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Croatian man breaks leg while vandalising anti-fascist monument

RFI 2018-11-08 19:18:25
Split authorities condemned the incident as "savage vandalism," while some Croatian Twitter users poked fun at the statue's "revenge" AFP

A 65-year-old man who repeatedly shoved a Croatian anti-fascist monument to topple it paid an immediate penalty for his act of vandalism when the statue fell on his leg and broke it, according to police and local media.

In an incident condemned by authorities in the coastal town of Split as "savage vandalism", police said the man dislodged a bust of Rade Koncar, a celebrated leader of the resistance to Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha regime during World War II.

But the statue toppled over and broke his leg, according to the regional paper Slobodna Dalmacija, in what some Croatian Twitter users said was the statue's revenge.

"Rade Koncar breaks the legs of fascists 76 years after they shot him," centrist politician Kreso Beljak wrote on Twitter.

"A clever monument breaks a fascist in Split," another Internet user wrote.

The hospital in Split said the man would undergo surgery after the incident on Wednesday.

Koncar was celebrated as a Yugoslav hero for his fight against Croatia's fascist government.

In 1942 he was captured by Italian forces and executed at the age of 31 with several of his communist comrades.

When asked by a judge if he would seek clemency, he allegedly replied: "I will not ask for mercy nor would I have it for you!"

Several thousand anti-fascist monuments have been vandalised or destroyed since Croatia's independence in 1991.

Critics accuse Croatian authorities of turning a blind eye to the surge of nostalgia for the Ustasha -- the former pro-Nazi regime that persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of people, notably Serbs, anti-fascist Croats, Jews and Roma opponents.