A life-sized stone model of a Mercedes Benz Minika automobile is being carved by local Croatian sculptor Roko Drzislav Rebic as a memorial to the thousands of workers who left their native country in quest of greater opportunities overseas.

For the workers who drove their Mercedes automobiles home to prove they had made money after escaping unemployment and hardship, the Mercedes became a symbol of prosperity.

On June 8, the monument will be unveiled in Imotski, a little village 30 km (48 miles) from the well-known Adriatic coast. Imotski is located on the Dinara mountain’s slopes. Decades of migration have resulted in a decline in the town’s population.

“Our fathers and grandfathers moved away, mostly to Western Germany at the time to earn something. To show they have earned some money they would drive back home in their Mercedes car,” Ivan Topic, who runs a club of old-timer vehicles told.

“Out of gratitude to them we are building this monument today,” Topic, who owns eight Mercedes cars, told.

In 1971, thousands of people migrated to Germany in search of employment, starting one of the largest waves of economic migration. Another occurred in 2018, following Croatia’s accession to the EU, when thousands of young people departed the nation in search of employment in Western Europe.

Rebic stated that the monument will weigh fifty tonnes when it is completed. The stone was transported from places close to Imotski.

Topic stated that based on his approximations, the 25,000-person town of Imotski had up to 8,000 Mercedes vehicles.

Topics #Celebrate Migrant Labor #Stone Mercedes