|THE FIRST BIBLICAL GARDEN ON EARTH|
|THE STORY OF BIBLICAL GARDEN OF PEACE|
|THE BIBLICAL CULTURE OF PEACE|
|OUR GRATITUDE GOES TO ...|
Municipality of Kalnik (80 km from Zagreb) is one of the poorest municipalities in Rep. of Croatia. It has a population of only 1950 inhabitants, an elementary school of 116 students and 16 teachers altogether.
It gave to themselves and to the Mankind an extraordinary event and quite a gift - the creation of the first Biblical garden of Peace.
There are other biblical gardens worldwide (Spain, Netherlands, Kastel Sucurac-Croatia), but real gardens with plants and trees. No place on Earth has had so far the monuments or sculptures from the Bible, describing the biblical events - both the Old Testa-ment and the New Testament together in one single place.
Milorad Kovacevic, an assistant head of the Koprivnica-Krizevci county's department for cultural affairs, introduced the Project (creation of the first biblical garden of peace) to his superior Josip Crncic. The chain reaction was ignited. The Kalnik Elemen-tary School principal Danica Crncic greeted the idea. Former minister of agriculture Ivica Gazi from Zagreb brought the idea to the director of Croatian forestry Zeljko Ledinski, who donated 45 oak treetrunks (2,5 meter long) and another long one (15 m long) for a sculpture - an obelisk (history of Christianity).
Soon, on 7th June, 2000 in Kalnik an organiza-tional committee was formed to help the project start. Its members, Milorad Kovacevic - chairman, Danica Crncic and Milan Kralj (Kalnik mayor) as co-chairpersons, started looking for the first donations and sponsors. Those, who stepped in first as sponsors, were dr Ivica Petris, followed by Trpimir Tkalec and Josip Trbus from Krizevci.
By help from Krunoslav Jakupcic, the oak treetrunks were delivered to a spot nearby the school building. The truth is, Africa is known for its baobab tree, North America for its sequoia, and Croatia for its oak - the king of Croatian forest.
Next, milling industry "Mlinar" Krizevci provided free board and lodging for the artists on the premises of Kalnik Hiking trails Hut. Thanks to kindness of Naive art society "Petar Smajic" of Ernestinovo and its president Mato Tijardovic, we welcomed the most prominent naive artists - sculptors in wood - to start work on their sculptures.
In the period June 15-20, 2000 the first workshop of sculptors in just 6 days created the sculptures in wood, representing the figures from the Old and the New Testaments. The following artists completed this task:
LJUBICA MATULEC Made ADAM and EVE
IZIDOR POPIJAC-ZIGA Made MOSES
MIROSLAV KARAC Made PHILLIP THE APOSTLE
IVAN MATKOVIC-LASTA Made JESUS CHRIST
MATO TIJARDOVIC Made VERONICA
IVAN MISIC Made JOHN THE BAPTIST
VEDRAN JAKSIC Made BARNABAS
IVAN FORIJAN made ISAIAH THE PROPHET
IVAN VUKSIC made JACOB
IVAN ABJANAC made JUDAS
MARINO JUGOVAC made GABRIEL THE ANGEL
DJURO ZVONAL made LEOPOLD MANDIC
MATO MINICA made SAINT PETER
All artists, whose chisels "talked" to the oakwood they were carving, were thrilled to participate in creating the biblical world in this unique way. The artists kept company with people of Kalnik, enjoyed the natural beauties of this region and explored the remains of Kalnik old town, which once had been the royal seat of Hungarian kings.
The cooks, headed by the chef Djurdjica Zibrin, provided food and complied with even impossible requests by the artists. Boris Cataj, also a renowned theatre director from Krizevci, headed the organiza-tion task force. The first 13 wooden figures were completed. That was a great start. The worst was behind us, the hardest yet to come.
Second phase of the sculptors' workshop.
The next workshop took place between 20th and the 31st of August, 2000. The old company got together again, with new artists to participate. This second workshop of sculptors, working by the Elementary school, produced again the artists with chisels and the wood to communicate again: a simphony of creation had 16 naive artists from all over Croatia who made 20 wooden sculptures:
MARINO JUGOVAC made MICHAEL, RAPHAEL-THE ANGELS
IVAN MISIC made ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA, ST. STEPHEN, THE FIRST MARTYR,
NIKOLA TAVELIC IVAN ABJANAC made ABRAHAM, ST. BARTHOLOMEW
VEDRAN JAKSIC made MATTHEW THE APOSTLE
SASA MATKOVIC made AMOS
MATE TIJARDOVIC made LAZARUS
NEDILJKO ODZIC made JEREMIAH
KATARINA PARADJ-VOJKOVIC made MOTHER OF GOD
LJUBICA MATULEC made SAINT PAUL
MATO MIHINICA made DANIEL
DRAGUTIN JAMNIC made SIMON THE ELDER
MARIO BICANIC made SAINT JOSEPH
MIROSLAV KARAC made SIMON THE APOSTLE
SINISA TEJANKIC made SAINT BENEDICT
IVAN FORIAN made SAINT NICHOLAS
The second sculptors' workshop was helped and sponsored by: Daruvarska pivovara, Podravka, Poljoprivredna zadruga Djurdjevac, PIK Vrbovec, Mlinar Krizevci, Josip Sirjan from Kusijevci. The travel costs were covered by Lions Club lnternational of Zagreb.
The popular figure of Kalnik, Avram Stamenkovic, nicknamed Aco, provided guarding and safekeeping of sculptures, while food was generously donated by Kalnik inhabitants and collected by Kalnik Youth society throughout the period of both workshops.
During November and December of year 2000, Kalnik Youth society and the students of "Ivan Seljanec" Secondary school dug holes for the concrete base for each of the 33 sculptures. Concrete and the metal was donated by the firm "Radnik" Krizevci and its workers, in joint efforts with SKIMT Krizevci made the statue base for each of the sculptures. SKIMT Krizevci, with the help by school janitor Zoran Radicek, mounted the sculptures onto their base, as per the project provided by Milorad Kovacevic. Stjepan Topolko, SKIMPT owner, provided the concrete pathways around the statues. Croatian forestry, thanks to Krizevci and Koprivnica forestries directors, Krunoslav Jakopcic and Ante Stankovic, donated seedling plants of cypress, larch, pine and arborvitae - altoghether 33 of them, symbolizing the earthly years of Jesus Christ, which were planted in the Biblical garden of Peace.
We, the small common people are proud to have built into our conscience, into our responsibilities another new world, a world without wars or violence, against omnipresent indifference, this greatest sin of the entire civilization. We have done all this by our own will, example, enthusiasm, following our own dreams and our conscience. At the beginning, only dear God was behind us without any help from government or its institutions we all have created by our joint efforts this unique event, bringing down our own debt toward Jesus, people and our own selves.