Telsa's 150th Birthday to be
Scientist's native land of Croatia prepares
for special event
Croatia - 2006 will mark the 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla's
birth and his native homeland of Croatia has decided to mark the
occasion with much celebration. Tesla, an
ethnic Serb, did pioneering work in electricity in the United States
in late 19th and early 20th century.
The Croatian government will finance
the finishing of restoration of Tesla's home in a village in central
Croatia and turn it into a museum. Conferences and lectures on Tesla's
work are also planned.
Tesla, born in July, 1856 to Serbian
parents, studied and worked across Europe, eventually settling in
New York in 1885, where he lived until his death in 1943. He was
awarded patents on every aspect of the modern system for generating
and distributing electricity — including in radio and the modern
concept of radar — and experts see his work as being as important
as that of Alexander Graham Bell.
Tesla is regularly named in polls of
Croats as the country's most important son, but his prominence was
played down in the 1990s, during Croatia's war with the rebel Serb
minority over the country's independence, because he was a Serb.
Since 2000, when pro-Western forces
came to power and sought to remedy relations with Serbs, Tesla has
regained some of his fame.
The government has already spent more
than US$1 million (euro830,000) to restore Tesla's birthplace in
the village of Smiljan.
The government's decision — supported
by all parliamentary parties — underlines its desire to end animosity
in Croatia toward Serbs.
Damir Kajin, a deputy from the Istrian
Party, said Tesla's assertion that he was "equally proud of
my Serbian parents and my Croatian homeland" should be a model
for future relations between Serbs and Croats in Croatia.
November 17, 2005