Pula - Pola
Towns, Villages and Hamlets

Tie Around the Arena

Title of work: TIE AROUND THE ARENA; from the original idea by Marijan Bušic, coordinated by Mladen Marinovic, photograph by Eduard Strenja – digital press. dimension of photograph: 110 x 72 cm; 2003.

Marijan Bušić
Mladen Marinović
Eduard Strenja

Mladen Marinovic has taken part in several joint exhibitions in Croatia and the European Union. Since 1993 he has been running the Croata design studio within the firm Potomac d.o.o. He lives and works in Zagreb.

Eduard Strenja was born in 1953 in Pula. He works for the daily newspaper Glas Istre as a photographer and picture editor. He has held 45 independent exhibitions to date. He has published photographs in various Croatian and foreign magazines.He lives and works in Pula.


  • http://www.academia-cravatica.hr/en/izazov_kravate/marinovic-strenja.html (no longer online)

After two years' preparation, in the afternoon of Saturday 18th October [2003] the knot of the largest tie in the world was tied around the Pula Arena. The creator of this grandiose art installation was prof. Marijan Busic, the head of the non-profit making establishment "Academia Cravatica", which promotes the tie as part of the Croatian and world cultural heritage. The coordinator of the technical execution of the installation was Mladen Marinovic, the head designer of the firm Potomac-Croata. The designers of the idea and feasibility study were mr. Sc. Damir Corko (for the part of the tie around the Arena) and dr. sc. Bruno Calic (for the construction of the knot and the load bearing construction outside the Arena). Academia Cravatica was responsible for the entire art installation project, and the City of Pula was the co-organizer.

This world scale "mega-tie" is of incredible dimensions: it is 808 m long, and at its widest it measures 25 m. The knot of the tie is 15 m long, at its widest it is 16.5 m wide and at its most narrow point it is 5.4 m wide. The height of the tie from the narrowest to the widest part is 3.5 m. The execution of the art installation began on Tuesday morning, when members of the Split mountaineering society "Spirit, by climbing up around the Arena, began setting up a net around the Arena, so that they could then fix the tie to it.

This job took two days, then more than a hundred Pula high-schoolers, standing around the Arena, held the tie whilst the mountaineers gradually lifted it up to the top of the Arena. The most difficult part - tying the knot of the tie - began on Saturday morning. In the late afternoon, more precisely at around 5.30 p.m., the knot was tied and the tie spread out to its full width of hundreds of meters across the Pula Karolina car park. The entire unusual event was followed from the early morning with great interest by hundreds of local people and tourists, and in the afternoon there were several thousand watching. This world scale cultural media spectacle aroused a great deal of attention from the local and world media, including about ten television companies, including CNN and ARD.

The tying of the knot

The tying of the knot of the Tie was recorded several times from the air (by helicopter from the Ministry of Defense) and what was probably the most beautiful sight of the entire event began when, in order to spread out the lower part of the Tie (below the knot), hundreds of local people became involved in a long chain to take part in the installation, holding the Tie up. On the recordings from the air, the Arena truly resembled the giant neck of Veli Joze, as the creator of the installation Marijan Busic has said, and the tie around the Arena was impressively similar to a normal tie with a tied knot.

The sponsors

The sponsors of the art installation were HEP (the Croatian electricity company) INA, Potomac-Croata and Adria Lada. Croatian national television (HRT) will make a documentary about this unique event. The importance of the art installation project "A tie around the Arena" as a world scale cultural project by which the Arena, Pula, Istria, Croatia and Croatian tourism have been promoted on a world scale, has been recognized and given support by the Croatian Ministry of Culture, the Ministries for European Integration, Tourism and Defense, the Croatian Tourist Board, the Tourist Boards of the City of Pula and the Istarska County and Croatia Airlines. The official cultural and artistic program with the presentation of the installation was attended by the vice-president of the Croatian Government Dr. Goran Granic, the assistant minister for European Integration Davor Cilic, diplomatic representatives from the embassies of France, Greece and Denmark, a representative of the Japanese cultural institution "The Japanese House" Jassuo Yamamoto, who is also a member of the Board of the Academia Cravatica and many other important guests.

