Kranj park gets another bust of France Prešeren’s contemporary

Kranj – A bust of Alphonse de Lamartine, a 19th-century French author, poet and statesman, was unveiled in Kranj on Tuesday, joining another four busts in the city’s park honouring Slovenian poet France Prešeren (1800-1849) and his contemporaries.

The bust was unveiled in La Ciotat Park in collaboration with France’s La Ciotat – the first town with which Kranj twinned in 64 years ago and named the park after it.

Kranj started working on the area featuring Prešeren’s contemporaries during Slovenia’s stint at the helm of the EU last year.

The first two busts of Prešeren and Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov were unveiled last October, followed by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s and Spanish poet Jose de Espronceda’s in November and February.

The bust of de Lamartine (1790-1869) was donated to Kranj by La Ciotat, the town in which the author lived for a while, and unveiled by Kranj Mayor Matjaž Rakovec and La Ciotat Deputy Mayor Genevieve Boissier.

Kranj started working on the park to highlight its links with foreign countries in 2008. The park is now being renovated to get more benches and trees, with the EUR 96,000 investment slated for completion in the autumn, when a bust of another European contemporary of Prešeren’s will be unveiled.

Rakovec said there was enough space in the park for another ten busts, but did not exclude a potential expansion, arguing there was quite some interest on the part of foreign embassies.

Kranj’s international ties have strengthened after the Covid pandemic, the mayor said, adding he had just returned from the US, where Kranj twinned with Colorado Springs, its ninth twin city.