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Bruce Lee in bronze

The Kung Fu cinema icon will be honoured with a life-sized bronze statue in Mostar.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2005 19:49 IST

The martial arts legend Bruce Lee is to be honoured with a statue in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar, as a symbolic protest against ethnic division, local authorities said recently.

Bruce Lee was chosen as a hero that all ethnic groups could relate to, in a city that was nearly destroyed during the fierce fighting between Croats and Muslims during Bosnia's 1992-95 war and that remains bitterly divided.

City authorities have given the green light for the statue to be built, following a proposal made two years ago by a local association, the Urban Movement of Mostar, Zdravko Culjak, head of Mostar's planning department, said.

The life-sized bronze statue of the Kung Fu cinema icon is to be placed in a city park within the next few months.

Lee starred in a string of hugely successful martial arts film, Fists of Fury, Enter the Dragon,The Chinese Connection and Return of the Dragon in the early 1970s, but died at the young age of 32, in 1973.

The Mostar city administration has been unified under international pressure but ethnic divisions remain.

Following the war both ethnic groups erected monuments and renamed streets after heroes of their ethnicity.

"At a time when politics and ethnic ideology have occupied and poisoned everyday life, we want to show that there are true values that have nothing to do with politics," the Mostar association earlier said of the initiative.

"It would also be a reminder of our childhood dreams of a just world where crude physical force does not matter, but skill, speed and the will to fight for justice does."

First Published: Sep 21, 2005 19:49 IST