A bust of Alojz Rebula (1924-2018), an award-wining diaspora writer and translator, has been unveiled in front of the Church of St Helen in Loka pri Zidanem Mostu, the birth place of his wife, where he spent the last years of his life.
The work of sculptor Zoran Poznič, the bust was unveiled on Sunday at a ceremony featuring President Borut Pahor, Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti and Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch. Mass was given by Cardinal Franc Rode.
In blessing the bust, Rode described Rebula as a “passionate seeker, relentless explorer of the secrets of the world and man” who always stayed true to being a Slovenian and a Christian firmly rooted in the faith
He said Rebula had a special place in Slovenian culture, in that he is unparalleled among literary figures in his decisive advocacy of Christianity and Slovenian identity.
Born near Trieste in 1924, Rebula had a degree in classical philology from the University of Ljubljana and a PhD from the University of Rome.
From the 1960s and until his retirement he worked as a teacher of Latin and Ancient Greek at secondary schools with Slovene as the language of instruction in Trieste.
His best known works include Senčni ples (Shadow Dance), V Sibilinem vetru (In Sybill’s Wind), Divji Golob (White Dove) and Jutri čez Jordan (Tomorrow over the River Jordan).
In 1969 he received the Prešeren Fund Award for In Sybil’s Wind and in 1995 he received the Prešeren Award, the highest Slovenian prize for cultural achievements, for his life’s work.
In 1997 he was awarded the Acerbi Prize for In Sybil’s Wind in the Italian translation, and in 2005 the Kresnik Award for novel of the year for Nokturno za Primorsko (A Nocturne for the Littoral).
A member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Rebula also received the Golden Order of Service from the president for the preservation of Slovenian culture an language.
He published his last novel in 2017.