Croatian Knowhow Vital Role In Saving Venice

 

 

Steel barriers/floodgates ready for shipment from Croatia to Venice Italy Photo: Brodosplit

Steel barriers/floodgates
ready for shipment from
Croatia to Venice Italy
Photo: Brodosplit

Italian city of Venice is under serious threat due to the rise in sea level and sinking of land at an alarming rate. The MOSE project will protect the Venetian Lagoon from being submerged by the Adriatic Sea and protect the famous city of Venice and the neighbouring areas from flooding. MOSE, the Italian word for Moses, is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, which means Experimental Electromechanical Module. The name aptly alludes to the story of Moses parting the Red Sea.

Steel Floodgates to save Venice Italy Photo: water-technology.net/ adapted inavukic.com

Steel Floodgates to save
Venice Italy
Photo: water-technology.net/ adapted inavukic.com

After being successful at its tender to undertake the building of steel barriers/gates that are an important part of the very complex MOSE project, Brodosplit from the city of Split (Split Shipbuilding company) is well on the target and course to complete the building of 41 steel barriers worth 50 million Euro, reports the daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija. 2 barriers have been completed and are ready for delivery while 19 are in various stages of completion.
The buyer requests high precision in the making of the steel gates and long-term anticorrosion protection. Very limited tolerances, the highest quality class and the amount of accompanying documentation make this Project much more demanding in technical-technological sense than what shipbuilding is. Brodosplit will deliver gates with dimensions 27-30 x 20 meters, 4.5-5 meters height and with weight of 300 tons.

Brodosplit Croatia Split Shipbuilding Company Yard

Brodosplit Croatia
Split Shipbuilding Company Yard

Project is an integrated protection system consisting of a number of mobile gates that are capable of closing off Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea when the tide exceeds established level (110 cm) up to maximal three meters. These are mouths of Treporti, Malamocco, Chioggia and San Nicolo. For construction of steel gates for sea Mouth of San Nicolo, the tender is currently open and Brodosplit submitted its proposal.

A set-up of 78 gates designed as special reservoirs filled with air or water, is foreseen. They will lay at sea bottom when filled with water, and rise towards the surface to close the Lagoon entrances when filled with air. After air is released, they will get filled with water again and lie at the sea bottom. During these several hours, Venetian Lagoon would be closed and ships could not enter it freely.

Steel barrier for Venice, Italy Ready at Brodosplit Croatia Photo: brodosplit

Steel barrier for Venice, Italy
Ready at Brodosplit Croatia
Photo: brodosplit

Brodosplit is extremely proud of this Project, just as whole Croatia, because it will remain forever registered on the list of countries that participated in one of the biggest construction projects in Italian history with overall value of more than 7 billion euro and thus contributed to saving Venice from big problems caused by tide.

This project proves that Brodosplit is capable to build not only ships, but very complex and demanding steel constructions and that it can compete with majority of world shipyards with its knowledge and experience,” states on the Brodosplit/ Split Shipbuilding Co, website.

 

Landsat image Venice

Landsat image Venice

 

Landsat image Venice depicting MOSE project

Landsat image Venice
depicting MOSE project

The natural-colour Landsat images above show some of the MOSE engineering efforts that are visible above the water line near the Lido Inlet. The top image was acquired on June 20, 2000, by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper+ on Landsat 7. The second image, from the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8, was collected on September 4, 2013. In 2013, a curved breakwater stands just south of the inlet’s south jetty. On the lagoon side of the Lido Inlet, a new manmade island appears; it houses the buildings and plants that operate the gates, which are underwater in two arrays on either side of the island. On the north side of the inlet, a manmade harbour for small vessels includes a small lock system that allows boats to pass from the lagoon to the sea when the gates are raised.

Since the beginning of MOSE construction, five million cubic meters of sediment have been excavated from areas adjacent to the lagoon’s three inlets. The $8.8 billion dollar project has encountered some scientific, environmental, and political objections about disrupting the natural water exchange between the lagoon and Adriatic.
The Lido Inlet gates were successfully tested on October 12, 2013, and operators aim to have the MOSE system fully functional by 2016. Certainly, all indications are that Croatia’s Split Shipbuilding Company “Brodosplit” is keeping its role in the project to save Venice up-to-date and on time, having signed the contract to construct the steel floodgates with the Italian company Costruzioni Mose Arsenale, COMAR, in January 2015.
After international tender, Consortium Venezia Nuova decided that Brodosplit was the best tenderer among the strong competition and it was officially selected as builder of steel gates for the two mouths. Total project that will be executed by Brodosplit includes over 12,000t of built-in steel.

Under threat of sea level rise, endangered architecture and numerous floods at Piazza San Marco and surrounding streets, Venice could become the dying relic. However, with Brodosplit in action there is a realistic and definite chance that this gem of culture in the Adriatic would be preserved for the centuries to come, “ Tomislav Debeljak, Brodosplit Chief Executive Officer, pointed out.
Well done, Brodosplit!

