09/24/13 10:50am
09/24/2013 10:50 AM
COURTESY PHOTO | Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić speaks on Monday at Wardenclyffe.

COURTESY PHOTO | Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić speaks on Monday at Wardenclyffe.

After purchasing the site of Nikola Tesla’s final laboratory in May following a viral online fundraiser, a Shoreham nonprofit welcomed the President of Serbia to unveil a statue dedicated to the Serbian scientist on Monday.

President Tomislav Nikolić – in the country as the United Nations General Assembly met on Monday – offered the statue as a gift from his country. The bronze sculpture which stands on a granite base, crafted by Serbian artist Nikola Jankovic, faces Route 25A at the lab’s site in Shoreham, known as Wardenclyffe, depicting Tesla looking down at his hands.

Jane Alcorn, president of the nonprofit which owns the land, said on Tuesday that the event was “astounding,” drawing close to 300 people including local – and with Nikolic on site, international – politicians alike. Music was played during the ceremony by members of Shoreham-Wading River High School, a Serbian violinist, as well.

“They are very proud of their most famous son,” Alcorn said.

Leading up to the May purchase of Wardenclyffe, web comic Matt Inman, who was also present at Monday’s ceremony, spearheaded a campaign to help the nonprofit raise the funds necessary to purchase the 15.6-acre site. Nearly $1.4 million was raised, and in May, Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe bought the land for $850,000, nearly half of the original asking price.

Alcorn said today that moving forward, the nonprofit is working on rehabbing the buildings and long-term, they hope to partner with Stony Brook University to offer science courses on site. The organization has said in the past that in order to achieve its long-term goals, as much as $10 million could need to be raised.

jpinciaro@timesreview.com

Watch a video of Monday’s event, courtesy of RememberTesla.com, below

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