(Photo credit: Facebook page Zveljarin)
After two drunken Australians were arrested for public order offences and damaging the roof of Hvar’s historic cathedral, TCN meets one of them in Split shortly before his flight home.
As the annual clash between cultural and party Hvar appeared again this summer, two young Australians, 24 and 25, took matters to new lows in the eyes of some, by climbing onto the roof of Hvar’s historic cathedral and causing 5,000 kuna of damage, before being arrested by police on August 20, 2015.
TCN met one of them in Split yesterday, a young architect going home to start his career, shortly before his flight home via Switzerland. The architect, clearly shaken and extremely embarrassed by his drunken behaviour, had been on a football tour of Croatia. He declined to be named or photograhed, but he was willing to answer some questions.
The story is of two drunken Australians on the roof of Hvar cathedral. Can you tell us what happened, and what you remember?
I was a very drunk Australian, and we stupidly decided to climb up the cathedral because we wanted to get a better view of Hvar, unbeknown to us was the importance and value of the church, and we subsequently damaged the church and got arrested by the police. The damage was not intentional. We went through the process of arrest with the police who were incredibly kind and forthcoming. We are both very sorry, embarrassed and humiliated that we made such a stupid mistake like that, it is very out of character for both of us, but it is what it is. We made a mistake and we apologise to the locals and to the Croatian people.
What actually happened when you were arrested, and what punishment did you get?
We got pulled off the roof by the police. They requested that we come down, and we came down immediately. We were arrested and put in jail overnight. The next morning we were charged with disturbing the peace and a fine of 600 kuna. Then after that we were about to be released. However, I am not sure what exactly happened as the police were all talking in Croatian, but we were put back in our cell for a couple of hours, after which we were transferred by the police to Split. After that we met the prosecutor in Split with the police and we didn’t get a fine but we paid the damage to the church which was about 5000 kuna.
How much had you been drinking, and when did you start that day?
Oo. Midday we started. We had a lot to drink. Ten to twenty drinks, I am not sure exactly.
And how long were you on the island?
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it was our last day.
And what is the reputation of Hvar as a destination among Australians?
Priority number one it is a party place. The heritage and buildings like the cathedral are lost in the party culture.
Are you planning on coming back to Croatia?
Absolutely. I loved it.
Absolutely. I intend to learn more about the history and culture, rather than come for a booze session.