Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Croatia
Art Gallery in Zagreb

anonymous communique to Biteback:

"On 11/17/2006 ALF activists burned down the vehicle ("Iveco" van) which belongs to the art gallery "Klovicevi dvori", Zagreb, Croatia.

So called art gallery has long history of torturing and killing animals in their performances. In 2005 they were killing dozen of fishes daily and on 11/07/2006 the rooster was slaughtered. They have to pay! Although it was high risk action since gallery is situated only 50-100m from Croatian parliament and government and is heavily guarded by police and private security officers, and there are lot of security video cameras activists were successful. The van was burned to the ground, no other property was damaged and of course there were no human or animal casualties.


Images from media reports:

Animal Rights Advocates have a wide range of opinions, as you can read in the dialogue below. We know they are all passionate about animals. Frankly, we only report the news and wish everyone who fights for animals our very best.

If these people who claim they burned the van, really did so, I would suggest they better learn from their masters, the real ALF.

The real ALF would not endanger other groups' work, purposely damage their reputation or attack a non-animal abuse target, as this gallery has no repeated events with animals, and also understood that it is against the Animal Welfare Act to support, what happened at their place. They did say to the police and the media they will not anymore allow such events at their place, as this was a criminal act.
Why didn't that new Croatian ALF group warn the Croatian National Theater when they used living horses for their stage decoration this summer? Why did we have to react, instead of them, if they are so worried about animal abuse in the name of arts? The real ALF certainly won't mix into another group's campaign, which actually already was completed, as in this case.

And by the way, the police is convinced this case of arson belongs to the series of arson which occurred during the days before the burning gallery van. Nobody believes in an ALF here, not the police nor the media, but rather that we, as AFC, did that. This means, this action had no effect for the new ALF. We lost all good reputation we had, as we are the only loud and radical organization for now here, and people directly connect what happened with our work.

I think we have made our statement and won't repeat ourselves, nor will we start a wordplay here on this website.

We can understand people that out of their frustration on repeated animal abuse seize for more radical measures. Though, as the organization Animal Friends Croatia, we do not support such action, nor do we encourage our activists do undertake such radical action.

We received an e-mail claiming that it was a real ALF action with the following reasons why the art gallery "Klovicevi dvori" was chosen:

All ALF guidelines were followed to the letter. Important property of the abuser (or those responsible) was destroyed, no other property was damaged on of course nobody was hurt (human or non-human animal).

Violence against animals for "artistic" (and entertainment) purpose has escalated in last few years, despite AFC actions.

Art gallery "Klovicevi dvori" was chosen because of yet unseen brutality (slaughter of the rooster).

Also, the art gallery "Klovicevi dvori" is very important and prestige cultural institution. If they can kill animals for "art" others less known galleries (and "artists") might follow their example.

"Klovicevi dvori" owns only two vehicles, one of them was destroyed – it is very unlikely that they would risk hurting any animal again.

By targeting art gallery "Klovicevi dvori", in such extreme way, the ALF strongly believed that for a long time "Klovicevi dvori" or any other cultural institution would not dare to torture or kill animals.

It is true that the local mainstream AR organization had problems with the police and the ALF apologizes for that – but positive effects are more important than inconveniences that they had to endure.

Anita's statement (below) that this action "brings animal rights to the edge of existence here" is overstatement. Also it is not true that art gallery issued statement that they will not use (or kill) animals any more (the "artist" was the one who said that she will not kill animals in CLOSE FUTURE). Other arsons in the area are connected with local criminals and owners of those vehicles has long police record – nobody connects this arson with art galley van.

We have been working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management on the new Animal Protection Act, and our representatives are going to be present at parliament during the vote, probably next week. Although many things were kicked out from our initial proposal or limited, fur farming is likely to be prohibited in 2017 in Croatia! Unfortunately not earlier – too many people would lose jobs, yadda-yadda. Also this is one of the reasons, why we so much endeavor to remain legal and 'correct' in our actions.

With regard to the recent attack on a gallery van in Zagreb, which followed a successful campaign against an ‘artist’ that performed in this gallery, slicing up a cock’s throat. The gallery itself had only two performances with animals, once the fish thing, you mention in the Bite Back report, and the second now, with that cock-slaughter. It is not a usual occurrence. They actually exhibit art pictures.

We are convinced that this was NO ALF action, but only the fake of someone trying to show off. All circumstances speak for that, and the name of the ALF, as well as animal rights in common, was ridiculed by this senseless act of ‘confession’, as the gallery does not directly torture or use animals, but only oil on canvas.