Korcula Croatia House where Marco Polo Was Born

Korcula Croatia
House where Marco Polo Was Born

Croatia’s participation in saving Venice also has historically-emotional significance as several parts of the Dalmatian coast had once and for number of decades been taken over by the Republic of Venice (696 – 1797) where on the Island of Korcula, in 1254, Marco Polo was born to parents who were Venetian merchants living in the old town of Korcula for several of Marco’s early childhood years. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: Happy Statehood Day – Once More!

The Statehood Day in Croatia used to be celebrated on 30th May, while President Franjo Tudjman was alive (died 1999). It marked the day when in 1990 the first post-Communist multi-party Parliament was constituted. Since 2002 June 25th has prevailed as the Statehood Day because it marks the day of Croatia’s declaration of independence from Yugoslavia.

I declare to the whole world that on this day the Republic of Croatia is proclaimed sovereign and independent state,” were dr Franjo Tudjman’s words on 25th June 1991.

To make things confusing even more Croatia’s Independence Day is marked on October 8th because it was on 8 October 1991 when Croatia cut all ties with former Yugoslavia. Those in government and leadership who wanted any which way to discredit and vilify Franjo Tudjman were the ones most responsible for creating such confusion. Needless to say they come from die-hard communist echelons; many of whom did not want an independent and democratic Croatia in the first place.

Little did they suspect that a grand love for freedom and democracy would prevail and result in multitudes celebrating Croatian Statehood Day on both May 30th and June 25th ! Spreading pride and love can never come in surplus!

So, to join in June 25th celebrations of Croatian Statehood Day I offer the following snapshots of that absolute beauty that will, come 1st July, become a full member state of the European Union. (Click on photos to enlarge)

A view from the house I was born in Island of Korcula Croatia

A view from the house I was born in, Island of Korcula Croatia

Old Korcula town Croatia

Old Korcula town Croatia

June 2013 - passenger ship arriving in Korcula Croatia

June 2013 – passenger ship arriving in
Korcula Croatia

June 2013 - fishing at Korcula Croatia

June 2013 – fishing at Korcula Croatia

June 2013 - a Korcula Croatia beach

June 2013 – a Korcula Croatia beach

June 2013 - inviting waters at Korcula Croatia

June 2013 – inviting waters at Korcula Croatia

Cruising on a boat around old town of Korcula Croatia

Cruising on a boat around old town of Korcula Croatia

Pristine waters at wharf in Korcula Croatia

Pristine waters at wharf in Korcula Croatia

June 2013 - Badija Island near Korcula Croatia

June 2013 – Badija Island near
Korcula Croatia

June 2013 - old chapel at cemetery Korcula, Croatia

June 2013 – old chapel at cemetery
Korcula, Croatia

June 2013 - alleyway in old town of Korcula, Island of Korcula, Croatia

June 2013 – alleyway in old town of Korcula,
Island of Korcula, Croatia

Grape vine shade Island of Korcula Croatia

Grape vine shade Island of Korcula Croatia

June 2013 - Hvar Croatia

June 2013 – Hvar Croatia

Small beach on Island of Hvar Croatia

Small beach on Island of Hvar Croatia

St Marl's church Zagreb Croatia

St Mark’s church Zagreb Croatia

May 2013 - Zagreb Croatia Mimara Museum

May 2013 – Zagreb Croatia Mimara Museum

April 2013 - Tkalciceva street cafes Zagreb Croatia

April 2013 – Tkalciceva street cafes Zagreb Croatia

May 2013 - King Tomislav statue Zagreb Croatia the glory of Spring and history

May 2013 – King Tomislav statue Zagreb Croatia
the glory of Spring and history

March 2013 - the snow still here Zagreb Croatia

March 2013 – the snow still here Zagreb Croatia

March 2013 - Zrinjevac Park Zagreb Croatia

March 2013 – Zrinjevac Park Zagreb Croatia

Folk singers on Ban Jelacic Place Zagreb Croatia

Folk singers on Ban Jelacic Place Zagreb Croatia

Love and desire are the spirit’s wings to great deeds.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

HAPPY STATEHOOD DAY, CROATIA!

Croatia: Catholic Church set on ending distressing injustice for victims of communist crimes

A gentle hand moves the tortured remains of victims of communist crimes in Gracani near Zagreb, Croatia Photo: Borna Filic/Pixsell

Croatian authorities have late this month uncovered a yet another horror that befell innocent people in Croatia at the hand of WWII and post-WWII Communists.

Authorities have exhumed a new mass grave (so far over 900 have reportedly been discovered in Croatia) with the remains of 30 people executed at the end of World War II near Croatia’s capital Zagreb.

The victims are believed to be cadets of a military academy of the WWII Independent State of Croatia.

