Milan Pavlek, inset, caused outrage among locals in Duga Resa, 65 km southwest of Zagreb, when he drilled a hole in an ancient sundial in order to erect a 3-metre high cross.
According to this report (in Croatian) the sun dial stood at the entrance of the St Peter Apostle church in Sveti Petar.
All hell broke loose when Pavlek boasted about his act of vandalism on the parish’s Facebook page. When the Ministry of Culture in Karlovac learned what he had done it urgently ordered him to remove the crucifix.
Pavlek flatly denied responsibility for the act, and blamed his parishioners instead, adding that the artefact was nothing but a ruined stone that looked nothing like a sundial.
However, when contacted, some of the member of the Pastoral Commission said under conditions of anonymity that the priest himself insisted on the mounting of the crucifix on the sundial. Not only that, they had warned him that a row would erupt given the historical value of the stone.
Editor’s note: A translation of the original report was posted on Reddit.