Weekly Gem #200 Watching Your Step!
Location: Our 200th Weekly Gem, from our 20th country, is located where Rybárska brána, Panská, and Laurinská streets converge in Bratislava, Slovakia (see the Clue Me! Map ).
In 1997, Slovakia was only four years old. It had separated from the Czech Republic in 1993 (together they were Czechoslovakia), and had been part of the Soviet Union's communist bloc for the 45 years before that. The consistent theme in public style during those years could be described as "bare and drab." The people of Bratislava, intent on leaving that (lack of) style in the rear-view mirror, worked hard to spruce up their city and make it more inviting to locals and visitors alike.
They painted, cleaned, and added new art, including this bronze named Čumil (translates to "watcher") which rests at this intersection in the old part of the city where he can watch all the comings and goings. Čumil is on the very edge of the street, and as you can see, there's no curb! On two occasions, vehicles cutting the corner too tightly collided with the artwork, dislodging the head (there goes the oil pan!). It gives "don't tread on me" a whole new meaning. Of course, pedestrians also trod on him, far too many to count. After the second repair to the statue, a sign was installed to alert passersby ... there's a man at rest here!
Some people say that if you make a wish and rub his hat, your wish will come true. Whether it does or not, Čumil always seems to make people smile.
Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.
Do you feel like somebody is watching you?
Cumil. Watching man.
Why It's Interesting
This fellow seems to be enjoying watching all of us go about our day. This bronze art was made by Viktor Hulík. Cumil adds a bit of whimsy to the area.
Villainous pickpockets vs. travelers. How can the traveler ever win?!? But now the hero steps in, with a lopsided grin. 130°® purses are here to protect your good stuff.