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Balkans clamor for Hollywood hero statues

Nov. 11, 2007 at 12:30 PM

ZITISTE, Serbia, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A statue of Rocky Balboa towers over a Balkans farm town and Tarzan is coming as the former war-torn region embraces Hollywood heroes.

What gives? One visual artist told The New York Times the statues were "a dangerous joke." But others say pop-culture heroes are an inspiration in the former Yugoslavia, where 1990s warring left 125,000 dead.

"My generation can't find role models so we have to look elsewhere. Hollywood can provide an answer," Bojan Marceta, 28, told the Times. Marceta raised about $7,300 to commission the Rocky statue.

Rocky's statue in Zitiste, Serbia, will be joined by a Tarzan monument in Medja, a farming village near the Romanian border. Talk continues in Cacack, Serbia, about a statue of British singer Samantha Fox, a former topless model who once performed there. A Bruce Lee statue in Mostar, Bosnia,was placed in storage after its weapons were vandalized, the Times said.

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