Singer, actor, aircraft pilot, writer… Bruce Dickinson has more than one string to his bow. At sixty years old, the singer of the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden can add a line to his impressive resume. And a medal to his breastplate! The city of Sarajevo has awarded Saturday’s honorary citizenship in the british singer in appreciation of the support he has given to the inhabitants of the bosnian capital during the siege of the 1990s.
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Then in world tour to promote his solo album Balls To Picasso , Dickinson was brought in musicians who accompanied him to Sarajevo, under siege, in December, 1994, as the conflict between the communities (1992-95 worked in fields, up to 100,000 dead) was in full swing. They had come to Sarajevo for a humanitarian convoy, escorted by UN soldiers. On the 14th of December in the evening, the room BKC, a former synagogue, was full to the brim, in the city cut off from the world.
“It took a lot of courage and humanity to come in 1994 in Sarajevo devastated and under siege, to say no and plead for a stop to the worst war in Europe since the Second world War,” said Igor Gavric, president of the municipal council, at a ceremony at city hall. This concert had enabled the inhabitants of Sarajevo to “believe” that they “would survive and that the town will survive,” according to the municipal official.
“Screaming for me, Sarajevo!”
“In our world, most of the things last five minutes on social networks. It is amazing that, nearly 25 years after the show in Sarajevo, it means so much to people for me to assign this symbolic price,” commented Bruce Dickinson, much applauded by a hundred guests. “But really, while it is a great honour, I think this award belongs as much to the people of Sarajevo who are still here,” added the rocker of 60 years.
More than 11,000 people have been killed during the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted 44 months. The inhabitants of the capital of the Bosine-Herzegovina have rediscovered the miraculous concert of 1994 after the release in 2016’s Scream for me, Sarajevo! , a documentary directed by authors, bosnians, whose title borrows the phrase launched by Dickinson at the beginning of the concert: “Screaming for me, Sarajevo!”.
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“We had not stopped the war, but we had made it so that people feel better where they were, and it is, in fact, everything that musicians can do,” said Dickinson in a statement to the press, after the ceremony.