Last week representatives of the Bosnian community and city government officials met in the Bosnian Chamber of Commerce building on Gravois Avenue to discuss the proposal for the construction of the “Sebilj” monument in the park on the intersection of Gravois and Morganford.
For those readers who do not reside in Saint Louis, it is important to mention that this particular intersection is located in the “hot zone” of the Bosnian community in St. Louis, surrounded with a large number of Bosnian businesses and households–with its center comprised of a small park where the construction of the “Sebilj” is planed. According to Samir Niksic, president of United Bosnian Association, the building of the “Sebilj” will be a joint venture of all Bosnians in St. Louis, regardless to which organization or religious affiliation they belong. Aside from Bosnians, the project will also be supported by city representatives, such as alderwoman Carol Howard and alderman Angelo Sita. Both of them attended the meeting on this project.
Soon after the official project presentation by the Anela Barbanell, member of the Bosnian Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, alderwomen Carol Howard addressed attendees by reading the letter of support for the project from the Gravois Business Association, stating, “The Board of Directors of the Gravois Business Association extends its full support to the Bosnian community in their efforts of building this cultural monument. We are proud to support your efforts to promote Bosnian culture and with that reinforce our neighborly fellowship. With that in mind, we are sending you a small gift of $100.00 for the construction of the fountain. We appreciate all the contribution that Bosnian business owners and citizens of Bosnian origin extended to our city.”- said in the letter.
In his speech Niksic stressed the desire to build the “Sebilj”. On that occasion he said:” I’ll do everything I can to make this idea a reality. We need mutual coordination, respect and understanding for this to happen. This monument will forever mark our arrival to United States and St. Louis, our current existence and the existence of our future generations in the city.”
The second city representative, Angelo Sita, is valued as a great friend of Bosnians in St. Louis who has helped the Bosnian community on many occasions. He said that building the “Sebilj” represents a Bosnian gift to the city of St. Louis and added: “Do not compromise yourself and reduce your efforts only on the Bosnian community. We would like to see the architects finish the final plans as soon as possible so that they can be presented to the city officials for adoption and start of construction. Of course, keep in mind that special licenses are needed for the building. Today we have seen different suggestions, from entrance doors to the surrounding brick wall. I do not want to scare you off but I do think that this project will cost in the excess of $500.000. Keeping in mind the maintenance of the object once its built. Maintenance of this facility will include maintenance of the park, water and electricity cost…and so on. “ – said Sita.
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