The Serbian Central Bank (NBS), which has on Thursday objected to Croatia's intention to put the image of Nikola Tesla on the national side if its euro coins, is free to express its opinion on the matter and take a stand, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday, adding however that the bank's objections will have no influence on the decision-making process.
“Nikola Tesla was born in (the village of) Smiljan on the territory of Croatia. And he lived most of his life in the United States. It is the people of Croatia who have recommended that one of the future euro coins should include the image of Nikola Tesla. We are not appropriating anybody,” Plenkovic said, commenting on NBS’ accusation that putting Tesla’s image on the Croatian national side of euro coins would “represent appropriation of the cultural and scientific legacy of the Serb people.”
The suggestion made by Croatians is a great gesture, Plenkovic argued, as Tesla was of Serb descent and his contribution to the entire world is undeniable.
“That is something to be proud of. I cannot see why someone would see this as a problem. If I were the head of the Serbian central bank, I would send my congratulations,” Plenkovic said.
The motifs for the Croatian national side of euro coins were voted on by the people in Croatia in an online survey, where they could choose between the five offered suggestions or put in their own. The image of Nikola Tesla was one of more than 11,000 free suggestions, and it received over a fifth of all votes.
As a result, the Croatian Central Bank’s Currency Committee on Wednesday defined a final proposal of the motifs, which included the image of Tesla.
The other motifs will be the Croatian coat-of-arms, a map of Croatia, the marten (after which the Croatian currency is named), and the Glagolitic script.