The Official Program

At the beginning of the official program (run by Lejdi Oreb) the mayor of Pula dr. sc. Luciano Delbianco spoke on the significance of this event for the city of Pula and Croatia as a whole. The coordinator of the technical staging of the installation Mladen Marinovic spoke about how this exceptionally complex project, in a technical and technological sense, was realized. The creator of the installation Marijan Busic spoke about the motives for his preoccupation with the tie and the message of this art installation and amongst other things said, "While I was still in high school I realized that Croatia, the home of the tie (cravat), could best be presented to Europe and the world by means of the tie, as a worldwide symbol of dignity, formality and success. In time I discovered more and more the symbolic potential of the tie as a medium. So the art installation "A Tie around the Arena" primarily draws attention to the tie as a world phenomenon of communication, a medium which communicates emotion, value and identity. Today in the conditions of globalization, with the tendency to iron out cultural differences, through this installation which brings together the ancient and the modern era with Croatia, I would like to emphasize directly the value of different identities. The red color of the tie, as a sign of love, which is also the color of the Croatian coat-of-arms, and the red soil of Istria, underlines the Croatian cultural identity and at the same time its openness and belonging to the wider European cultural circle. The metaphor of circles is also close to me (of Pula, Istria, Croatia, Europe and the World), circles, which do not obliterate each other, but rather complement and complete one another. The extraordinary size of the art installation is conditioned by the size of the Arena, this magnificent symbol of the Greek and Roman world. Since it is located here in Istria, I spontaneously associated the Arena with the giant Veli Joze and I imagined it as his gigantic neck."

The official program began at 3 p.m. with a parade by the brass band and majorettes of the City of Pula. Also included in the program were members of the "Uljanik" folk club and the women's klapa singing group "Teranke" who for the first time performed the song "Vez" (written by Daniel Nacinovic, music by Bruno Krajcar) which was especially written for the occasion.

The composition "Balun" was also performed (by Bruno Krajcar) which popularizes the unique Istrian musical scale and the traditional Istrian dance. The dance was performed by the "Stellium" dance group (choreography by Tatjana Samuele). Six couples danced in costumes based on stylized Istrian folk costumes made by the firm Potomac, who also are owners of the Croata brand. After the program there was a reception and a happy time of socializing, for the guests, the participants in the program and representatives of the media.

[The young couple Danijela and Denis from Pula also took part in the official program, dressed in formal wedding outfits. Their presence was a kind of living presentation of a "wedding in the Pula Arena" the basic motif of the picture book "The Cravat of Veli Jože or the fairy wedding in the Pula Arena". This new, illustrated literary work (written by Daniel Nacinovic and Ivan Gregov) was produced to mark the art installation and was inspired by it. The young couple was also honored by the accompaniment of members of the "Turopolje Honorable Guard" a historical Croatian unit from Turopolje. Turopolje is incidentally, the home of the man's formal neck scarf the "podgutnica", which according to some researchers is the oldest Croatian cravat (the original cravat).]

The realization of the art installation also gave rise to other cultural and artistic events. On Friday 17 October an exhibition of works by twenty artists was opened on the theme of the tie. They donated all the works of art exhibited to the non-profit making institution Academia Cravatica. There is a book, [as mentioned before] to be launched next week (a picture book) entitled "The tie of Veli Joze or the fairy wedding in the Pula Arena" (written by Daniel Nacinovic and Ivan Gregov), in three versions - in Croatian, Italian and English.

And finally one more interesting thing. The final phase of the execution of the installation on Saturday was made more difficult and slowed down by a strong bora wind. Precisely because of the great vulnerability of the installation to wind, the lower part of the tie was put away that same evening with the help of the local people, but the knot and the part of the tie around the Arena was taken down the next day, on Sunday. But the point of the art installation had been achieved: a picture of the largest tie in the world had gone around the globe! (Dino Bedrina)


  • Text - http://www.croata.hr/news/index.php
  • Added text [inside square brackets] - http://europedir.blogspot.com/2006/05/tied-around-pula-arena.html

Cravat is the only Croatian symbol known and recognized worldwide. At the same time, cravat stands as symbol of Europe and several fundamental human values, as well. Therefore, Academia Cravatica declares October 18th to be set as the day of Croatian and world Cravat Day. Namely, in year 2003 the spectacular installation Cravat Around Arena was performed in Pula. This installation, of the world´s largest cravat, brought the ancient and modern time into symbolic connection, and red colour of the cravat worded and sent message of love and coexistence amongst peoples and nations into the world. Numerous television stations presented the installation Cravat Around Arena to the whole world as the world´s top spectacle, seen by more than billion people.

