Monuments have traditionally commemorated a person or event. The same is true for the “NEWBORN” monument, which was unveiled in the heart of Prishtina, Kosovo, in 2008.
The monument, created by a Kosovan agency, was built with the intention of commemorating the end of the war nine years earlier and the country’s declaration of independence.
Until the moment the monument was revealed to the public, the country’s independence had only been a rumour. But those rumours grew louder both domestically and internationally at the beginning of February 2008. It wasn’t until 3:00 am on the morning of the 17th that it became obvious that something big was about to happen.
A cold Siberian wind swept through the city that morning, greeting the first of the trucks that arrived with the iconic letters. Due to the extreme cold, the construction team had to work in shifts. When finally built, each letter stood ten feet tall, was brightly coloured and the complete word weighed in at nine tons. To keep the secret a little longer, once the bold letters were secured in place they were covered with a giant blue veil.
Buckets filled with permanent markers were placed nearby, ready for the announcement which came a little over 12 hours later at 3:39 pm. That was the moment that the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo finally declared independence, the NEWBORN monument was revealed and the celebrations began.
The whole country was in fever. Prishtina was flooded by people waving national flags, and crowds began to gather around the NEWBORN sculpture. The country’s Prime Minister was the first to sign his name on the sculpture. And then, to a backdrop of music provided by DJs, the rest of the 150,000-strong crowd was invited to grab pens from the buckets and write their names, too, indelibly inscribing each citizen into this historic moment.
The sculpture became a symbol of a nation born anew. It was a message to the world, and a message from each citizen to one another – here we are and here we go. A modern country with a fresh start, a fresh identity, fresh opportunities and a bright hopeful future. Since 2008, the NEWBORN sculpture has been used every year to share messages domestically and internationally. Some of the messages being “thank you” to all countries who recognised Kosovo, some sharing hopeful ideas such as “no walls”, “preserving earth” and “no wars”.
At SCOOP & SPOON, we have offices all over Europe, including Prishtina. We’re proud to be a part of this bright, hopeful and growing nation’s story. And we’re eager to contribute to its flourishing success in the future, NEWBORN with every new day.
– Berat, Office Management