April 6, 2007 / 6:44 PM / in 12 years

Bosnians raise monument to canned beef

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Sarajevo artists raised a monument to canned beef on Friday in a gesture ridiculing donors for providing such an unpopular food as humanitarian aid during the Bosnian capital’s 1992-95 siege.

Residents of Sarajevo pass by a monument raised to canned beef April 6, 2007, that Sarajevans received as part of international humanitarian aid during the city's 1992-95 siege. Sarajevo artists raised a monument to canned beef on Friday in a gesture ridiculing donors for providing such an unpopular food as humanitarian aid during the Bosnian capital's 1992-95 siege. "The Monument to the International Community" from the "Grateful Citizens of Sarajevo" reads an inscription at the marble foundation of the 1-metre-high golden can of beef. REUTERS/Danilo Krstanovic

“The Monument to the International Community” from the “Grateful Citizens of Sarajevo” reads an inscription at the marble foundation of the 1-metre-high golden can of beef.

Bosnians have accused the international community of not allowing them to defend themselves after imposing an arms embargo in the 1990s, while feeding them with outdated canned food instead.

“The message is clear,” said Dunja Blazevic of the Centre for Contemporary Art, which launched the initiative placing the work by artist Nebojsa Seric Soba in the centre of Sarajevo.

“The Ikar canned beef is remembered by the people of Sarajevo with disgust. Cats and dogs did not want to eat it and people had to,” she said. “Everybody agreed that we should do the project in this way. It’s witty, ironic and artistic.”

At least 100,000 people were killed during the Bosnian war, 10 percent of them in Sarajevo alone through constant shelling and sniping by Bosnian Serb forces from the surrounding hills.

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