During the solemn meeting of the City Council, held at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc, within the celebration of St. Vitus’ Day, patron saint of Rijeka, public recognitions the City of Rijeka were assigned.
Traditionally, the president of the City Council Andrej Poropat, the mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel and the archbishop of Rijeka, Monsignor Ivan Devčić, addressed the guests. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović, who arrived to mark the occasion.
Expressing his greetings to all citizens of Rijeka on the occasion of the City Day, the President of the Republic of Croatia Milanović said, referring to recent events, that Rijeka should not be afraid of the territorial claims of others.
“He who knows where he is and knows his identity will not be too bothered by the fact that a restless person likes to fantasize about something that is Croatian, above all an open city,” said President Milanović”.
President Milanović attended the opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture, he emphasised that he had seen no ghost of the past during the event, but a simple identity retrospective and an indicator of the direction the city was heading.
The President of the City Council Andrej Poropat emphasised potentials of our city in openness, criticism and humanity, particularly visible during the coronavirus pandemic, when a barrier for COVID 19 had been created in our city.
“I am also proud because Rijeka is the only city in Croatia that offered all available measures to its entrepreneurs during the pandemic. All cities had something, only Rijeka had it all,” said President of the City Council Poropat, adding that other quality city programs destined for entrepreneurs, such as the Torpedo production park, projects of the Competence Centre worth 150 million kuna for smart cities and the business zone Bodulovo were also available.
The European Capital of Culture project starts a new life after coronavirus
The mayor of Rijeka Vojko Obersnel also took a look back at the coronavirus epidemic, claiming to be extremely proud of the discipline and responsibility of the citizens of Rijeka.
“I think that, as a city, we have shown that we are united when it is most needed, that we know what the true values are, that we are in solidarity and that we know how to be the best, when it is more difficult. We are aware that a new, even more demanding exam is ahead of us. According to estimates, the budget will lose at least 150 million kuna by the end of the year and our job is not to stop major investments and development projects so that entrepreneurs continue to work and that citizens feel visible results for all funds allocated to the local budget,”said the mayor, adding:
“The biggest city project this year, certainly the European Capital of Culture, which is starting a new life after coronavirus will leave a mark on this city. We have another six months ahead of us and we want to make the most of them. I think you have noted that many of the activities of the Port of Diversity have already been relaunched and at the end of this week we will present the entire programme redefined by the end of the year, also for 2021. The legacy of this project will be in the built structures and refurbished buildings, in new events, new programmes that are here to stay, “said the mayor, stressing that the investment in the future Benčić artistic quarter, whose extended part is the ship Galeb, represented the largest investment in cultural structures in Croatia since its independence.
The Rijeka archbishop, Monsignor Ivan Devčić stressed that in Rijeka urban unity, mutual acceptance and respect were present, regardless of the differences in world views.
The Opera Omnia Award to Antonio Škrobonja
The winner of the Opera Omnia Award is Anton Škrobonja, for his success in researching the history of medicine, for his activity with the Red Cross and achievements in the field of creative and rock photography.
Thanking for the prize on behalf of all the winners of this year, Škrobonja thanked for the honour shown and prizes in the year in which Rijeka holds the title of European Capital of Culture, which will surely be remembered in the history of Rijeka as a special year.
Annual awards and plaques “The Coat of Arms of the City of Rijeka”
In addition, the Gold Plaques “The Coat of Arms City of Rijeka” and annual prizes were awarded. The Golden Plaques “The Coat of Arms of the City of Rijeka” were awarded to Livio Tončinić Livio Tončinić for promotion and long work and contribution to the popularization of volleyball; to Bruno Paladino for his exceptional contribution to fine arts and promotion of the reputation of the city of Rijeka; to the Field Unit “Dr. Ante Švalba “of the City Association of the Red Cross Rijeka which educates generations of young people for humanity; to Nada Bodiroga-Vukobrat (posthumous award) for the innovation of scientific projects and research that have included Rijeka in the legal map of Europe; to the former imam of Hajrudin River ef. Mujkanović for an open dialogue that paved an indelible trace of tolerance and community in the Port of Diversity; to the owners of Atelier Rogić, Željka and Boris Rogić for the uniqueness of the artistic design of glass, which emphasizes the Croatian and Rijeka identities of which they also became part, to the Judo Club Rijeka for 60 years of continuous work and contribution to the development of judo in Rijeka.
The annual awards were assigned to Dean Lalić for a special contribution to the promotion of Rijeka through a visual postcard and selecting locations for shooting the Novine series, to the Clinical Hospital Center Rijeka, Department of Medical Physics and Radiation Protection, for the international recognition of the excellence of the application of physics in medicine achieved at the Clinical Hospital Center Rijeka, to Edi Kučan, for exceptional determination in taking responsibility for the future of the Shipyard “3. maj”. to Nikola Petković, for contributions and achievements of special importance over the last two years in the field of culture and literature, to the Bowling club Mlaka, for top achievements in bowling and contribution to the sports reputation of the city of Rijeka, to the Rijeka Puppet Theatre, for outstanding artistic achievements and dedication to puppetry and educational work for children, to Robert Funčić, for his outstanding contribution to the art of music in the territory of the city of Rijeka.