In the legacy of Nikola Koka Janković, within May festivities, in the presence of the mayor of Kragujevac, Radomir Nikolić, the representatives of delegations of twin towns and friends, guests of Kragujevac, representatives of local self-government and Koka’s brother Janko, today an audio-visual presentation of the newly constructed building was held.
“The academician Nikola Koka Janković, born in Kragujevac, has left to his birth town a spiritual testament and a covenant, the legacy which the city shall permanently take care of. His decision was a great impetus and a duty for Kragujevac, and here, in the vicinity of University management building, the most beautiful exhibition premises have been built. With great gratitude and respect for everything he did and gave to Kragujevac, to Serbian culture and art, the care for the legacy, as a spiritual covenant and a testament, is the least we can do.“said Miljan Bjeletić, a member of the City Council for culture.
The wish of the famous Serbian sculpture Koka Janković was that the building of the legacy should be designed by the architect Zoran Gagić. The author of the building has talked about his thoughts and inspiration which motivated him to accept the call, admitting that it was not so simple.
“The confidence that I had been entrusted, to design the building of the legacy, was a great honour for me and that was enough of a reason to succeed. I knew that it had to be different from the surrounding buildings, to ask for respect from everyone who enters or passes by. I had imagined it as a sculpture on a pedestal,“ says the architect Gagić.
The sculptor Zdravko Joksimović, a professor of the Faculty of visual arts in Belgrade, talked about Nikola Koka Janković as a professor.
“Portraitists like Koka search for truth in everybody, which is very difficult, but he simply knew that secret, he had it in his fingers. That is a pure gift and cannot be easily transferred; however he had both, an inexhaustible wish and patience, to transfer that to his students,“ says the sculptor Joksimović. “Koka is among the ten best European portraitists of XX century and he deserves a legacy. We can be proud because it is a rare case in our country that an exceptional sculptor obtains a building with whole his opus in it.“
The presentation was also attended by Janko, Koka’s brother, who reminded the audience of Koka’s outstanding drawings, watercolours and interest in all segments of art.
“Everything Koka did, he did with lots of love and lots of criticism because he strived to perfection. He used to talk of art as a pearl from the bottom of the sea, which was thrown out with the sand. In his works he eliminated the sand,“ says Janko, thanking on behalf of his family to the city of Kragujevac and everybody who helped that their birth town receives this magnificent building and becomes something Serbia can be proud of.