The eviction of an iconic stray cat from one of Dubrovnik’s most beautiful palaces sparks controversy

12:33 p.m., April 18, 2022

Dubrovnik is torn over the fate of Anastasia, a 17-year-old street cat recently evicted from one of the most beautiful palaces in the Croatian medieval city. The tricolor feline appreciated by the many tourists who visit the ancient Ragusa had chosen to spend his time under the arches of the rector’s palace, an architectural marvel of the 14th century. She settled first in a box, then in a wooden niche made at the end of March by Srdjan Kera, a resident of Dubrovnik, in the same half-Gothic, half-Renaissance style as the palace, equipped with a cushion of red velvet and struck with a plate in the name of the feline, “Anastasia”.

But the direction of the museums of Dubrovnik, which sits in the palace, did not appreciate and demanded the removal of the niche soon after, to the chagrin of animal rights defenders. No one is authorized to infringe “with a unique and historic ensemble” what is Dubrovnik, “particularly by constructing shelters or settlements”she said in a statement.

The mayor supports the museum

The decision sparks heated debates in the locality of 44,000 inhabitants. On social networks, calls to protect the animal, which had already been expelled last year from a makeshift shelter, are increasing. “Anastasia needs her house! Give him his house! Apparently, cultural institutions are run by people without culture”launched a user on Facebook.

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In an online poll organized by a local newspaper, 90% of the 4,500 participants believed that the niche should remain under the palace arches. ” It’s my house. It’s only one cat, there aren’t 70 of them”exclaims Srdjan Kera.

But the mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, came to the rescue of the museum by noting that the city was home to many stray cats and could be proud of the fact that they are all “well fed”not “skinny”. “It shows how this city coexists with animals. Why should we house them now? »

In the meantime, the cat has its own Facebook page, “Kneginja Anastazija” (Princess Anastasia) and an online petition calling for her home to be returned had garnered nearly 12,000 signatures on Saturday.

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