Montenegro recently joined the Balkan hysteria about origins of some of the famous people. "Is John Malkovich Croatian, Bosnian or Montenegrin?" and "Is Đoković Serb or Montenegrin? are just some of the headlines in the local media.
The list of people of people whose roots are "in question" is long and includes Ruđer Bošković, author of the Croatian anthem Josif Runjanin, Oscar award winner Dušan Vukotić and many others.
Nikola Tesla was born in a Serbian family from Croatia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) and both Serbia and Croatia are investing in keeping the memory of the scientist alive. In his native village of Smilja, the Croatian government manages the Nikola Tesla Museum, and the main technical museum in Zagreb is named after him. In Serbia, the Tesla cult is stronger - he is featured in the Serbian 100 dinars bill and the main international airport in Belgrade is named "Nikola Tesla Airport".
The fight for Tesla heritage was, until recently, exclusively Serbo-Croatian issue until Ćosović started researching the subject, and together with the Serbian author who wrote several books about Tesla, Milovan Matić states that Tesla identified with Montenegro as well.
Cover of the Ćosović book
Tesla was born and raised in our region, but he was educated in the countries that could provide him with better education, through which he could have developed his talent. That is what we should always have in mind before we start bragging about someone's roots coming from our countries. Instead, countries from the Balkans should do more to enhance the availability of the quality education to their talents.