Tag Archives: Nikola Tesla Airport

What is Rocky Balboa’s Connection to Serbia?

We all loved the movie Rocky. I remember being an avid fan of the film series. I used to out in the woods and pretend to be Rocky Balboa.  🙂 Rocky was always the underdog who overcame all the obstacles to win whatever challenge was ahead of him.

You are probably wondering why we are talking about Rocky Balboa on my Serbian blog. 🙂 He has ZERO connection to this country…… or he didn’t until 2007!

My buddies that picked me up at the Nikola Tesla Airport in May of 2010 were driving a tiny red Yugo. They mentioned some of the things they were going to show me on the trip back to Zrenjanin. They mentioned a statue of Rocky Balboa! I quickly asked the million dollar question ” Why the heck is there a statue of Rocky Balboa in Serbia?” They said they had no clue, but it was worth the drive!


The small village of Zitiste, Serbia is located in the region of Vojvodina in Northern Serbia. The population is around 3,000 residents. The majority of villagers work in the agricultural sector. The name is said to have derived from the word “Zito” which means wheat. The village had suffered years of war and numerous natural disasters so the villagers started discussing ways of ending this unlucky streak. A small group of friends that was led by Bojan Marceta, formed a group to push for a statue of Rocky Balboa in the town square. They had seen the famous statue in Philiadelphia and thought it would be a great thing for their little village! Rocky is a fighter just like all of the residents of this small village in Northern Serbia. They had defeated hardship after hardship just like Rocky! Rocky would be a perfect symbol for Zitiste! Their group approached the local mayor who gave his blessing. The only thing left was to find money for this project. They contacted the local chicken processing planet, Agroziv, that is located in the municipality of Zitiste.


Agroziv is one of the largest chicken processing plants in Europe. They process around 8,000 chickens an hour! The CEO was all for the idea of bringing this tourist attraction to Zitiste. They now had the political and financial backing they needed. The only thing left was to find the man to create this statue. They contacted, Thomas Schomberg , who created the original Rocky statue.

Thomas Schomberg, the famous sculptor that created the finished Rocky Balboa statue

Thomas Schomberg, the famous sculptor that created the finished Rocky Balboa statue

He threw them a discounted price of a whooping $1.5 million dollars! 😮 They couldn’t afford anything in that range, but they refused to give up! They contacted local artists and finally found the perfect fit! Croatian Boris Staparac, was given the job for 5000E. The world press got wind of this strange idea and flocked to Zitiste during Chicken Fest 2007 , sponsored by Agroziv, to see them unveil the statue!

Finished Rocky statue in Zitiste, Serbia with the Agroziv chickens

Finished Rocky statue in Zitiste, Serbia with the Agroziv chickens

They had a crowd of around 20,000 people on hand for this occasion! They loved it!!! The statue brought a bit of fame and notoriety to this small little village along with a deep sense of pride! It is still attracting tourists to this day! The days of defeat and lack of confidence are over for Zitiste!! They will prevail!!! If you are interested in watching a 30 minute documentary on this statue click here

Please join our new Serbia website SAY SERBIA…..
and if you are in a generous mood…. please dontate a few dollars to my Serbian film series… We are going to show the premiere episode of Yankee Doodle Went to Serbia Ruma, to the city of Ruma in a week or so!! You guys and gals will love it!!! I have some other plans that are in the works for Republika Srpska!!! Please help or spread the word…. Living on your savings for three years is a big drain on the pocketbook!!! 🙂 HVALA!!!! I really need to buy a new video camera to continue my videos on Youtube. 🙂 Volim vas!!!!

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Through my eyes


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