Iconic figures return to Mitrovica in murals

Iconic figures of culture and sport, not only from Mitrovica, have taken place in one of the facilities of what is also known as the city of miners. They are portrayed on one part of the wall of the "Minatori" gym. A part of the contribution to the heritage and history of the country is conveyed through the murals of prominent personalities created by the artists of the new generation.

"Lah Nimani" street in Mitrovica has turned into a kind of gallery with images of iconic figures of the country's culture and beyond. By noon on Sunday, most of the murals were nearly complete. Their authors have been splashing with color for the final details in the works.

Visiting one of the exterior parts of the "Minatori" gym facility is a visual meeting point with many figures that have been physically extinguished for decades. Of them, killed in the last war in Kosovo. Looking at their portrait, like lightning comes the memory of their activity.

Bardhyl Dobroshi, director of "Introducing color", said that with these works, they aim to keep the memory of the contributors to the cultural and sports life in Mitrovica alive, at least as long as this part of the city is traversed.

"The mission is that we wanted to bring some color to Mitrovica, in addition to the cultural heritage, some figures that have started to be forgotten. We want to put them on the walls so that it can be seen that there was not only war in Mitrovica. There are also values".

The order of the murals starts with the figure of the former handball player disappeared in 1999 by the Serbian regime. He was a member of the handball club "Trepça" from Mitrovica and of the former Yugoslav national team in the 80s. In June 1999, the Serbian police arrested him and since then, he has been missing.

The portrait of another outstanding figure in the field of sports is stamped there - the former president of the Sports League in Mitrovica, Fatima Xhaka. He led the institution from 1995, until the day he was killed by Serbian forces.

One of the murals is dedicated to Ahmet Behram for his contribution to sports. The figure of the multiple football champion and former coach of several football teams is taking shape.

The organizer of the "Promaja" festival, Dea Gaxha, said that it was very difficult to limit to only a few personalities to work on the murals. According to her, the goal was to remember their contribution to the country.

"The whole goal was that the main personalities related to sports and culture are drawn here and when people pass by, they see the personalities of Mitrovica and remember their work. In addition, every Sunday matches are held here and people from outside Mitrovica watch them. The vitality that the city had before is returning a little."

There are a total of nine murals expected to be completed by Wednesday. With shades of 'sepia' colors that range from that beige to dark brown, they behave like old photographs that evoke nostalgia and memories. This was also the goal and criteria of the "Promaja" festival for the work of artists.

The famous actor Adem Mikullovci was brought with colored sprays by Elva Gashi and Antika Curroja. The latter said that their work comes as a sign of respect for the work of Mikullovci who had followed them in their childhood.

"We chose him because we grew up with his humor. There are many good works. We worked on it with 'sepia' colors because it looks a little older and more artistic".

The inscription "Moj e mira te pojata" has taken place on one of the murals. Although on Sunday at noon work was being done in the background of the work, it is known that the lines of the portrait of Haki Misini, one of the iconic voices of rock music in the 70s in Kosovo, will be placed there.

He was killed and disappeared by Serbian forces in 1999. He died in 2005 in Suhodoll, Mitrovica.

The actor of hundreds of roles Xhevat Qena, the poet Jakup Ceraja and the former footballer Riza Lushta who has also developed a career in Italy and Albania are part of what looks like a kind of open urban gallery.

On the wall of one of the buildings that takes place in his city, the portrait of the boxer and the well-known trainer Lah Nimani has been completed. On Wednesday, Shend Stavileci made the final touches on the portrait where the light and shadows form the figure of Nimani.

Shend Stavileci, an architect by profession, said that Nimani is one of the figures with the biggest sports background for Mitrovica.

"It is our pride to commemorate the icons of Mitrovica who have contributed to the country, even though the new generations may not know them. This is a good idea, a good art for young people and those who come to Mitrovica to learn about these figures and recognize their contribution".

He worked on the mural together with another artist whose works mainly contain the message "Stay. Do not go!". This is also the artistic name for it.

The street where the "Minatori" gym is located, where the murals are being worked on, bears the name of Niman, who is considered a great contributor to Kosovo's boxing.