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The Grounded Sun and Nine Views

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Presiding mutely over the pavement cafés of Bogovićeva is the Grounded Sun (Prizemljeno sunce), a bronze sphere created by sculptor Ivan Kožarić in 1971 and placed here in 1994. Despite being tarnished by the elements and covered with graffiti, it remains one of Zagreb’s best-loved pieces of public art. In the mid-2000s conceptual artist Davor Preis decided to supply Kožarić’s sun with an accompanying installation entitled Nine Views, with metal spheres symbolizing the nine planets placed throughout Zagreb at distances that are in exact proportion to those of the real solar system. Thus Mercury appears as a tiny metal ball attached to the wall of a building at Margaretska 3, while Venus (Trg bana Jelačića 3), Earth (Varšavska 9) and Mars (Tkalčićeva 25) appear equally insignificant. The remaining planets are much further out in areas of Zagreb that you wouldn’t normally ever want to visit – culminating with Pluto, in a pedestrian underpass beneath the highway to Samobor. That said, tracing the solar system has become a highly popular form of urban safari – consult Zagreb tourist office or Preis’s own website (w http://www.daworp.com) for further details.

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