here many anecdotes about Ivan Cankar. This one is about his statue situated in
the city center of Vrhnika … Cankar, in the company of friends and acquaintances
said: ‘’When they build me a statue, I want them to build it in a way so it portraits
me sitting down; I do not like to stand. ‘’ And really, by choosing the work of
Ivo Jurkovič people of Vrhnika fulfilled the wish of the greatest Slovenian
writer and playwright.
Cankar’s death, in January 1919, a Committee was established in order to
organize and monitor the built of a memorial to the famous compatriot. In the
decade of preparations for the realization of this task the committee turned for
help to Slovene emigrants in America. They responded and in Detroit they set up
a committee to collect contributions for the statue. As the numerous American
Slovenes wanted to attend the unveiling of the statue, the Committee decided
that the opening ceremony will take place in the summer of 1930th.
decided that the statue should be situated at the site by ‘The new road’ (today
the road is called ‘Tržaška’) next to the Agricultural Loan Bank (today the
municipal building). In Cankar’s youth this was a place where the family ‘Jelovšek’
stored wooden logs (‘Mesarjeve klade’) and the young Ivan Cankar played with
his childhood friends.
Slovenian sculptors attended the competition to design the statue. At the end
the Committee decided to use the work by sculptor Ivo Jurkovič entitled ‘The
Thinker’. They explained that this draft was the most pleasing to the people of
Vrhnika as it resembled the actual Cankar’s image the most.
A number of
ceremonies accompanied the unveiling of the statue and the memorial plaque on
the house (Cankar Memorial House). A crowd of people from near and far attended
the unveiling and these ceremonies. A great number of American Slovene traveled
from America to Vrhnika just to witness all of this. Cultural events took place
on the 9th of August, but the most festive and ceremonial was the
Sunday, 10 August 1930.