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Left wing in a mess: Poles for “hanging traitors” separating the Republic Square and the National Assembly are the idea of Mayor Zoran Janković

On the day of the national holiday, when a protest took place in Ljubljana at the same time, many were upset by the poles placed in front of the Parliament. RTV journalist Boris Vasev even came up with the idea that they were intended to hang white traitors, and most critics were of a similar opinion that the poles were built by the current government to protect the Parliament from protesters, who mostly gather at the Republic Square. But it turned out that the 29 poles were actually set up by the municipality of Ljubljana.

“If everything, together with the flags hanging, turns out in such a way that the National Assembly will practically not be seen from the Republic Square during the protests, the first government that comes after Janez Janša must remove the matter. Then it will also be shown who is who,” read one of the comments on social networks, when 29 poles appeared between the Parliament and the Republic Square, on which flags are expected to hang. The majority assumed that the poles had been set up by the current government, mainly in order to protect the parliament from protesters. There were also some who were of the opinion that the government was interfering with the spatial plan with this move, or that it was forbidden to change the height dimensions in this area in order to protect the views of the monument. Namely, the plot is supposed to belong to the area of influence of a cultural monument of national importance, which is also written in the Decree.

But now it turns out that the government of the Republic of Slovenia had nothing to do with this, namely the poles on the Republic Square are a municipal idea. The Municipality of Ljubljana explained to Dnevnik newspaper that they decided to build the pillars on which they will hang the flags of the EU members and that they also obtained the cultural protection consent of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. There, the set-up of the poles has been explicitly allowed only for the duration of the presidency of the EU Council until the end of this year, after which they will have to be removed and restore the area to its original state.

The location for the installation of poles was determined by Janze Koželj, and it was coordinated with an architect Gregor Rihar, who made the levelling of the arrangement of the Republic Square according to the original plans of Ravnikar – this is how the decision was substantiated for Dnevnik by the Magistrate. Jurij Kobe, an architect and a member of the executive board of the Society of Architects Ljubljana, believes that the existing layout justifiably provoked outraged reactions, as every architecture student would continue the layout designed by Edvard Ravnikar, the author of the urban design of the central republic square, hence to the edge of the platform in front of the Maximarket.

Left wing is embarrassed: poles were set up by Mayor Janković
The set-up of the poles also provoked less appropriate reactions – the anti-government artist Arjan Pregl, for example, gave the interpretation that someone would be impaled on them – he probably had protesters in mind, but a little later he came up with the idea that they were consoles for slingshots which could obviously be used to shoot at the Parliament. Well, since it is known that Zoran Janković is clearly behind the idea and not the Prime Minister, the creative upheaval has somewhat died down.

Sara Bertoncelj

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