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Sarajevo pays tribute to Uncle Misho, its last shoe shiner

Sarajevo Mayor said Uncle Misho was a city symbol and his death Monday has left the Bosnian capital "emptier."

Sarajevo |
January 9, 2014 7:56:54 pm
Flowers and candles decorate a wooden chair with photo of late Husein Hasani, in downtown Sarajevo Flowers and candles decorate a wooden chair with photo of late Husein Hasani, in downtown Sarajevo

Thousands of Bosnians have signed a petition urging authorities to erect a monument to Sarajevo’s last shoe shiner, who died at 83 after charming generations.

As if waiting to be cleaned, a pair of old shoes stood Thursday in front of the wooden chair on which Husein Hasani — known as Uncle Misho — usually sat. Citizens laid flowers and lit candles around a portrait of him on the chair. Many passers-by stopped and prayed.

Even during Bosnia’s bloody 1992-95 war that killed over 100,000 people, Uncle Misho offered his services on the main street while dodging sniper fire.

Sarajevo Mayor Ivo Komsic said Uncle Misho was a city symbol and his death Monday has left the Bosnian capital “emptier.”

The petition got around 5,000 signatures in just one day.

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