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Gavrilo Princip Statue Remembers Man Who Helped Start WWI

Image: Gavrilo Princip Statue Remembers Man Who Helped Start WWI
Bosnian actor Jovan Mojsilovic poses with a plastic replica gun during ceremony of unveiling statue of Gavrilo Princip in Istocno Sarajevo, on Friday, June 27, 2014.

By    |   Monday, 30 Jun 2014 08:49 AM

A statue of Gavrilo Princip was erected Saturday in Sarajevo, 100 years after the man assassinated Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and set off WWI.

The statue is part of a series of concerts, symposiums and other events organized by the city in remembrance of the Great War, and drew mixed reactions from residents, CNN reported.

Some citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina think Princip was a terrorist, while others think he's a hero.

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During the unveiling ceremony an actor ran on stage and fired two shots in the air, then read a poem Princip wrote while in captivity. A group of folk dancers then took the stage to perform. The actor later posed for pictures, and The Associated Press reported that some members of the audience shouted that he should "shoot at NATO" or "shoot at the EU."

"Gavrilo Princip was a freedom fighter and the Austro Hungarian empire was an occupier here," said Milorad Dodik, president of the Bosnian Serb half of the country, unveiling the bronze statue.

East Sarajevo, home to many Bosnian Serbs, have moved to divide the country, so that the Serbs can rejoin neighboring Serbia.

Pincips' famous shots took place on St. Vitus Day, June 28, 1914, and provoked Austria to attack Serbia with the backing of Germany. Russian and France, Serbia's allies, were drawn in, and Britain and the U.S. eventually joined the fight as well.

Serb-dominated Yugoslavia fell apart in 1992 and the conflict ended with Bosnia being recognized as a sovereign state, but one divided into two halves — one for Serbs and the other for Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats.

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A statue of Gavrilo Princip was erected Saturday in Sarajevo, 100 years after the man assassinated Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and set off WWI.
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Monday, 30 Jun 2014 08:49 AM
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