Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Tributes paid to 'last' shoe-shiner

Flowers and candles decorate a wooden chair with a photo of late Husein Hasani, in downtown Sarajevo (AP)

Thousands of Bosnians have signed a petition urging authorities to put up a monument to Sarajevo's last shoe-shiner, who died at 83 after charming generations.

As if waiting to be cleaned, a pair of old shoes stood in front of the wooden chair on which Husein Hasani - known as Uncle Misho - usually sat.

Citizens laid flowers and lit candles around a portrait of him on the chair. Many passers-by stopped and prayed.

Even during Bosnia's bloody 1992-95 war in which more than 100,000 people were killed, Uncle Misho offered his services on the main street while dodging sniper fire.

Sarajevo Mayor Ivo Komsic said Uncle Misho was a city symbol and his death on Monday has left the Bosnian capital "emptier".

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