If you are looking for something special these days, some unusual place off the beaten track with a great legend behind it, go with the special monument dedicated to Željko Malnar life story. Željko Malnar was an amazing man with weird personality and today is his birth anniversary (Zagreb, 12.04.1944. – Zagreb, 09.07.2013.). Three years ago, shortly after Malnar’s death, Pimp My Pump crew (street artist collective who are transforming old water pumps into the works of art) paid tribute to him with World map monument on the sidewalk located in Peščenica neighborhood.
So, who is Željko Malnar and why he has such unusual monument in this southeast part of Zagreb?
Željko Malnar was man ahead of his time! World traveler with local soul, man with charisma loved by many as an honest and intelligent man, brave adventurer and media genius, or hated of an equal number of people because he was arrogant, a drunk, a rogue and anti-state element. He was the pioneer of upside down philosophy in Croatia blended with the king is naked policy, with TV show named „Nightmare Stage“ which was under the limits of a good taste and the legitimacy of declaring himself the President of self-proclaimed republic of Pešćenica.
In his early years he studied at film department in the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi and after graduation he stayed in India for next 10 years. He is also the author of more than 70 documentaries from Asia, Oceania, Central and South America and co-author of the book „In pursuit of the glass city“ (1986.). He was the only foreigner with title of Seuli (chief who speaks) in Polynesian state of Western Samoa and holder of the Forth Worth Key of the City. Malnar crossed the desert Dasht-i-Margo (Desert of Death in Afghanistan), sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, passed through jungle of Sri Lanka and the Amazon.
One year after the first Jerry Springer show, and seven years before the first Big Brother, Željko Malnar started Nightmare Stage – a controversial anti – talk show on the local television in which anonymous, local jackasses become celebrities. In this show Malnar gave space to those who were undesirable and spoke about topics that others avoided. In 18 years of broadcasting this inexpensive show with live drinking, swearing, stripping and fighting he hosted a wide range of guests like Dennis Rodman (yes, The Dennis Rodman), Croatian politicians, ministers, tycoons, singers and various wannabe persons.
Three years ago Malnar had lost his last battle and he become a legend. So if you have some extra time, try to find a strange monument dedicated to his life story on a sidewalk near the intersection of Donje Svetice and Andrilovečka street and think a little bit about your life and some good memories above it. Željko Malnar will appreciate that!