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Monument to Ivan Franko in Lovran
Опубліковано 01 червня 2023 року о 17:20



The memorial sign in Lovran dedicated to the prominent Ukrainian writer, intellectual and politician Ivan Franko (1856-1916) was installed, with the consent of the local authorities, in the seaside park next to the historic Lungomare promenade on the coast of the Kvarner Gulf in the Adriatic Sea in honour of Ivan Franko's stay in Lovran (Villa Central, February-April 1909).

The memorial was solemnly unveiled on 22 October 2022 on the occasion of the First Parliamentary Summit of the Crimean Platform (Zagreb, 25 October 2022) with the participation of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk and the President of the Croatian Sabor Gordan Jandroković.

The idea to memorialize Ivan Franko in Lovran belongs to Ambassador Vasyl Kyrylych. Back in January 2021, he agreed with the Mayor of Lovran, Bojan Simonič, on the future memorial sign.

The sculptural composition and information table were made by prominent Ukrainian artists Volodymyr and Vasyl Odrekhivskyi with the financial and organisational support of the Lviv Regional Military Administration (headed by Maksym Kozytskyi).

The scientific concept of the project and the interpretation of the symbolic meanings of the memorial sign were developed by Dr Bohdan Tykholoz, director of the Ivan Franko National Literary and Memorial Museum in Lviv.



The memorial sign in honour of Ivan Franko's stay in Lovran is an allegorical sculptural composition “The Poet and the Bird” by the famous Ukrainian sculptors Volodymyr and Vasyl Odrekhivskyi, consisting of two symbolic figures and an information table with all the necessary explanations.

One of the figures embodies the Poet, who, in the philosophical idea, is emaciated by a serious illness and excessive work, as if he has bowed under the weight of his own wings.

The second is the Bird of Inspiration, Dream, Hope, which is soaring upwards, ever ready to fly to the heights of creativity.

The philosophical and aesthetic concept of the memorial sign is multifaceted and includes two main aspects: biographical and international.

  • The biographical aspect (the context of Ivan Franko's personal life and artistic path)

It was in “quiet good Lovran”, over the healing Adriatic Sea, that the Poet derived strength and inspiration for a new rise. Not only did he recuperate physically, but he also lifted his spirits and gained power for a new artistic rise.

“The Poet and the Bird” is an eternal drama of the creator and creativity, earthly and heavenly, material and spiritual, man and dream, embodied in images. Life's hardships and sufferings that tilt a personality to the ground, and the indefatigable power of the human spirit, able to transcend the mundane to genuine enlightenment, are an eternal story frozen in bronze.

As long as this memorial sign stands above the blue Jadran, the Poet, fatigued by life, will strive to fly again to “soar freely in the sky”, and the Bird of Dreams will allure him to the distance unbeknownst to him.

  • The international aspect (the context of Ukrainian-Croatian relations)

The history of the long-standing cultural, political and economic relations between the Ukrainian and Croatian peoples has many examples of true solidarity and mutual support. Today, when the Ukrainian people are bravely confronting Russian military aggression, Croatia is providing substantial assistance and embodying European solidarity for Ukrainians in the fight against the onslaught of modern barbarism.

In this context, the figure of the Poet is the embodiment of the courageous Ukrainian nation, which is carrying out its historical mission of defending the humanistic values of Western civilisation with strain and determination and requires assistance and support.

The image of the Bird acquires the meaning of a symbol of the future, a dream of a free and equal community of European nations founded on mutual respect, partnership and constructive mutually beneficial cooperation.

After all, Ivan Franko envisioned the future of both Ukraine and Croatia in the “circle of free nations”.



In the context of Ukrainian-Croatian intercultural relations, the figure of Ivan Franko (1856-1916) is particularly significant - a prominent Ukrainian writer, translator, scholar, philosopher, public and political figure, one of the main founders of the modern Ukrainian national identity and an active promoter of a multidimensional pan-European civilisational dialogue.

Ivan Franko, among other things, was keenly interested in Croatian culture, studied and translated into Ukrainian examples of Croatian folklore and works of Croatian writers, and was a student of the prominent Slavic scholar of Croatian origin, Vatroslav Jagić, under whose guidance he defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Vienna.

Furthermore, Ivan Franko visited Croatian resort towns twice: Lipik in Slavonia (March-April 1908) and Lovran in Istria (February-April 1909). There he recuperated, rested, and drew inspiration for his work, despite his precarious health at that time of his life.

Thus, Croatia holds an important place in the life and work of Ivan Franko, and his figure is an authorised ambassador of Ukrainian culture, identity and nationhood in the European and global context.

On 10 March 2011, in honour of Ivan Franko's stay in Lipik, as a sign of Ukrainian-Croatian friendship and strategic partnership, a bust of the Ukrainian writer by the Ukrainian sculptor Kostyantyn Dobrianskyi was installed in the park of the Toplice Lipik Medical and Rehabilitation Centre at the initiative of the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Croatia (2006-2009) Markiian Lubkivskyi and with the support of the local authorities and the central administration of Croatia.

The monument has become an important element of the historical and cultural landscape of Lipik as a balneological resort of Europe-wide fame.

On 22 October, the memorial sign to Ivan Franko was also unveiled in Lovran, on the Adriatic coast, as a sign of solidarity and mutual respect between the Ukrainian and Croatian peoples, as well as their joint opposition to modern barbarism for the sake of freedom, culture and humanity.

Ivan Franko was and still is one of the key contributors to Ukraine's independence and a striking symbol of the Ukrainian freedom-loving spirit.



Project initiator and coordinator from the Embassy:

Vasyl Kyrylych

International curator of the project: 

Markiian Lubkivskyi

Project coordinator from the Lviv Regional Military Administration: 

Ivan Sobko

Authors of the sculptural composition: 

Volodymyr Odrekhivskyi

Vasyl Odrekhivskyi

Scientific curator of the project, author of the concept:

Bohdan Tykholoz

The project was implemented with the support of the

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Croatia

Lviv Regional State Administration

Municipality of Lovran

Lviv National Ivan Franko Literary and Memorial Museum



can be found here:

Official website of the Franko House (Ivan Franko National Literary and Memorial Museum in Lviv)


Scientific and educational Internet portal Franko:Live


Popular science online encyclopedia “Franko from A to Z” (in Ukrainian, English and German)



Article about Ivan Franko on Wikipedia:









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