They let the place to the cock-killing ‘artist’, that was all they had to do. If someone was to be threatened by an ALF or if any car would have to be burned, it should have been the one of the ‘artist’, not the gallery. Until now, it is confirmed by the police, that this was not a lonely act of arson in the area. There have been other cars, non-related to animals or AR, burned the nights before, too.

It is to be expected, that the perp after all the publicity s/he received, will act again. The question is, when? Maybe when an accidental fire breaks out in the zoo or an employee of GlaxoSmithKline has an accident. Will again the ‘glory’ be put on the account of the ALF? This perp is unpredictable and we have no idea what event or accident might be picked up next, after such a ‘success’ of his/her sham. And the reputation of the ALF in Croatia is at risk.

Here is what happened:

Hearing about this performance where in the gallery a cock was killed in the name of art, we immediately went there, protesting, calling the police and charged the ‘artist’ and the gallery. The TV was also there and two TV stations reported on this event. The ‘artist’ will be sued and she also promised never to kill an animal again for ‘art performances’, the gallery said there will be no more killing at their place. The media reported on this, too. We closed the case, uploaded everything to our website and thought, ‘great, that was another solved case of animal torture with public support’.

Suddenly, a couple of days later, the police called us for an interview. Our president, chairmen, everybody of our management board had to appear at the police station for an interview. What happened, we asked? The van of the gallery had been burned during the night. And of course, they had to suspect us at first place. Why, we say, should we be so silly and do this? To destroy our for now legal work? After the interviews they accepted that we, as organisation, did not do this and are neither connected to this event, and also submit that actually lately in this area several cars have been burned, and this seems to be the act of vandals. Media attention again, this is a small country, and arson easily makes it into the news. Most papers report on the arson, but only two mention our name. At first hand, we seem not to be too relevant for them.

Shortly later, suddenly, the biggest daily paper received a confession letter by an anonymous mailer.

The burning of the van was only a warning. Stop using and killing animals in the name of art. You have two days to convey your decision to the public. If this does not happen, all the property of (the gallery) Klovicevi Dvori as well as the property of its employees will become our aim.

Animal Liberation Front


The gallery itself did not receive any warning.

The person or group that sent this letter, from then on remain silent as if they didn’t exist.

Of course, the paper uses this ALF confession letter and places it as headline.

For us the battle starts, that brings animal rights to the edge of existence here. People call us terrorists without a reason. Burning a car after a closed action was stupid, who would do this? And why the gallery, that does not do anything with animals? Why not the artist herself? And why would one threaten the gallery, if they already confirmed they would not allow such performances in their place anymore? Why is such radical action anyway necessary, after we had successfully pressed charges against everyone involved?

The closed case again is opened, and nobody knows who that ALF might be and why they attacked a gallery, not the artist herself, or any greater target, where animals suffer. People start calling us fascists and radicals. Our until now peaceful fight for animal rights suddenly is called terrorism, while other people laugh at the fact, that animal rights activists burn down vans of galleries, as if there was no more logical target for animal rights terrorists.

The Croatian national TV station HRT1 interviews Luka Oman, the president of Animal Friends Croatia, and he hands them SHAC undercover footages with it. In the 8h o’clock news we (finally) find a calming report on the act and Luka’s commentary that the ALF does not burn down vehicles of meaningless galleries, but has targets that directly involve animals and animal suffering. While he speaks they put the undercover video over it, showing how vivisectors hit and torture beagles to give them their test-medication. A touching and convincing scene of a lab, that takes some ten seconds. Within days some people start to understand and believe that this was no ALF act. The Minister of Culture in an interview at an exhibition in the same gallery states that this must be an act of a single person, no organisation. The police confirms that all evidence proves that this is arson is a serial crime and someone merely sent a sham-confession letter. We still fight for our reputation, the reputation of animal rights and the ALF’s reputation here, but what hurts most is that Bite Back and ALF websites glorify this sham as an ALF act. You do not know the story behind. The one who celebrates him/herself as ALF activist, also informed you about this, and you do not know any other side of the story. This is why we decided to send you this long, long mail.

Of course, it is up to you to believe what you want. But trust me, when we claim, this is NO ALF action, but only a shameful sham, discrediting AR work in Croatia. An ALF activist would follow up the work of the other nearby AR groups and not hit a place, where the story already is over, discrediting our work and animal rights in common with such senseless act, or better obvious act, as no one of the authorities believes that was an ALF act.

An ALF activist would plan an own action and not mix into the action of another group, ridiculing what has been achieved by trying to top the other group’s campaign.

With best regards from the entire Animal Friends Croatia team I remain yours,


Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,