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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 11:38 GMT
Bosnia to unveil Bruce Lee statue
Croatian sculptor Ivan Fijolic
Croatian sculptor Ivan Fijolic created the Bruce Lee bronze
The war-scarred city of Mostar in Bosnia may seem a surprise choice for a statue honouring a figure renowned for blood-curdling cries and lethal blows.

But the city's young people will see their dreams realised this weekend with the unveiling of a statue of martial arts hero and film legend Bruce Lee.

Organisers chose Lee as a symbol of the fight against ethnic divisions.

Another source of pride is that their statue will be erected before another in Hong Kong, where Lee died.

A bronze statue of Lee will be unveiled in Hong Kong, where he made action films Big Boss and Fist of Fury, on Sunday - which would have been Lee's 65th birthday.

He died aged 32 of a cerebral oedema - swelling of the brain - on 20 July 1973 in Hong Kong, a month before his Hollywood debut, Enter the Dragon, was released in the US.

The Mostar youth group Urban Movement Mostar will be unveiling their life-sized bronze at a ceremony in a city park on Saturday.

It's cool that we will be the first and Hong Kong the second
Nino Raspudic
Urban Movement of Mostar

"We chose Bruce Lee for a reason. We want to honour him personally but also as a true symbol of the fight against injustice," Nino Raspudic of the Urban Movement of Mostar told the AFP news agency.

"It's cool that we will be the first and Hong Kong the second," he added.

Mostar was the scene of fierce fighting between ethnic factions in the 1992-95 war. The city remains ethnically split with Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs divided since the war.


Ethnic Croat writer Veselin Gatalo, who came up with the idea, said he wanted Mostar to be known as the place with the Bruce Lee statue rather than the scene of ethnic rivalries.

He told the Efe news agency that ambassadors from Germany, China and other countries would be at the ceremony, as well as local Bruce Lee fans.

He said they had invited Lee's widow Linda Lee, but she is not expected to attend.

Asked whether the Lee statue would face the eastern Muslim side of the city or the western Catholic side, Nino Raspudic replied: "It will face north."

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