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PM Sanader unveils monument to renowned Croatian chemist in Prague

PRAGUE, Dec 6 (Hina) - Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in Prague on Saturday unveiled a monument to Croatian chemist and Nobel Prize winner Vladimir Prelog who studied and earned his Sc.D in the Czech capital.

The bust, made by Croatian painter and sculptor Ivica Antolic, was unveiled in the Czech Institute of Technology in Prague where Prelog received a degree as a chemical engineer in 1929.

The setting up of the bust, identical to one displayed at the Zagreb Chemistry and Technology Faculty, was initiated by the Association of the Croatian-Czech Friendship and financed by the Croatian Culture Ministry.

"Thanks to people like Prelog, Croatia and the Czech Republic have built a true friendship," Sanader said.

Vladimir Prelog (July 23, 1906 - January 7, 1998) was a renowned chemist and Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. He lived and worked in Prague, Zagreb and Zurich.

He was born in Sarajevo, at that time within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to Croatian parents who were working there. In 1915, as a child, Prelog moved to Zagreb with his parents. Educated in Zagreb and Osijek, he graduated from the Czech Institute of Technology in Prague in 1929, receiving a degree as a chemical engineer.

In 1934, he was invited to join the Technical Faculty of the University of Zagreb, where he took the post of lecturer in organic chemistry.

Because of the political situation, in 1941 he left for Zurich, Switzerland, to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

Prelog received the 1975 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work in the field of natural compounds and stereochemistry, sharing it with the Australian/British research chemist John Cornforth.

His scientific opus encompasses more than 400 works. A lecturer of distinctive style and eloquence, he trained many generations of chemists. In 1986, he became an honorary member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.