Foreign Minister Continues Debate on Nikola Tesla Heritage

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, August 12, 2019 – Following criticism from Serbia that Croatia is laying claim to the world-famous scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Monday that both Croats and Serbs could be proud of Tesla.

The Serbian Culture and Information Ministry last week issued a statement condemning in the strongest terms what it described as an unacceptable attempt by Croatia to lay claim to Tesla.

At the Expo 2020 exhibition in Dubai Croatia will present itself as a country of innovative projects, inventions and world-famous scientists, including Nikola Tesla, Faust Vrančić and Mate Rimac.

In an interview with N1, Grlić Radman said that he considered the reaction from Serbia “unnecessary” and that there were examples of famous people with dual identities everywhere in the world.

“Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia, he is of Serb ethnic background, but he always said that he was proud of his Croatian homeland and his Serb origin,” the minister told the N1 broadcaster.

Grlić Radman cited the example of Nikola Šubić Zrinski, saying he was celebrated by both Croats and Hungarians, as well as Lavoslav Ružička, a chemist born in Vukovar, honoured with a Nobel prize for his work in Switzerland.

“In any case… both Croats and Serbs can be proud of having had a man of such renown. He is a universal man who has contributed to humanity,” said the minister.

Grlić Radman also commented on the Croatian-Slovenian dispute regarding the border in Piran Bay, saying that he wanted Slovenia and Croatia to set an example in the EU in dealing with outstanding issues.

“Why wouldn’t we see together how to solve that problem,” he said, adding that other EU members, too, encouraged a bilateral solution to the dispute.

Slovenia insists that the ruling of an international arbitral tribunal on the two countries’ border dispute should be applied.

In 2015 Croatia walked out of the border arbitration proceedings following the release of recordings of covert contacts between Simona Drenik, then a representative of Slovenia’s Foreign Ministry, and Jernej Sekolec, Slovenia’s member of the arbitral tribunal.

Since then, Croatian governments have maintained that the arbitration was irreversibly compromised and have refused to implement the subsequent ruling of the arbitral tribunal.

Slovenia has refused Croatia’s proposal to resume bilateral talks on the border issue, claiming that talks are possible only on the implementation of the arbitration award and that by rejecting the award, Croatia is breaching European and international law.

Grlić Radman said that he met with former Slovenian prime minister and incumbent Foreign Minister Miro Cerar when the latter was on holiday in Croatia.

He said that he had told his Slovenian counterpart that the two countries “have been neighbours for centuries and there were never any conflicts between them” and that they should therefore solve their disputes through dialogue.

Grlić Radman also said that he had talked with Serbian counterpart Ivica Dačić and that they had agreed to work on outstanding bilateral issues, with the war missing being the most important issue for Croatia.

More news about Nikola Tesla can be found in the Politics section.


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