The grave is quite shallow, some bones were found only 35 centimeters (13 inches) below the ground. According to the evidence so far collected the victims were young (“coming of age” years) and were brought to the forest in Gracani at the outskirts of Zagreb between 13th and 15th of May 1945, and slaughtered.

As Croatian TV HRT reported these findings are irrefutable evidence of execution with a large amount of bullets and cartridges found at the mass grave.  Several skulls had traces of bullet holes, while some of the victims had their hands tied up with metal wire.

In July of this year, 36 victims of the communist regime were found in another grave discovered in the same area and with the newest discovery that makes 20 mass graves and 783 victims of communist crimes in the area of Gracani.

At least the remains of the latest victims found of communist crimes are afforded the dignity of their bones being temporarily kept in the mortuary at Zagreb’s cemetery Mirogoj, until the planned interment in a common grave at St Michael’s in Gracani. Their remains are handled with dignity, which cannot be said for the remains of victims in numerous other known mass graves and pits across the country.

Among these neglected mass graves Butina pit near Lumbarda on the Island of Korcula, where remains of victims of communist crimes lay strewn among discarded rubbish and garbage, comes to mind.

Butina Pit communist crimes mass grave on the Island of Korcula, Croatia – October 2012

Section inside Butina Pit, post-WWII communist crimes mass grave on Island of Korcula, Croatia – October 2012

As with all victims of communist crimes – for which no one as yet has answered in Croatia or former Yugoslavia – this is how their last moments on this Earth were for them as the WWII ended (excerpt from witness statement published in an article “Way of the Cross to the Sea” by Croatian Herald, Australia on 26 October 1990):

“…The commissar and commander, both Montenegrian, with a few soldiers from Ulcinj took those people into the forest, where a pit called ‘Butina pit’ was. There they stripped them naked and started slaughtering them. Some local people helped them in this. I remember the name of one of them … As they continued doing this the dawn started to break and then they started to throw the people into the pit alive. Then they fired into the pit with machine guns and threw bombs into it. The same man from Dubrovnik told me that there were people still alive in the pit and that cries for help could be heard. The soldiers were afraid that we’d hear that and in fury attack them and that’s why they turned us away. The same person opened up a large school hall for me and showed me the victims’ clothing. There, the Partisans rummaged all night, searching for valuables. Later they ordered the man from Dubrovnik, a man from Herzegovina and me, to fold the clothes into bales and tie them with rope. The man from Herzegovina found in one of the pockets a picture of the Heart of Jesus and a family photo of a victim from Konavlje. He took it in the hope to give it to the victim’s family later. I do not know if he managed to do that… I took several photos too, in the hope to show to somebody later but the friend from Dubrovnik warned me: there’ll be a search and if they find this on you, your head will go… I fled Yugoslavia in 1957 … and now live in New Zealand”.

The fact that the current Croatian government announced the closure of the independent Office for the investigation of mass graves of communist crimes within barely two months of its coming to power (February 2012) says a great deal about its attempts to minimise those crimes and to dilute them by attaching them to its political patronage and the Ministry for war veterans. So as things stand now the Office for the discovery, the marking and the maintenance of graves of communist crimes after WWII is within war veterans ministry. The war veterans from Croatia’s 1990’s Homeland war have indeed a great deal to be unhappy about – are there among them WWII communist war veterans who have participated in the horrendous spree of communist crimes after WWII, or their descendants who do not necessarily want justice for the victims – i.e. condemnation and prosecution of those crimes even if the perpetrators may be dead?

How on earth in that cluster can victims of communist crimes receive justice!? Certainly even the name of that Office gives no suggestion that the ministry of war veterans intends to pursue full justice for these victims; it just talks of uncovering, marking and keeping the graves tidy!

This lot in the Croatian government is no different to their late, pro-communist, colleague Ivica Racan who, as Prime Minister in 2002, closed the Commission for war and post-war victims and attached its work to the Ministry of Science.

As the government keeps fiercely resisting the putting together of a complete list of WWII and post-WWII victims of communist crimes the Croatian Catholic church has October 29 announced its initiative to start the process of recording every victim fallen. According to Vecernji List, the Catholic Church in Croatia is commencing with the collection of details of victims of communist persecutions by having every parish priest collecting information about local victims.

This is the Church’s reply to the government’s avoidance of dealing with the problem of communist crimes and to its closing of the Office for the victims of communist crimes.

This initiative arose in the Commission for martyrology of the Bishops’ Conference at its recent meeting in Zagreb, under the leadership of Bishop mons. Mile Bogovic from Gospic-Senj district.

It’s announced that the Croatian martyrs website (hrvatski-mucenici.net) will soon have available for download the needed forms and material people can fill in and send to the appropriate parish office.

As the victims of the Holocaust are written on a list so too the victims of communist crimes should be. It is only a small measure of justice, but humane justice nevertheless.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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