiative being taken up by the City of Zagreb back in 2011.

Milan carries deep significance with regard to Rudjer Boskovic himself. The mother of the talented physicist had Italian ancestry and Boskovic had an affinity with Italy, living there for many years, making the city the site of numerous impressive works. Among a great many other things, he founded the Astronomical Observatory in 1764 (Osservatorio astronomico di Brera). Boskovic also died and was laid to rest in Milan.

The monument to his person and his acheivements in the various specialist fields he excelled in is an important step forward in recognising all of the truly great minds Dubrovnik and indeed Croatia as a whole has given to the world.


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