The following endeavour (action/installation) Cravat Around Croatia, performed this summer, in sixty days symbolically embraced and connected Croatia, presented and affirmed the beauty of Croatian cultural and natural heritage, with messages of love and coexistence sent to countries neighbours. It is opinion of the Academia Cravatica that establishing the Cravat Day, on Croatian and world level, would mean a great turnover in recognition and positive image of Croatia in the world. Croatian embassies and clubs would play an important role in this kind of promotion. Proposal for establishing the Cravat Day on the national level will be addressed to the Croatian Parliament for discussion and acceptance.

Marijan Bušić, BA, who is the head of the Academia Cravatica and the initiator of the idea says: “Cravat is not only a sign of class and clothing culture. The vertical of the cravat symbolizes the vertical of a man/woman – human dignity, self-awareness, moments of celebration. Balancing between its lightness, on one side, and the knot, on the other side, cravat symbolizes civilizational balance. Cravat sends out a message, symbolically, to be more aware of our dignity and dignity of others while communicating, to be people more, gentlemen more, aware of one´s freedom, and one´s responsibilities. For this symbolic strength, cravat carries epoch-marking importance. That is why it is necessary to establish the Cravat Day, on occasion of which the world would be sensible for those fundamental values,“ emphasizes Bušić.


  • http://academia-cravatica.hr/news/

CRAVAT DAY - 18th October 2007

Academia Cravatica was founded in 1997 with the mission of promoting the tie or cravat as part of the Croatian, European, and world cultural heritage, and as a special medium of communication. The cravat is the only Croatian symbol which is universally known and appreciated, and at the same time is recognized and acknowledged as a Croatian symbol. The Croatian origins of the tie or cravat, founded on historic, ethnological and linguistic facts, are confirmed by world encyclopedias and other scientific sources. In addition, the many projects run by Academia Cravatica over the past ten years, have promoted Croatia - the homeland of the cravat, on a world scale. For example, the installation “The Cravat around the Arena” in Pula on 18th October 2003 was staged as a major world performance, which was seen on television throughout the world by more than a billion people. It is considered that this was the most ambitious promotion of the Croatian identity in the world to date. This installation, with the largest cravat in the world, symbolically brought together the ancient and modern ages, and the red color of the cravat sent a message to the world of love and life together of peoples and nations.

Croats gave the world the cravat, but it was nurtured, developed and perfected by other nations. For example, the Americans conceived a cravat in three parts and thereby perfected it technically. But the most important contribution to the development of the cravat came from the French, the English and other European nations. Therefore the cravat is a symbol of Europe. This is seen in the now common custom of the European Union that each country presiding over Union presents its own specific cravat at the beginning of its term.

The cravat is a universal symbol of elegance and the culture of dressing, but its powerful symbolic potential contains many other values. The vertical cravat symbolizes the human vertical - human dignity and self-awareness, moments of solemnity and ceremony, success and a business spirit… With its lightness on the one hand and the knot on the other, the cravat “binds” together freedom and responsibility. It encourages us to be more aware in our communication of our dignity and the dignity of others - our freedom, but also our responsibility. Due to its enormous symbolic power, the cravat is of great significance for Croatia and the world.

Marking Cravat Day, will contribute to the establishment and illumination of all the positive values of identity in Croatian society, and a recognizable and positive image of Croatia in the world. The initiative for marking Cravat Day has been supported by the Prime Minister dr. Ivo Sanader, and the program to mark the day will take place under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesić. The proposal to mark the national Cravat Day has also been supported by the Committee for Education, Science and Culture of the Croatian Parliament.

Cravat Day will be marked by social and cultural events in several towns in Croatia, and, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the RoC, in some other cities around the world.

We invite social and cultural institutions and Croatian citizens, in this country and abroad, to mark Cravat Day in their own communities in a worthy manner, as a day of celebration and community..

Marijan Bušić, prof.


  • http://academia-cravatica.hr/news/cravat_day_18th_october_2007/

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Created: Sunday, November 4, 2007; Last updated:Saturday March 14, 2015
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