2nd March 2023

New book: “The Drama of the International Statue of Martin Kukučín”

A new book from the publishing house of the Slovak National Library Dráma medzinárodnej sochy Martina Kukučína [The Drama of the International Statue of Martin Kukučín] aims at the history of the first Kukučín monuments in the world that were created abroad much earlier than those in his homeland. Slovak well known writter Martin Kukučín or Matej Bencúr (by his real name), who worked as a doctor in Croatia and Argentina, was praised abroad not only during his life but also after his departure and death in 1928.

And he is still respected and honoured even today. However, due to a lack of information and Kukučín’s modesty, people on Brač Island and in Latin America knew little or even nothing about his writings.

The book by Maria Rapošová deals with the question of why Matej Bencúr was venerated in Brač and on both American continents. However, in a substantial part of the monograph she discusses the history of monuments to Matej Bencúr.

The core of this monograph is devoted to the unique international story of the most precious statue of the Slovak writer and the thrilling drama connected with the numerous attempts to place three castings of it in eight countries on three continents. Larger than life-size statue sprang up in the Latin American city of Punta Arenas. The world-famous artist Ivan Meštrović agreed to model the sculpture in North America in 1959. Although he sent the plaster model to South America (where the statue was to be cast in bronze), the first bronze cast was made more than fourteen years later in Buenos Aires.

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