By Nemanja Cabric and Han Jianjun
CENEJ, Serbia, June XX (Xinhua) -- In the village of Cenej some 100 km from Belgrade, a team of one of the best artistic foundries in Serbia created a monumental sculpture of Confucius.
The 1.65-meter-tall bronze sculpture, to be 3.2-meter tall when placed on a base, is the 20-year-old unrealized work of the late master of Serbian sculpting Jovan Soldatovic.
Aleksandar Stanisic, owner of Stanisic Artistic Foundry, said the sculpture was cast from a negative created by the company from an original plaster model by Soldatovic. The model was not well preserved due to the fact that it was kept some 20 years in an inadequate space.
In order to begin with production of this bronze statue, the foundry had to repair the model with the assistance of 70-year-old contemporary sculptor Andreja Vasiljevic, a student, assistant and a colleague of Soldatovic.
"For the Stanisic artistic foundry, this is an important and significant project," Aleksandar Stanisic said. "China is a truly friendly country to Serbia."
Miodrag Stanisic, father of Aleksandar Stanisic, recalled the Association of China-Serbia friendship back in the 1990s began the initiative with Soldatovic to create a sculpture of Confucius. In 1997 and 1998, a plaster model was made.
Soldatovic died in 2005 and then President of the China-Serbia Nikola Radosevic also died, leaving the statue unfinished.
The project was reactivated recently under the support of the Chinese Embassy to Serbia. It was a painstaking work for Vasiljevic who tried his best to imitate the work of his teacher Soldatovic as the plaster model was in a poor situation with missing parts and cracks.
Vasiljevic said that he observed Soldatovic as he created first sketches for his Confucius statue back in 1997 so it was not a problem for him to achieve effects that Soldatovic would want.
"This process needed to be done in short time, and knowing what the figure of Confucius means for philosophy, the main focus in this last phase was to stick to the original intention of Soldatovic, and that the sculpture would be cast in bronze in the way he imagined it," said Vasiljevic.
Vasiljevic recalled that Soldatovic drew his inspiration about Confucius from a translated book of the master's thoughts from his friend Radosevic. Soldatovic also exchanged lots of ideas with Radosevic on China and Confucius philosophy.
Vasiljevic said he was glad and released to finish the statue. "I am very proud that I can contribute the friendly relationship between China and Serbia," he said.